How do you shop for travel? The chances are probably pretty good that you check out a travel site or app on whatever device you have handy — and unless you go from research to purchase in one fell swoop, multiple devices may be involved.
That’s the theory behind Hipmunk Anywhere, a new feature in Hipmunk, my favorite travel site and app. If you’re logged into Hipmunk and searching airfares or hotel rates, all your research in progress will automatically show up in tabs across all variants of Hipmunk you use, in desktop browsers, mobile browsers and mobile apps. That means that you can shop in fits and starts without having to keep track of which gadget you started on.
“The feature is so simple you’re probably going to smack your head and think it’s the simplest thing ever,” says Goldstein. “But as usual, nobody else in the travel industry has done it.” (If that sounds a tad hubristic, it’s O.K. — Hipmunk’s interface is so radically better than any competitor that Goldstein has earned the right to boast.)
Other travel sites have sometimes tried to remember searches so that consumers don’t have to start from scratch, but Hipmunk’s goal was to implement the idea in so seamless a manner that it was hardly noticeable as something new. “You don’t even need to know that the feature exists — most users won’t know it exists,” Goldstein says. It’s available on the company’s desktop and mobile sites, along with its iOS and Android apps, beginning today.
Oh, and that one weird tip? It’s pretty simple. If you’re booking a hotel room at the last moment, do it on a phone or tablet rather than a laptop or desktop PC, and you might save some bucks. Goldstein says that it’s now common for hotel chains to target their best deals to folks on the go, with offers Hipmunk is contractually required to show only to shoppers on a phone or tablet.