Save on Travel With Hipmunk

The days of calling airlines or going to the airport to order tickets for travel are all but extinct thanks to easy access to flight information and one-click ordering available via the online arena. And you no longer have to call information to look up phone numbers for hotels at your destination. Your lodgings, too, can be ordered online, often as part of a bundle with your airfare and rental car to save money on all three expenses. But those who are looking for an even more convenient way to plan a trip are turning to mobile applications that let them place their order from home, work, or anywhere in between – even on the way to the airport! And one app that has emerged as a leader of late in this mobile niche is Hipmunk, a freebie for your iPhone or iPad that comes with an adorable chipmunk mascot adorned with flight accessories, as well as some bells and whistles that put it a step above competitors.

You’ll be happy to hear that Hipmunk observes some standards for discount travel planning. The home page offers you the option to search for flights and hotels, so nothing new there. But a third button marked “Tonight Only” provides you with maximum savings (up to 60% off bookings) if you happen to be traveling on a time crunch or you’re frugal enough to risk holding out until the last minute for the steepest discounts on fares. From there you can peruse listings by price, location, brand, and so on, look at star ratings and reviews from TripAdvisor, and select whichever listings best suit your travel criteria for airfare and lodgings.

So far, so good. But this is where the app starts to get a lot better than what the average user might expect. For one thing, you’ll notice that your options for sorting include one that is hardly standard on most discount travel websites and apps. As it turns out, you can sort your listings by “agony”, a novel concept that compiles flights based on duration of travel, including layovers, and price combined. If you consider the two most agonizing aspects of modern travel, time and money would certainly qualify. But Hipmunk has you covered, it seems, with functionality that helps you to minimize both. And that’s just the beginning of their thoughtful and timely additions.

Also available on flight listings is instant information that clues you in to whether or not the flights you’re perusing are WiFi enabled, an important must-have for many modern travelers. You’ll also benefit from the “verified by Hipmunk” feature that notes whether or not hotels offer WiFi and parking and if they charge any fees for such services (or other extras). Then there are the “heat maps” that can show you at a glance if the lodgings you fancy are located near amenities like restaurants and shopping. And your hotel searches can be modified to include cost-effective options like hostels, as well as modern travel venues like by-owner listings (home rentals from Airbnb and HomeAway).

Now, this app does not have everything: car orĀ party bus rentals and other forms of transportation do not seem to be on the menu. But with no shortage of extras that help you to find the best airfare and lodgings for your trip, you might not mind using another app to find a rental car. Hipmunk might be the new kid on the block, but you’ll definitely want to check out what this wily rodent has to offer when it comes to booking travel plans. They say the devil is in the details, which makes this one wicked awesome app that you simply can’t afford to pass up.

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