February 09, 2011

Hipmunk: Sort by agony

We've been figuring out what to do with spring break week, the week for which I still hold four spots on Intrepid Travel's Egypt Adventure trip and four tickets on Delta's flight 84 to Cairo. Cancellation gymnastics to begin in earnest on that tomorrow; I'm waiting for Intrepid to cancel our departure. They've canceled all Egypt trips through the day before our departure and will decide on ours tomorrow, using the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade travel advisory status as a guide. As long as Egypt remains on the department's "Do Not Travel" list, Intrepid will cancel our departure (I hope). I'm waiting for Intrepid to cancel us because that will make it a little easier to recoup our money: Intrepid will give us a refund for the land portion, and I'll just have to battle the insurance company over the airline tickets.

Mike's decided to take the planned vacation week and stay home and work. Adam's going to head to our New Hampshire place for some snowboarding. Dana and I have invited ourselves to Orlando to my parents' rental condo in the Villas at Seven Dwarfs Lane. Talk about plans doing a 180: from revolution in the Middle East to sunning in a gated community named for Disney characters.

I've been bouncing around Kayak, Travelocity, Expedia and Orbitz trying to find the best flights to and from Orlando, and it's been a piece of work. I don't want to pay top dollar, but I want nonstops and convenient departure and arrival times on both ends. Trying to get these pieces to fit has been difficult. Until now.

I just found Hipmunk, a website that lets you sort flights by various categories, including "agony." This is just what I've been looking for. Hipmunk measures the agony factor of flights by considering price, duration and number of stops. And it displays search results on a spreadsheet that gives you an easy, intuitive view of how flights compare.

When you find flights with the degree of agony that's right for you, you can click through to Orbitz to buy your tickets. Hipmunk is genius and is my new go-to flight search site. Even if you're not going anywhere, Hipmunk's fun to play with.