Using VPN for travel bookings could score cheaper rates, research finds

Americans are being charged hundreds of dollars more for their vacations abroad using U.S. websites, according to research by NordVPN. 

NordVPN, a virtual private network (VPN) service, found Americans are shown different prices for car rentals and hotel stays than people elsewhere in the world

Using a VPN for travel bookings could help score cheaper rates abroad, since using a VPN disguises your IP address and keeps your geographical location private. 

NordVPN tested this theory by researching travel bookings from the U.S. and then switching their server connection to the country they were considering for the vacation, such as Italy, France or the UK. This allowed the researcher to see different content – and prices – that would otherwise be shown to overseas customers. 


FILE - A woman looks at travel bookings. Getty Images

"This method revealed a significant price difference — vacations booked from the U.S. were considerably more expensive than those booked from the actual travel destinations," the tech company said

Savings were discovered across a range of well-known travel sites, including Hertz,, and Europcar. 

Here is a look at the price differences NordVPN found, with the most noticeable difference being an Enterprise car rental in the UK for a week. The U.S. price was $1,249 versus the UK price of $737 – a 41% difference in savings. 

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Reasons the pricing can be different based on which country you’re searching from include multiple factors, such as currency exchange rates, cost of living and local economy and the company’s location. 

"Never assume you’re getting the same deal as everyone else. Your location, the number of visits you pay to a website, and how your search fits in with the school holiday schedule, can all influence the price you’re offered," Marijus Briedis, Chief Technology Officer at NordVPN, said.

VPNs are legal in most countries, but NordVPN advises to always read the terms and conditions of the websites you’re accessing when using a VPN

This story was reported from Detroit.