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Saving on Hotels with Your Browser’s Incognito Mode

Browsing the Internet usually leaves a trail of information that can tell vendors and advertisers more about you, but incognito mode, or private browsing, is a mode of Internet usage that keeps much more user data private than standard browsing. Along with added security on websites that require login and greater anonymity during browsing, a hidden benefit of using Incognito mode is that it can deliver lower prices on hotel stays.

Interest Probing

Hotel prices can fluctuate frequently as hoteliers gauge interest in the rooms they offer, and one of the ways they can determine the interest level in a night’s stay is by tracking the number of queries made about rooms in the hotel. Hotels can then adjust their prices to fit demand, and they often use web browsing signatures known as cookies to identify users whenever possible.

This means that visiting a site multiple times with your standard browser effectively tells the hotel multiple times that you’re interested in a room, thereby indicating your willingness to pay more. For this reason, hotel prices often sharply rise as a single user checks rates repeatedly. Using Incognito Mode fights this by shielding the user’s anonymity, effectively presenting each visit to the site as from a unique visitor with an average or lower amount of interest.

User Profiles

Hoteliers can also use a number of software utilities to track a given traveler’s plans and place necessary accommodations at a premium. For instance, some tracking programs will record that a user has searched for airfare prices to London, informing other booking sites and utilities that the user may have interest in hotel rooms or car rentals in the city as well. The data tracking can even extend to other types of purchases, as for example, a purchase of a band’s merchandise may yield higher airfares to cities scheduled as tour stops.

This information is compiled into a type of score, and the score is used to determine display prices across booking platforms. Incognito mode also foils this type of tracking by eliminating the sources of data used to generate this score, often resulting in market levels or the lowest prices available being displayed.

Vendors and advertisers use a range of tools to predict consumer behaviour for their own benefit, but that doesn’t mean you have to be a pawn in their schemes. By using Incognito Mode for your travel booking and general browsing, you’ll be using the power of the Internet to its fullest potential.

image credit: kevin dooley

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