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Nemo Cancelled Your Flight? 7 Helpful Travel Tips

HipmunkTravelTips

Thousands of flights have been cancelled due to blizzard Nemo. If you’re, unfortunately, in that mix, here are some tips to help relieve the stress and hopefully get you home sooner:

  1. Use the Hipmunk Hotel App. Our App is built for last-minute location-based searches. Once you open the app, you’ll see your current location and all of the available hotels near your location. Also, big hotels are the first to get booked, but we have Airbnb, apartment and home rentals, in our search results for additional options.
  2. Use the Hipmunk Flight App: If you’re at an airport and trying to rebook a new flight, our app allows you to find available flights in the palm of your hand. If you’re in line at customer service, run searches and once you’re at the counter, show them the flight you want. Oftentimes, agents will say that there are no flights available, but with people moving onto other flights, there may be some open seats.
  3. If they offer to rebook you on a flight that leaves days later, take it. You’re guaranteed that ticket. If you want to try to leave earlier, just standby on all flights that leave before yours.
  4. Don’t leave the airport, or get there early every morning. Standby on every flight and hope people don’t show up (it happens!) Or, go to the airport early every morning, because people won’t make it to the airport on time, or have also been moved onto new flights. Getting to the airport early also lets you get on that standby list earlier in the day, increasing your chances of getting home quickly.
  5. Try other airports. If you’re in a metropolitan area with multiple airports nearby, check out flights at those airports.
  6. Ask the airline to put you on another airline. This one’s a bit trickier (especially when flights are cancelled due to weather) but it never hurts to ask!
  7. Put the customer service numbers of your airline and other airlines in your phone before you go to airport. This comes in handy when lines are long. Make calls while in line, and you may be on a new flight before you even get to the counter.

Share these tips with friends in the Northeast or keep them in your back pocket in case your flight is ever cancelled. Be safe Hipmunkers!

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Why I love to travel in shoulder season

This is a Hipmunk post from Jodi Ettenberg of Legal Nomads

When people ask for advice on when to travel to a certain destination, I usually respond that they should chase the weather they want. You like your torrential downpours? Head to Southeast Asia during the monsoons. Of course, with global warming and changes in weather patterns, one season tends to bleed into the next. Which is why I tell those who are on the fence about weather that they ought to visit during shoulder season.

Benefits are plentiful: squished between the high prices of peak season and the often cold or rainy low season, it’s a perfect time to see the sights and still manage to find some deals. You’ll usually benefit from off-peak hotel rates and a friendlier set of locals since the crowds are gone. 

And you’ll get some deliciously beautiful sunsets on the cusp of a seasonal change. Take my trip to the Perhentian Islands in Malaysia. It was end of August, a time where the rates for beachside bungalows were halved, but the rains had yet to move onto the islands in full force.

Instead, daytimes were ideal:

Afternoons saw the clouds roll in:

And sunsets were beyond lovely, followed by a tempestuous storm:

So when is shoulder season? I tend to go just after high season ends, something that differs per destination. For Thailand, it’s been in mid-May to early June. For Malaysia’s east coast, late August to mid-September. For most of Europe, Spring and Fall will be your shoulder times (Easter through early June and late October to mid-November). The closer to high season, the better the chance that the weather will hold out. This Travel + Leisure slideshow of when to travel to get your shoulder on is another good resource for getting there just after the crowds and before the rain or snow.

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How to: stay informed about country warnings as you travel

This is a Hipmunk guest post from Jodi Ettenberg of Legal Nomads

Seeing the devastation after days of rioting in London, I wanted to post about travel warnings and travel advice, something I get a lot of emails about every week.

Screenshot from the verified incidents of riots Google Maps mashup.

Travelers tend to turn to their country’s Department of State (in Canada, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade), but often write to ask me what I do since I’m usually moving around. Do I pick and choose based on country advice? What made me stay put in Bangkok during the 2010 protests, despite warnings that people should leave the city?

Until recently, I used a combination of checking different government warnings, forums (for Southeast Asia, I used the Travelfish forums quite a bit), Twitter, and my own common sense. But there’s a new service that cobbles together different country warnings and provides updated issue pages as larger events (like the London riots) unfold.

FTAS Online (the Foreign Travel Advisory Service) aggregates travel advisories and information, and also allows you to build your own trip, receiving updates from the places on your destination-list. The site is free, and at present they’re also including their alert services and update bulletins free of cost. This means that you’ll get updates via email for your destination list as situations change.


Topic summary from recent unrest in the UK, via FTAS Online
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I have no affiliation with FTAS but I am always on the look-out for new sites that provide a helpful service for travelers, and it’s a solid resource for one-stop, verified information as you go.

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