As a travel junkie, I am always looking for better ways to find deals and explore the world. One of the sites getting a lot of buzz right now is Hipmunk. Hipmunk is a flight search site that offers more than just a catchy name and cute logo. It is right now my favorite flight finding site out there.
What sets Hipmunk apart from other sites is just how simple it is. The homepage only wants to know where you are going and when. It doesn’t distract you with hotel deals, rental car promotions or silly packages. I have always thought that if you want all that in one place, you should go to a travel agent.
Once you enter your search info, you see the real value of Hipmunk when the search results appear. Although not the prettiest display, it is by far the most functional display I have seen on a booking site. All in one screen, in chart format, you can see the available flights, their arrival and departure times, layovers (and how long they are), as well as prices. You no longer have to scroll through five options at a time or print pages to compare – it is all right there. Hipmunk has the best filtering tools I have seen. You can sort results by price, arrival time, departure time, stops, duration and AGONY! Yes, if you sort by agony it shows you the least arduous trek, my preferred means of sorting.
There are other cool features on the site that allow you to hide flights you don’t like, limit based on departure or arrival times by simply dragging a bar, and also do multiple searches in tabs, which is great if you are considering a few destinations. Hipmunk also seems perfectly designed for touch screens (iPad!) and smartphones.
Right now, Hipmunk is partnering with Orbitz for the actual purchasing of the tickets, but I expect more travel sites to partner with Hipmunk. The site was developed by some impressive individuals and has strong financial backing, so look for it to grow quickly. Their search interface is truly excellent and will make finding a flight a lot easier. And while we are a bit limited in choices here in Qatar (I have definitely racked up the Qatar Airways miles), it certainly makes those complicated trips to remote places easier to review and is excellent if you are traveling within a region. With the second Eid just around the corner, you may want to check it out!