Hipmunk Becomes A Traveler’s Best Companion

San Francisco-based travel company, Hipmunk, offers adventurers the fastest, easiest way to plan for travel. The online site and mobile application was founded in August 2010 by co-founders, Adam Goldstein and Steve Huffman. Like many travel sites, Hipmunk allows users to search and compare various hotel and flight options from different providers. But that’s where the similarities end.  With its emphasis on visual organization, Hipmunk excels above its competitors thanks to its comprehensive search service that filters travel options ranging from commercial flights to trains and accommodations, ranging from large hotels to Airbnb rentals.

The results are displayed chronologically and ranked using an “agony” filter, which provides the most convenient flight options, based on price, flight duration and even the number of stops. Similarly, the “ecstasy” filter ranks hotels options considering price, amenities and customer reviews.

Now, Hipmunk is finding creative new ways to market itself by partnering up with other companies. Last week, it announced a deal with Yelp, the crowd-sourced review site, which will allow people to book hotels through Hipmunk without having to leave the Yelp page.

On Tuesdays, it plans to announce another deal with an even bigger site, Yahoo, to allow travel bookings through Hipmunk on the site.

According to a phone interview with Adam Goldstein, with The New York Times, the company decided to steer away from television advertisements “because that means going head-to-head against companies spending hundreds of millions a year.”

In fact, the Yelp and Yahoo agreements are the first of a number of deals the company will soon announce.

Although Goldstein did not discuss the specific terms of the deals, Yelp and Yahoo will participate in the benefits received whenever a user books a flight or hotel through a travel partner. For the most part, commission based benefits are standard.

Currently, the site brings in “millions” of unique visitors a month. It is also one of the first sites to show vacation rental from services like Airbnb and Homeaway – giving travelers more options to ultimately choose from. By doing so, Hipmunk has gained a strong following of “loyal users who come back to [the site] over and over again.”