Sad news for travel junkies: the popular travel search website Hipmunk is shutting down after nearly ten years in operation. Hipmunk, founded by Reddit co-founder Steve Huffman and Adam J. Goldstein in 2010, allowed users to search for flights, car rentals, hotels, and more for travel destinations around the world.
Hip Munk was one of the earliest “metasearch” travel sites, delivering results from a wide swath of competing travel websites such as Priceline and Travelocity, all in one place. Alas, four years after being sold at SaaS company SAP Concur, both the Hipmunk website and app go offline for good in January 2020.
While the site will be missed, there’s no shortage of online travel agencies these days: since Hipmunk’s launch nearly a decade ago, plenty of excellent alternatives have sprung up, offering a similar–and in some cases improved–range of services.
Perfect for budget travelers, Cheapoair offers some of the cheapest deals on flights and hotels that you’ll find to be found on the web. Founded in 2006, the online travel agent allows visitors you to search for flights, hotels, cars, and even vacation packages and is also available as an app for Android and iOS.
What separates Cheapoair from the pack is its Price Match Promise: If you are somehow able to find a cheaper flight with a similar itinerary on a competitor website within 24 hours of booking with Cheapoair, they will refund the difference in price, or allow you to cancel altogether, granting you a full refund.
- Offers some of the lowest prices found on the web
- Price matches
Montreal-based Flighthub distinguishes itself as an excellent Hipmunk alternative with it’s clean, user-friendly layout and the ability to filter search results for the favorite airline(s) of your choice. Flighthub doesn’t overextend itself like other online travel sites, sticking to three main categories: flights, hotels, and cruises.
Visitors to Flighthub can enjoy the great bonus features the site offers, including a list of the best flight deals of the day out of your area, located at the bottom of the main page, and handy little travel guides for major travel destinations around the world that include an overview of the location, visa information, along with the average costs of commonly bought items.
- Excellent layout
- Flight deals of the day
- Detailed travel guides for popular destinations
Rather than overburden you travelers with options, FlyGRN is a travel metasearch site that sticks to flights, delivering results from dozens of booking sites in one place.
What makes the site unique is its environmental focus: after you use the FlyGRN to search and book a flight with one of its partner sites, FlyGRN receives a fee which they use to partially or totally offset your flight’s CO2 emissions-free of charge by investing in eco-friendly projects around the world. A great choice for travelers with a conscience concerned about their carbon footprint.
- Eco-conscious philosophy
- High transparency
More than just a third-party flight booking service, Hopper is an app available for iOS and Android that accurately predicts flight prices for a year in advance, allowing you users to choose the cheapest departure date for their European trip looming on the horizon.
In addition to flights, Hopper also allows users to book hotels and will send you price drop alerts before prices drop, while also warning you travelers when prices are about to go up. The app looks great, too, boasting a streamlined, user-friendly interface, and a color-coded calendar showing you highlighting the cheapest (and most expensive) days to book.
- Clear, easy-to-use interface
- 95% accurate price predictions
- Price drop alerts
In terms of delivering a similar service, Kayak might be the top Hipmunk alternative. Launched in 2005, the metasearch engine and online travel agency allows visitors to search for flights, hotels, cars, restaurants, and more, while simultaneously delivering results from competitor websites.
Kayak offers excellent customizability in its searches, allowing for flexible dates, the option to omit certain airlines, and a great “pin” feature that lets you travelers keep track of one flight while they browse others down the list. What’s more, Kayak’s prices are some of the cheapest you’ll find on the web.
- Wide range of search options with excellent customizability
- Pin features allows users to keep track of flights they’re interested in
Momondo is a great travel metasearch site that allows users to take care of all bookings in one place, including flights, hotels, car rentals, and more. Like other travel booking sites, Momondo delivers fares from scores of airlines and competitor travel sites that can be sorted in three categories: “cheapest”, “best”, and “quickest”. Each flight is given a score from 1 to 10 based on several criteria, including price and quality.
One handy feature offered by Momondo is the “My Trips” page, which keeps track of all bookings to stay organized and don’t forget crucial parts of a travel itinerary.
- Convenient filtering options
- My Trips page allows travelers to keep track of their bookings done through the site
A unique travel booking website, Rome2rio does more than just allow travelers to search for airfare and hotel prices. The site lets you visitors compare every available means of getting from point A to point B, including train lines, bus routes, and even ferry trips, in addition to showing flight prices.
The founders of Rome2Rio recognize that flying isn’t always the best option of getting from one place to another and that travelers can often save money and enjoy a more scenic journey by opting to travel by train. Rome2Rio currently works best for those traveling through Europe and the United States and is a great online travel choice for those on an extended journey, rather than a week-long getaway.
- Shows bus, train, and ferry routes in addition to flights
The pull of Skiplagged is that the travel search site utilizes an algorithm that brings up “hidden-city” flights in its search results. Hidden-city flights are multi-stop flights where the traveler exits into their intended city during a layover before the final destination of the journey, rather than buying a ticket explicitly to that city, allowing one to save a lot of money.
Skiplagged exploits this travel hack to great effect, claiming that their method results in savings of up to 80%. While frowned upon in the industry, hidden-city flights are technically legal, at least for now. For travelers looking to save a ton on flights, and don’t mind exploiting certain loopholes, Skiplegged is a great option.
- Hidden-city flights allow for considerable savings on flight tickets
Skyscanner is a great travel metasearch travel engine that allows visitors to compare airfare prices from hundreds of airlines and online travel agencies. Also available as an Android and iOS app, Skyscanner offers perhaps the greatest variety of flight options, and often, the cheapest prices you’ll find found anywhere.
- Delivers the widest array of flight options
Another solid Hipmunk alternative, Vayama has everything you’re looking for in all the attributes of a stellar travel metasearch engine. Travelers can search flights to over 2000 airports worldwide, lodging, car rentals, and even arrange airport pickup to be delivered you to your hotel.
Vayama puts its focus on international travel, and you’ll often find the lowest available fares to more off-the-beaten-path spots in Africa and Asia through the site. For international destinations, Vayama offers important information about visas, recommended vaccinations, safety issues, and more that is vital to travelers. All in all, a fine online travel option.
- Delivers the best variety of flight options to exotic locales
- Detailed, informative travel guides