If you're anything like me and your New Year's resolutions include traveling more, the very thought crossing my mind is probably crossing yours, too: What is the one website you need to know about when planning a trip? While the Internet is a knowledgeable world, it is also vast. The information flying at you from all directions can be overwhelming, not to mention tedious to glean. But we're not going to let a little thing like that inhibit our wanderlust, are we? Don't worry — I've got your back. On both our behalves, I decided to do some research on the topic so that 2016 can be every bit as eat-pray-love-esque as our hearts desire. Enter, Hopper.com.
After all, there's no reason to settle for a sub-par travel experience these days. Thanks to new and emerging technology, you can zero in on the top-rated shops and restaurants in any given airport, map out an ideal travel sleep schedule based on your circadian rhythm, discover the location (and one-time fee) of the best airport lounges in your vicinity, and even swap airline seats to score some extra spending cash — all at the touch of a button (or two). But before any of those things can come to fruition, you're going to need to book your travel arrangements.
That's where Hopper.com comes into play. There's no shortage of travel sites in circulation, so here are a few reasons this particular one will be the one you bookmark and refer back to more often than the back of your seat will inevitably get kicked.
1. Flight Pricing
If you're planning a trip in the near future, you likely want to do some comparison shopping. Considering airfare prices can swing from affordable to downright exclusionary at the drop of a hat, this seems like a safe assumption. Besides, bargain shopping is where it's at, y'all — at the very least, every dollar saved on airfare counters your indulgent airport Starbucks frothy coffee habit. If you head over to Hopper.com and download the associated app (available via iTunes and Google Play), you benefit from Hopper's method of analyzing billions of flight prices to find the right fares for you. Simply input your travel plans, and Hopper will find you the lowest fares available to choose from.
2. Travel Trends
Mosey on over to Hopper's "Research" section, and you can arm yourself with an arsenal of travel savvy. So not only does Hopper held you find the current lowest fares, but the app also predicts when those flight fares will fall to their lowest points. In addition, Hopper's team stays atop the latest trends in air travel, the results of which they post on the website to inform travelers. For example, did you know that the best time to travel in 2016 is right now? Or that season airfare prices this summer will be about $20 lower than they were in 2015? Hopper does. Luckily, they like to share.
3. A Treasure Trove Of Tools
I don't break out the expression "treasure trove" for just anything, y'all. But if you click on the "Tools" section of Hopper's site, that's exactly what you'll find. Want to know how pricing this week compares to pricing over the past month? Try the Weekly Trends Report. Curious what fees you might have to shell out before, during, and after your flight? Look no further than the Airline Fee Calculator. Want to spice up your trip? You've gotta give the Interactive Maps a go — I suggest the Game of Thrones Vacation Planner that maps out favorite filming locations of the HBO hit, and did I mention there is a Donut States of America map? You. Are. Welcome.