Feeling as stealthy as a spy…

By | June 17, 2024

This week, I’ve got a tip for you that applies to pretty much any device – smartphone, tablet, computer, laptop – as long as it has a web browser.

Many of you will have heard of “private browsing” mode (or “Incognito”, as Google calls it), which is where you can browse the internet without recording the websites that you visit.  We’ve suggested using it in the past for things like shopping for your partner’s birthday present without them finding out, but there’s another handy thing that I often use it for.

Whenever I start to plan a holiday, or a trip away – anything involving a ticket, really – the first thing I do is open an incognito or private browsing window in my web browser.  From there, I go to Skyscanner (for plane tickets) or Booking.com (for hotels) and have a look at the prices for the dates I’m looking at.

If you’re planning to book the ticket straight away, then you probably don’t need to bother with the private browsing, but if you’re just looking, then it’s worth the effort.  This is because booking websites use those cookies that you hear so much about to make a note of when you visit.

So if you go and have a look at ticket prices, but don’t book them then and there, the next time you go and look, those prices will have increased, because they know that you want those dates.  But if you look at them in incognito or private browsing, then the website can’t track that you’ve had a sneaky peek, so you shouldn’t see as much of a price increase.

So how do you open a window in private browsing or incognito mode?  Well, on a Windows computer, you open your browser as normal, then click on the three dots menu button in the top right corner, and click on either “New InPrivate Window” (in Edge) or “New Incognito window” (in Chrome).

On Macs, open Safari and click on “File” in the very top left of the window, then click on “New Private Window” in the menu that pops up.  On Android phones and tablets, tap on the three dots menu button in the top right corner, then tap on “New Incognito tab”.

On iPhones and iPads, open Safari and tap on the Tabs button (it’ll look like lots of squares).  Tap on the word “Private”, or if you can’t see it,  look for a downward arrow somewhere on the screen and tap on that first, then on “Private”.

Leave a Reply

The name you enter will be displayed. We collect your email address but do not display it. Full privacy policy here. Required fields are marked *

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.