Feeling A Little Pinned Down?

Need to get out more? If you’re feeling a little over-worked under-traveled and are unable to take a vacation from your day job, then pin yourself a staycation on the Hipmunk Pinterest page! Use your lunch hour to pin yourself a one-way ticket to your ideal getaway using our photo collection of food, festivals, and far away lands. 

Harry the Lego-Loving Hermit Crab

This is a Hipmunk post from Jodi Ettenberg of Legal Nomads

Presenting Harry the Hermit Crab, living in the Atlantis Discovery area of Legoland in Windsor, UK. And by “living in Legoland” I mean LIVING in Legoland: his shell is made entirely of lego.

When he needed a new home, the staff decided to construct an optional shell for him, which he seems to like quite a bit.

According to Liane Riley, a senior aquarist at Legoland: “We decided to give Harry a wider choice and the model makers here created a special Lego house just for him. We weren’t really sure if he’d actually move in, but he rejected the sea and snail shells on offer and seems very comfortable in his new home”.

Adorable photo via Huffington Post UK; by Steve Parsons/PA Wire

For a video of Harry stumbling and crawling in his bright lego shell: YouTube video (not embeddable, otherwise we would have!) viewable here.


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.

Practical tips from four years of round-the-world adventures

This is a Hipmunk post from Jodi Ettenberg of Legal Nomads

In my time as the Wandering Hipmunk (just over a year now) I’ve been posting my updates from such far-flung places as Thailand and Laos and Jordan and Morocco. I tend to focus on fun stuff from around the web that you Hipmunks will hopefully enjoy, and some of my own photos in between. For today’s post, I wanted to give a bit of backstory and some practical advice from my own travels.

I wanted to travel for years, having seen a documentary about the Trans-Siberian trains in 1996 that had me dreaming of exploring them firsthand. So after saving up while working as a lawyer for 5 years, I quit my job on April 1, 2008 (not an April Fool’s Joke!). I expected to travel the world for a year and then return to lawyering in New York. 

What happened was that my Legal Nomads blog - which I initially started to keep my mother updated about where I was heading - began to get readers that were not my mother, which led to freelance work, which led to more travelling. And now, 4 years after I quit for a 1-year trip, I’m writing this post on The Hipmunk from Bangkok, with no end in sight.

Colourful umbrellas at a Thai market

So, on this year’s travel-versary, I wanted to list out some of the lessons learned and practical tips for those of you looking to long-term travel for yourselves. I tried to keep the list varied, from packing advice (“don’t listen to the people who tell you to leave your jeans at home”) to strategies for bus rides (“bring a bag of oranges, the smaller the better”) to fears (“solo travel does not mean that you’re lonely” - you meet some very … interesting people along the way —>)

The full post is here. I hope you find the tips and insight helpful. Feel free to ask any questions you might have in the comments and I’ll be happy to answer them!


You Must Be Trippin’

Notice anything different about your travel itinerary today? Unless you were already planning to take a trip through hyperspace aboard the Millennium Falcon, then you might have noticed a new fleet of vehicles and layover stops at your disposal. Always the one for surprises, the Hipmunk returns to guide travelers to their final destinations through the most unexpected means.

Want to discover the fun with friends? Click Share on the homepage to summon your prank loving pals.

An edible cookbook? Why not!

This is a Hipmunk post from Jodi Ettenberg of Legal Nomads

A creative project from German design firm Korefe takes a cookbook and makes it different… and edible.

Made from fresh pasta that can actually be baked into a dish of lasagna, the quirky cookbook actually turns into one great looking meal! Unfortunately this is only a special project for a German publishing house and not being sold individually, but extra points for a great concept.

Per Korefe:

"The first and only cookbook you can actually read, cook and eat. Made out of 100% fresh pasta it can be opened, filled with ingredients and finally be cooked."

And the finished product:

I hope they start selling them because it would make for a very fun gift.


Free Wifi, Courtesy Of Hipmunk!

If you’ve missed your flight or simply are an early bird and have some time to kill before you board, Hipmunk and Cloud Nine Media encourage you to log in to the free wifi we’ve provided at any of the following airports: San Jose (SJC), Palm Beach (PBI), Pittsburgh (PIT), and Seattle (SEA).

Available now until the end of this month (tick-tock!). Log on for free and tell your traveling Twitter pals about the #freewifi!

New: Hipmunk Teams with Cathay Pacific On The Heels Of HK Sevens

Considering a trip across the Pacific? Well, we just partnered with Cathay Pacific Airlines to help you with that! You can now book that trip on Cathay directly through Hipmunk. For all our rugby fans out there, if you missed experiencing Hong Kong Sevens live, be sure to book with Cathay on Hipmunk and we’ll get you there for game time. For all our stateside friends, the “HK7” as it’s known in the rugby world, is like the Super Bowl of the sport and held annually in China. Cathay is one of HK7’s longest running sponsors and they have the photos to prove it – it’s like the Superbowl and Mardi Gras had a baby.

We just caught this hilarious Cathay Pacific spot (above) for the recent event and thought we’d share. Note: No snack carts were harmed in the making of this video.

If there is anything these rugby players can learn from the Cathay ladies in red, it’s how to hustle! Happy travels on Cathay Pacific and remember – no scrumming, lunging, punting, or tackling about the cabin when the seat belt sign is illuminated.

Google Street View in the Amazon

This is a Hipmunk post from Jodi Ettenberg of Legal Nomads

Timed to commemorate World Forest Day last week, Google released a video of its street view cameras on the Rio Negro River. Technically these are not streets, but the waterways are thoroughfares of traffic much like our roads and are an important source of life and transportation in the Amazon.

Google announced the Amazon project last August on its blog, partnering up with the Amazonas Sustainable Foundation (FAS), a local non-profit conservation organization. From the August post:

We’ll pedal the Street View trike along the narrow dirt paths of the Amazon villages and maneuver it up close to where civilization meets the rainforest. We’ll also mount it onto a boat to take photographs as the boat floats down the river. The tripod—which is the same system we use to capture imagery of business interiors—will also be used to give you a sense of what it’s like to live and work in places such as an Amazonian community center and school. 

The video below, released last week, shows the fascinating results of the project:


Street Mapping Paris

This is a Hipmunk post from Jodi Ettenberg of Legal Nomads

French creative studio Le3 has put together a beautiful street mapping project of a tiger running the streets of Paris at night:

According to L3, no post-production FX was involved - they filmed the lights moving alongside them as they roamed the city. The full video is below. Mesmerizing!

Golden Tiger from le3paris on Vimeo. HT @borntotrek