Have you ever called in sick, when in reality, you're perfectly fine, out and about doing something fun and definitely not stuck in bed at home? I definitely have. When it comes to booking airline tickets, we're often penalized for not being a local, or being in a region where an airline thinks they can charge more money. I hate it. Fortunately, it's quite easy to convince them you're elsewhere, saving big bucks...
First Things First, Will It Save Money?
Changing your online location to a different country or region can represent anything from minor to massive savings, but most of all it's very easy to try. As a general rule of thumb, if you want to buy tickets for flights in America, it's best to theoretically be in America, for flights in Asia, it's best to be somewhere in Asia, flights in Europe, Europe and so on. There are of course exceptions and no, it doesn't work on every single ticket, but in general, buying in local currency to the destination or the airline can be brilliant, and yes, save you money.
So How Do I ACTUALLY Change MY Location?
In most cases, this is so much easier than you're envisioning. Almost every airline website has a little bit at the top right or left corner, with a flag or text displaying the location. If you are in the US, there's a strong chance you'll be on the US site. If you wanted to change that to Europe, Asia, Africa, wherever, you'd just go over to that corner and change the location. You'll most likely also then see prices in the currency local to that region. Open up a window and just ask Google to convert the currency you're being quoted. For booking sites, you can often experience the location you want just by changing the web address. For example, Expedia in Norway would be Expedia.no, rather than the usual .com. Look up the prefix (.no, .se, .ie, .uk) etc for where you want to buy and type it in!
Which Currency Or Location Is Cheapest?
Start off searching without thinking of any of this. I'm in the US, but I'm looking for flights from Tokyo to Vietnam later this year. Get a quote without using any of these tricks, and then go to the ITA Matrix, or the airline website and try the same search with your location set to either city you're planning to visit. I would search both the Japanese and Vietnamese versions of Expedia, the airline website and the ITA Matrix, and see if there's a difference. There usually is. One tip, for Norwegian Airlines, it's almost always cheapest to book as if you're in Norway. I have no idea why, but just changing the currency to NOK and location to Norway will almost always save you a few bucks on the exact same ticket you were planning to buy. It's effort, but there's quite often great savings.
How Do I Actually Book?
Many airlines, hotels and travel sites have an English option, whichever region your location is set to. In the event that they don't, using Google Chrome will automatically translate the page to a usable extent, allowing you to fill out the forms and input your details with relative ease. Be sure that you've compared a few locations before settling in to book a ticket. The whole point is savings...