Let's talk about Hipmunk, guys. Beyond having that adorable little chipmunk and sorting their flights by agony level, turns out their hotel guides are super useful, too. They combine hotels and Airbnb and VaycayHero (previously known as Zaranga) all on one page, so instead of surfing the internet for hours, you're basically looking at a one-stop shop. For example, let's start planning a budget vacation in Florida. We could use some beach time, right? Here's what they've got:

Treasure Island, FL

Photo by Ricardo Mangua

So. Many. Options. They're all along the water — I know this because there's a giant map telling me where everything is!  Make sure you zoom out a little so that, as you hover over the options on the left, each little spot lights up, showing you exactly where it is. Man, they must have a rockin' team of UX designers.

My first choice would be this $117-per-night condo right on top of the beach from VaycayHero. However, next door, the Shoreline Island Resort is only $120 a night, and there are no kids allowed. Brilliant. But if we're really going Budget Queen here (within reason), it looks like our cheapest beachfront option is the Malyn Resort at $77 per night. Hey, as long as there's free breakfast, I'm down. And just FYI, make sure you're searching under "prices" and under "savings." Sometimes they have sweet discounts that make a slight splurge worth it.

Cocoa Beach, FL

Photo by scott1346  

Photo by scott1346

 

This place will always make me think of slathering cocoa butter on my arms and hoping I get a sweet, non-streaky tan.  It'll also make me think of Cape Canaveral, because it's just north — I can geek out about space while other people think I'm cool.

Weird thoughts aside, this Hipmunk page makes it obvious that you can get a decent place to stay in Cocoa Beach for around $100 a night. The super budget hotels, like America's Best Value Inn, will be around $75 per night, but there's plenty of Airbnbs and more for around $110 per night. I would definitely cave to this Airbnb titled "Bed and Breakfast with view of manatees!" for $130 a night, because clearly the owner gets me. And I believe it, too; Cocoa Beach is so long and thin, there's pretty much water and wildlife everywhere.

Palm Beach, FL

Photo by Wes Bryant

Photo by Wes Bryant

Palm Beach might be even cheaper than Cocoa Beach. The DoubleTree by Hilton, Courtyard by Marriott, and the Hilton Garden Inn (hotels I definitely wouldn't turn my nose up to) are max $120 per night, and plenty of other lesser-known options are even cheaper. The list of $50, $60, and $70 hotels in this area is surprisingly lengthy for a place with so much to do.

My pick? Hampton Inn Palm Beach Gardens. You'll pay about $94 per night (a great deal for this name). I'm obsessed with Hampton Inns for mainly one reason: They give you to-go breakfast bags in a brown paper sack a la mom, filled with goodies for your busy day or drive. It's the cutest marketing ploy I've ever seen, and it always 100 percent makes my day.

Sunrise, FL

This is the spot to be if you want to avoid the madness and cost of Ft. Lauderdale. Because of its away-from-the-madness location, plenty of hotels cost in the $80 to $90 range.Hipmunk's guide is telling me that there are several Hampton Inns (again, always my go-to because of the breakfast), but these cheap Airbnbs definitely look a little homier. Maybe the owner would put some coffee and biscuits on the table for me upon my arrival.

Vero Beach, FL

Photo by scott1346

Photo by scott1346

This place is traditionally a little more expensive, but this Hipmunk's huge list of hotels doesn't make it seem that way. The cheapest options on the list are mostly Airbnbs, and for $110 a night, I can get a private room five minutes from the ocean. Not bad — even better if I can convince someone to go on this hypothetical beach vacay with me.


All this goes to show that Hipmunk is super useful when it comes to planning a vacation, and that's why we paired up with them to spread the word. We would never endorse something we don't love, and we obviously love that little chipmunk.

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