If you're travelling this summer and looking for deals online, you probably know that you should be searching more than one travel site. For added savings, you might want to search with more than one browser - search results can differ, and one browser can sometimes produce a dramatically better deal. Consumer Reports recently discovered this while pricing out the same itinerary on Expedia using Safari and Firefox. The research team checked the flight twice on Safari and once on Firefox. The flight price using the Firefox browser was $718 lower.
But that may be because they went to Safari twice. According to Consumer Reports' ShopSmart Magazine, travel sites can track your searches. First-time visitors may be offered exceptional deals, while returning customers don't necessarily get the same treatment. To avoid this, ShopSmart advises removing cookies that track your searches. Go to your browser and pick preferences. From here, you'll be prompted to remove all cookies.
Before confirming your flight purchase, search for promo codes. Promo codes can save you 10 to 50 per cent off of your seat price. AirFareWatchdog.com and FareCompare.com are two sites that will help you get started.
Plugging in the name of the airline and "promo code" in a search engine will also pull up potential savings. A recent search for promo codes on WestJet and Air Canada informed me of an additional 30 per cent off more than 20 flights on both airlines. Searching for promo codes should be an automatic step before checking out online, especially with big-ticket travel costs such as flights and hotels.
Angela Self is one of the founders of the Smart Cookies money group.