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“Just wanted to drop by and say that Hipmunk has literally changed my life.”

When we get an email like this, it puts a fire in our bellies.

We want hipmunk to make travel search fun, but when we see how a superior user experience can actually improve someone’s life, it reminds us of an entirely different perspective.

Thank you, Chad. And thank you for letting us publish your feedback. You can find Chad on twitter at @ChadMoran (we asked him for something to link to so we could spread some linklove).

And if you’re interested in helping the families recovering from the tornados he mentions, I can personally vouch for DirectRelief, which will use 100% of your donation to fund “medical aid offered to partners across affected states through local, regional, and national associations, including Primary Care Associatios, the National Association of Community Health Centers, and the National Association of Free Clinics.”

Alexis,

Just wanted to drop by and say that Hipmunk has literally changed my life.

I currently live in Huntsville, AL (recently devastated by the tornado outbreak of April 2011) and my friends/family live in Baltimore, MD.  I used to travel via Delta from HSV to ATL to BWI.  These flights cost anywhere from $400-$600 round trip.  This meant I only got to see my family maybe once per year, twice if I was lucky.  I then heard about Hipmunk.com.  I love new startup sites that are purpose-driven because I feel like they provide the best results you’re looking for so of course I started using them for flight search.  Then one day I was planning my trip to visit my sister and her newborn daughter (my niece) and figured it would cost me $800 for a last-minute flight.  Hipmunk showed me there were now direct flights from HSV to BWI for $130 round trip!  I was very excited and immediately bought the tickets.  Now I get to visit my family 5-6 times a year thanks to Hipmunk.

I’ve also insisted that the company I work for (Curse.com) uses Hipmunk when booking flights for our employees.

I can’t thank you guys enough for making such a great service, please continue doing what you’re doing and I’ll keep telling people about the munk!

Thanks,
Chad

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7 Continents in 5 Weeks – How Pete Hottelet used hipmunk to make this epic trip happen

This is a guest post from Pete Hottelet, who we think is probably a superhero, and runs Omni Consumer Products Corporation (maker of Tru Blood, Stay Puft Marshmallows, Sex Panther, and BRAWNDO!) when he’s not traveling the globe. Oh, and he helped give Detroit a Robocop statue. These are his words alone – once we learned of all the traveling he did (and how much hipmunk helped) we asked him for a recap.

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If you’re going to do all 7 continents, make it easy on yourself and pick up the following: ipad 3g, a local sim card (usually available at any destination airport), the kindle app + some ebooks, the World Clock app, and the Hipmunk app.

1. Antarctica: The variability of the weather at the bottom of the earth can easily put you off track, so if you have a short timeline, getting it out of the way first is a good idea. Protip: If you picked up that local sim card (i.e. Tigo/Claro in Chile), you’ll have internet access in Antarctica.

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2. South America: If you’re going to fly into Antarctica, then you’re probably going to hit Punta Arenas, Chile, which means you can check off South America and Antarctica on the same trip.  

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3. Africa: Right before I left for Antartica, Egypt kicked off a revolution. It’s funny how the whole world can change in an instant. Well, Hipmunk to the rescue— it was super easy to rebook a trip to Morocco instead. The great part about Hipmunk is you’re not clicking through pages and pages of text results for flights, which means you can just quickly pick something, book it, and get back to what you were doing.

3_africamorocco 4. Europe: If you’re going to Africa, routing through Europe on the way there or the way back makes it easy to check this one off.  Hipmunk’s layout makes it easy to book multi-city flights with different carriers (and see the price right up front), instead of booking each leg individually or settling for an itinerary that’s not exactly what you want. 4_europe

5. Australia: Aside from the length of the flight, Australia’s a corker. If there’s one thing that consistently happens when I travel, it’s randomly meeting some Australians and having a few fun nights out.  So, having an entire country full of them is the greatest idea ever. The ability to go diving for great white sharks off the southern coast is just an added bonus.

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6. Asia: I was originally supposed to go to Japan after Australia, but as with Egypt, the world can change while you were out. With inflight wifi, I was able to Hipmunk a trip to Hong Kong instead, and get back to my ebooks. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find the fried bees I was looking for in Hong Kong— it’s really too bad there’s no app for unusual foods.

Click here for a beautiful panoramic shot Pete took of the Hong Kong skyline! (Too wide for this blog)

7. North America: This one’s easy if you happen to live here.  One thing that is interesting to note is that homeland security doesn’t always stamp your passport upon re-entry (most of the time they just stamp the customs reentry form). So, if you’re collecting passport stamps for something like this, make sure to ask.

Woo! Thanks, Pete! Got an epic travel story you’d like to share with us? We’d love to hear it! Email contact@hipmunk.com

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