First Timers Guide to Orlando

photo by CC user cdharrison on Flickr

Orlando is the city of fun. With over a dozen amusement parks at your disposal, great weather all year round, and genuinely friendly people, you can’t go wrong. If you are planning your first trip to Orlando, it can be a bit overwhelming at first. From the multitude of Disney theme parks to Universal Studios to The Holy Land adventure and more, you could spend a week exploring Orlando and not make it to every park. We have decided to help you out by giving you the rundown on the most popular parks in Orlando.

Walt Disney World

You have to start with the original, to be sure. Built back in the early 1970’s, Walt Disney World is a playground designed to feed young imaginations. Home to many of your favorite childhood characters, you can’t go wrong with a day or two here...

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Your Most Pressing Travel Questions (According to Google) Answered

by TheHipmunk

Search giant Google has created a site that showcases travel-related data, including the top five inquiries asked by travelers online. We here at Hipmunk decided to answer these questions once and for all. Here are insights into every traveler’s need-to-knows.

1. When is the best time to book a flight?

There are all kinds of theories out there, among them:

Confused yet? In reality, there is no magic formula for purchasing flights...

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Where to Find the Best Cheesecake in New York City

by TheHipmunk

July 13 is National Cheesecake Day, and there’s no better place to celebrate than the Big Apple. From famous bakeries to hidden gems, these are the best places to get a slice of cheesecake in New York City.


Junior’s is one of the most famous cheesecake spots in New York, and it lives up to the hype. They serve classic cheesecake and unique flavors like red velvet, sea salt caramel and chocolate mousse. Junior’s has branches in Brooklyn and Grand Central Station. They also have a branch in Midtown, close to many famous New York hotels, including the New York Marriott Marquis.

Eileen’s Special Cheesecake

Eileen’s Special Cheesecake is a small SoHo bakery loved by both locals and tourists. The bakery offers a variety of smooth and creamy cheesecake slices...

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Los Angeles’s Lost Haunts: The Hidden City of Downtown L.A.

by TheHipmunk

Los Angeles is known as a star-studded galaxy of excess and superficiality. It’s the land of reality television, struggling actors and failed musicians. However, away from the glitz and glamour of Hollywood and Beverly Hills, there is a hidden city full of history, culture and ghosts. After your neck is sore from looking at the stars on Hollywood Boulevard, head east to the lost haunts of downtown Los Angeles.

The Haunted Hotel

Built in 1928, the Cecil Hotel is known as one of Los Angeles’ most haunted stays. Rebranded as Stay On Main, this historic building straddles the border of Skid Row and the up-and-coming downtown Los Angeles scene. The hotel is a favorite among backpackers looking for an alternative travel experience...

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Carry On with SF Ballet Principal Dancer Luke Ingham

By: Kelly Soderlund, Hipmunk Staff

South Australia-born dancer Luke Ingham trained at the Australian Ballet School and performed with the Australian Ballet and the Houston Ballet before joining the San Francisco Ballet as a soloist in 2012. Ingham was promoted to Principal Dancer in 2014, and has danced many soloist and principal roles for SF Ballet, including Tomasson’s Nutcracker*. We asked the globe-trotting Ingham to take a quick break from dancing and and chat about his travel habits, tips, his favorite cities to visit, and the items he can’t travel without.

InghramHipmunk: So, tell us. What’s in your carry-on?

Luke Ingham: If I’m on a long-haul flight, I always bring Peanut M&M’s. Definitely a book in case entertainment fails...

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Voluntourism: Helpful or Hurtful?

By: Hipmunk Staff

Jet to an exotic country. Get immersed in local customs. Help build a house or dig a well. Make buddies with fascinating people you’d never meet otherwise. A “voluntourism” trip seems like a great way to give back or improve the world in a small way. It can be, but you should ask a lot of questions before signing up and plunking down cash.

Over the last several years, this well-meaning market has grown quickly, with studies estimating 1.6 million volunteer tourists per year and growing. About 33 percent of volunteer travelers are between the ages of 20 and 40. Another 34 percent are slightly older, between 41 and 60. Overall, the travelers are more likely to be female. However, the impact of these trips is hard to quantify...

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See 1K Years of Irish History in a 5-Day Road Trip (Legendary Pubs Included)

By: Hipmunk Staff

There are as many reasons to see Ireland as there are people who travel to the Emerald Isle. History, geology, pub culture, folklore, and breathtaking views are all par for the course for travelers to the island.

If you have a few days to spare, you can soak up nearly all that Ireland has to offer while rolling through the southwestern half of the country. Here’s a road trip itinerary guaranteed to make you “ooh,” “ahh,” and promise to come back.

Day 1: Dublin to Kilkenny

After flying into Dublin and spending the night in Ireland’s capital city, prepare for a cross-country adventure full of historical sites and breathtaking views. Rent a car and set off on a short drive (approximately two hours) to the artsy town of Kilkenny.

Check in at the quaint Kilke...

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The Hipmunk Guide to Free Hotel Wi-Fi

By: Hipmunk Staff

Wi-Fi has become an amenity that guests expect from the hotels where they choose to stay. We asked our Twitter fans what they think of free Wi-Fi and they spoke loud and clear. Perhaps Susan Breslow ‏(@susanbreslow) said it best: ‘Hotel wi-fi is essential. Free wins loyalty and cred.’ But according to a review of Hipmunk’s hotel database, only 70 percent of U.S. hotels offer free Wi-Fi. Another 27 percent don’t offer Wi-Fi at all (what?!?!). And the last 3 percent offer Wi-Fi for a fee.

So how do you ensure you always have Wi-Fi free of charge? Easy. Read the Hipmunk guide to free Wi-Fi below.

Know Where to Go
We tapped our hotels database to identify the U.S. cities with the highest percentage of free Wi-Fi.


Avoid Luxury Hotels
Believe it or not, you reall...

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Home for Holidays, But Which One?

By: Hipmunk Staff

Want to go home for the holidays but can’t decide whether to go for Thanksgiving or Christmas? If you’re like most travelers, price likely has a big impact on when you travel home for the holidays. So we compared historic airfare prices to the top 50 U.S. hometowns to see whether your best holiday budget bet is a flight home for Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Take a look at the map below to see which holiday airfare is cheaper to your hometown. Want specific numbers? Scroll past the map for a complete list of 2014 holiday hometown airfare prices and a feast for your data-loving eyes. 

Top 50 U.S. Cities and Thanksgiving vs. Christmas Savings

Holiday Destination City Avg 2014 Thanksgiving Airfare Avg 2014 Christmas Airfare Savings by Traveling for Cheaper H...
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Best countries to visit for art lovers

photo by CC user Guache on Flickr

If one of the things that you look forward to the most when traveling is seeing how different cultures express their innermost thoughts on canvas, then you will enjoy today’s post.

Below, we will reveal the best countries to visit for art lovers. From the grittiness of Colombia, to the Old World classics of Italy, there is much to love about the countries on this list…

1) Italy

A serious discussion on the best art destinations in the world simply can not be had without mentioning Italy first.

Home to some of the most creative minds in history, cities like Florence stand out, as being home to Michelangelo’s David (Galleria dell’ Accademia) and some of the finest pieces from Raphael and Rembrandt (Galleria degli Uffizi) has put it firmly on the global art map.

The Eternal City is a must ...

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