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Research shows that people in the UK spend more on hotel stays

Recent research from NordVPN has uncovered that people living in the UK often pay hundreds, sometimes thousands, of pounds more than their oceanic neighbors when booking hotel stays through local websites. We’ll explore these findings and show you how using a VPN can help secure more affordable accommodation.

Research shows that people in the UK spend more on hotel stays

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

How did the research work?

NordVPN researchers used a virtual private network (VPN) to simulate holiday searches from the US and abroad. A VPN conceals your IP address, allowing you to appear as though you’re browsing from a selected location. For example, while living in LA, you could use a VPN to appear as if you’re browsing from France, potentially unlocking cheaper flights and hotels.

In this study, the research team initially checked prices for specific hotel stays and car rentals as if booking directly from the UK. They then switched their server connection to the countries they were considering for their holidays — France, Greece, Indonesia, Australia, and Mexico — making it seem like they were browsing from these destinations.

This method revealed a significant price difference — vacations booked from the UK were considerably more expensive than those booked from the actual travel destinations. Let’s delve deeper into these findings.

Main findings

NordVPN researchers discovered significantly lower prices from providers like Agoda,, and when booking from outside the UK. They noted that islanders could save £160 on a 4-night stay in a luxury hotel in Paris for a family of four by booking through a French server. Let’s take a closer look at these significant price differences.

  • Save £1539.81 on a stay at the Disneyland Hotel. Researchers analyzed the cost of staying at the Disneyland Hotel in Paris for 14 days in July 2024 for a family of four. They found that by using a VPN to connect to a server in France, the price dropped from £18,822.08 to £17,342.27, saving islanders 7.86%.
  • Save 13.88% on a 5-star hotel stay in Crete. Booking a 14-night stay at the Iberostar Selection Creta Marine for two adults and two children normally would cost UK vacationers £5,355.32. However, if you book the same vacation using a Greek VPN server, the cost drops to £4,611.89 — saving 13.88%.
  • Save £460.61 on a luxury hotel stay in Bali. Booking a 14-night stay at Ayodya Resort in Bali, Indonesia, for two typically would cost £1,774.37. However, if you book the same stay using an Indonesian VPN server, the cost drops to £1,313.76, saving holidaymakers 25.95%.
  • Save 10.69% on a 4-star hotel stay in Cancun. When researchers compared the cost of a two-week stay for two adults through, they found that UK holidaymakers could save £162.97 by booking through the local website. The price was £1,525.12 when booked from the UK, but it fell to £1,362.15 when booked as if browsing from Mexico.
difference of prices with VPN UK

Other findings were less significant. For instance, booking a two-week stay at a 5-star hotel in Bali for two adults in October was only $63.23 cheaper when using a VPN connected to a server in Indonesia.

Similarly, two adults wishing to stay in the Dakota Hotel Edinburgh for one week would save $84.01 if they booked it through a local service. However, these savings amounted to just a 5.20-7.64% discount.

Why is the pricing so different?

You’ll find different prices for holiday booking based on the country you’re browsing from for several reasons, some of which are:

  • Currency exchange rates. Travelers booking holidays from different countries might experience fluctuating currency exchange rates. Currency fluctuations can directly affect the overall cost of the holiday. A strong exchange rate can lower expenses, while a weaker one may raise costs.
  • Cost of living and local economy. Booking from a country with a higher cost of living can make lower-cost destinations appear more budget-friendly and vice versa. Additionally, countries with strong economies may often have higher holiday prices, both domestically and abroad.
  • Company location. Providers may lower prices or offer better deals in their home countries. That’s why connecting to the server in the country where the company is based is always worthwhile.
Marijus Briedis, chief technology officer at NordVPN, says, “Never assume you’re seeing the same price as everyone else. Companies use all kinds of complex algorithms to cater to the purchasing power of different countries. They will routinely show different prices on different website domains, and it can even differ depending on where you’re visiting from.”

Save money on holiday bookings with a VPN

Why pay more for a holiday abroad just because you live in a different country? By using a VPN, you can save money to use for future vacations. Plus, setting up and getting started with a VPN is incredibly easy.

First, it’s crucial to select a reliable VPN provider. At NordVPN, we prioritize your privacy and security above all else. With servers covering 111 countries, you can access holiday booking services worldwide, not just in one region or continent.

Whether you opt for NordVPN or another provider, the setup process should be similar.

  1. Choose a VPN provider and get a subscription.
  2. Download and install the VPN app on your device.
  3. Open the app, create an account if needed, and sign in using your credentials.
  4. Select a VPN server in the country of your choice, then connect to it.
  5. Visit the websites of various travel arrangement companies and take note of their prices.
  6. Repeat this process with different server locations to find the best deal. We recommend you clear your browser’s cache or open a new incognito window before revisiting the sites to prevent them from recognizing you as a returning user, which could affect the prices displayed.

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Is it legal to use a VPN to get better deals?

VPNs are legal in most countries, and so is using a VPN to access better deals. However, you must read the terms and conditions of the websites you’re accessing. Some websites may prohibit VPN usage or have specific policies against it. Nonetheless, in most cases, using a VPN to search for better travel arrangements is within legal bounds.


The research was commissioned by NordVPN and conducted by an external agency between April 2 and 12, 2024. Researchers used different country servers to search for identical products from the same vendor.