Whether you’re a first time travel planner or looking to expand your planning prowess beyond your laptop, booking travel with the Hipmunk app has never been easier. Named one of the best apps for spontaneous travel by The New York Times, the Hipmunk app takes the agony out of travel planning for travelers at home or on-the-go. Here’s how to maximize the app’s functionality and elevate your travel planning experience.
Get familiar with your dashboard
The Hipmunk app is divided into three sections: Search, Discover, and Account. Clicking on the Search icon along the bottom brings you to your dashboard—a screen with a variety of helpful tools to manage your travel searches. At the top, you’ll see ‘Flights’ and ‘Hotels’, which are your primary tools for performing searches. Below that you’ll see Upcoming Trips, AKA a collection of your booked travel reservations, for both flights and hotels. This information pulls directly from your device’s calendar(s) and highlights any parts of your itinerary you may still need to book.
Have your flight to NYC but missing a hotel? Upcoming Trips acts as a prompt to book, complete with a quick link labeled ‘Search’ to expedite your planning process.
Pro tip: When you download the Hipmunk app, be sure to log in with your email and password, then give the app permission to access the calendar on your device. Don’t worry—if you didn’t grant access to your calendar when you originally downloaded the app, you can do so right now. Just head to Settings on your phone, scroll down and tap the Hipmunk icon, then toggle the ‘Calendars’ button to grant calendar access.
Your dashboard offers other useful functionality, as well. You’ll see Recent Searches, which summarizes the travel searches you’ve recently conducted, both in the app and on the Hipmunk site. There are also Fare Alerts, the tried-and-true way to keep an eye on flight prices without ever having to hit refresh. Finally, you’ll see Saved Options, which stores any hotels and flights you have saved for later comparison. Combined, the sections of your dashboard offer you a seamless way to pick back up planning your next trip, without having to remember the itinerary, departure city, or price of where you left off.
Set your home airport
Moving from Search to Discover, your first stop on this tab should be the ‘From’ field, found right below ‘Where to?’. Here, you can set your home airport. Once you’ve done so, you’ll be able to view the top deals and weekend getaway ideas that are specific to where you travel from most. It’s like your own personal travel agent, without the mark-up.
Find inspiration with ‘Discover’
Now that you’ve set your home airport, it’s time to fuel your wanderlust via the Discover feature. From Rocky Mountains and Roman Empire to Coastal States and Cities for Beer Lovers, you’ll discover destinations and deals you might not have considered or known about before. Clicking on any of the 30+ themed destinations, you can set the length of your trip (at the top of the screen next to ‘My Trip’)—or peruse the calendar view to find dates and prices that work for you.
Connect to your TripIt app
Finally, slide on over to your Account tab on the right. While admittedly less sexy than the first two tabs, accessing your Account allows you to connect to the organized traveler’s secret weapon: TripIt. This travel app organizes all of your travel plans in one place, so you never have to spend time searching through your inbox for a flight confirmation or hotel booking. Instead, it builds a seamless itinerary in the app that you can easily share with your travel buddies, parents, coworkers, and more.
Plus, if you have the Pro version, you have access to a host of additional features such as security wait time alerts, the Go Now feature that tells you when to leave for the airport, as well as terminal and gate reminders—just to name a few. So how do you connect the two? First, make sure you’ve downloaded the TripIt app and signed up for an account. You can start with the free version, or opt for the Pro version for just $49 per year. Back in the Hipmunk app, scroll down to TripIt in the Account tab and turn the the toggle to the ‘on’ position. This way, any travel itineraries you build in TripIt will automatically load to your Hipmunk dashboard, too.
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