New: Get Hooked Up with Hipmunk!

Hey there, savvy travelers, ready to get a bit more savvy? As of today, Hipmunk will make sure you never miss a meeting due to a flight and will ensure you always stay at the best hotel near your meetings and appointments. No, we’re not psychic, but with mobile calendar integration we’ll help you make the best travel choices.

Now, you’ll be able to hook up your personal, work, and even your friend’s, family’s, and colleague’s calendars into your flight and hotel results.

Here’s how it works:

When you download the most recent update to the Hipmunk iOS and Android apps, you’ll see an option to “Show My Calendars,” go ahead and switch that on:

Conduct your flight search like usual, and notice how your calendar events appear as vertical lines under the flights that conflict. You’ll also see the title of the event at the bottom.

When flights aren’t playing nice with scheduled meetings, we’ll notify you on-screen of the conflict:

If you’re ok with missing some meetings, continue on to book per usual. If not, you can go back and select another non-conflicting flight.

On the hotel side, we also give you the option to show your events. And the cool thing is, we plot them all on the map alongside your hotel results so you can easily visualize hotels in relation to your events and obligations. Your events are shown by a gold flag with the date of the event highlighted:

If you don’t want to rely on public transit and want to walk between meetings, we give you a list of the highest ecstasy hotels as sorted by proximity to an individual event:

While we’re happy to help you fly agony-free and bring ecstasy to your hotel stay, what we don’t do is violate your privacy. We solemnly swear to leave your personal calendar and meeting information exactly where we found it, on your phone! Scouts honor.

Now vamanos, you’ve got flights to catch and meetings to make!

Head to the AppStore or Google Play to get the free Hipmunk iOS and Android apps.

Hipmunk at LAUNCH

Like Alexis said, we took home best design for LAUNCH 2.0 yesterday. Thanks a lot to the judges and organizers. The show was a great time and the recognition is an honor.

Couldn’t join us in San Francisco this week? No problem! Check out this video of the Hipmunk for iPhone demo (@3m39s).

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dxvm9tidBsk#t=3m39s]

When I first tried it out, my pitch was pretty rough. Luckily, Hipmunk co-founder and International Man of Debate Team Nerdery Adam Goldstein was there with some sharp coaching. I share his wisdom with you now.

Slow down. Take your time while speaking. Especially with LAUNCH’s time limit of 5 minutes, it’s tempting to blaze through all the things you want to say. This sucks for the audience and it sucks for you as a speaker. You can’t think when your mouth is machine gunning that many words, and the audience can’t understand you anyway. If you feel you’re speaking slowly, you’re probably doing it just right.

Speak informally but not uncertainly. During my early introductions, everything I was saying seemed to finish with a question mark, my inflection rising toward the end of each sentence. Awful! You can be friendly and confident at the same time. In my case, that meant planting a firm end at the end of each sentence. Drop the facts on the table, do it cheerfully, and again, take your time.

Practice. A lot. Once you’ve managed to get the words out of your mouth in a way that you like, keep doing it until you could give the talk in your sleep. Adam said at least ten times was a good number and he was right. Without the burden of worrying about what you’ll say or how you’ll say it, you’re free to get out there and enjoy engaging with people.

Aside from the talk, it was great to meet so many friends of the Hipmunk! Thanks for coming by our table to hang out, grab luggage tags and learn more about us and the new iPhone app. An extra special thank you to those who sang and danced their hearts out for a t-shirt. If we’re all really lucky, maybe we’ll see video soon.

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