I recently had a conversation with Adam Goldstein, co-founder of Hipmunk. He’s a smart guy who knows travel, so it makes sense that he created one of the top booking sites. What sets Hipmunk’s flight and hotel search apart is the way it presents the information to users. Flight results are shown in a visual “timeline” that allows people to select the flight that best meets their needs at a glance. Hotel results are shown on a map so that people can view where in a destination they will be staying and the landmarks near it. Two things I love are that 1) they have a beautiful iPad app and 2) that their lodging search also includes BnBs, hostels, villas and house rentals (they pull data from Homeaway and AirBnB). The company recently launched Hipmunk for Business which is a premium subscription ($9.99 a month) aimed at corporate business travelers. The sky really is the limit for Adam and Hipmunk.
Name: Adam Goldstein
Occupation: CEO of Hipmunk
Hometown: South Orange, NJ
Residence: San Francisco, CA
(Short) Bio: Adam Goldstein was a co-founder of BookTour with Chris Anderson. He was the youngest author ever at O’Reilly, writing AppleScript: The Missing Manual at 16. He graduated from MIT in 2010 with degrees in Electrical Engineering/Computer Science and Mechanical Engineering, and was North American Debating Champion in 2010. Adam lives in San Francisco, and is now a co-founder of the travel search site hipmunk.com.
How often do you fly: Once every couple of weeks — 99% of the time for business. I once flew 3 trips, 6 legs in one week.
How many countries have you been to: around 15
How many continents have you been to: 5 — haven’t been to Oceania or Antarctica.
Favorite American city: New York – It’s the nearest city to where I grew up, and I like being able to walk everywhere.
Favorite international city: I went to Istanbul with some friends in college and had a great time. The food is great, the geography is cool, and the sites are amazing.
Least favorite country: I can actually say that I haven’t been to one I don’t like.
Favorite World Heritage Site: Grand Canyon
Favorite airline: That’s a tough one – I’ve flown on many great airlines — don’t think I can pick just one.
Favorite aircraft type: 787. Haven’t flown on one yet, but looking forward to it.
Aisle or window: Window
Favorite airport lounge: I don’t get to lounge at airports much.
Favorite U.S. airport: SAN
Favorite international airport: SIN
Favorite hotel: The clean ones :)
Favorite cruise line: Don’t have one
Favorite island: Guam
Favorite fancy restaurant: Minako Japanese Restaurant, SF
Favorite hole in the wall: Pakwan, down the street from me in SF
Favorite fruit: Kiwi
Favorite food: Lentils (Vegetarian delight)
Least favorite food: Pork (Vegetarian’s nightmare)
Drink of choice (In the air and on the ground): Water
Favorite travel movie(s): Don’t have a favorite travel movie, but my favorite movie is The Usual Suspects.
Favorite travel show(s): I don’t watch TV, so no favorite show!
Favorite travel book(s): Hard Landing by Thomas Petzinger
Right now I am reading: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Five things you bring on a plane: Laptop, Kindle, iPhone, noise-cancelling headphones, eyeshades
What do you always seem to forget: Enough socks
Favorite travel iPhone app(s): Hipmunk, Gateguru
Most embarrassing/worst travel moment: Being stuck on a 3-hour red-eye instead of a daytime flight because of a missed connection
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport duty free store?: Some exotic flavors of potato chips
What’s your dream destination: Not sure why, but Brazil seems like it would be a fun place.
Best travel tip: If your flight gets canceled, call the airline while waiting in line. If you get lucky, you might get re-booked before everyone else.