Own Your Travel Itinerary with TripIt

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In October 2006, a new service appeared on the web that promised to make it easy to manage all the fine travel details of a trip. As a frequent traveler, I signed up for TripIt in November of 2006, shortly after they launched, and have never looked back.

The concept is really simple. A traveler is headed to Austin, Texas (as I will be for SXSW Interactive in a few weeks). He books his flight on Southwest airlines and gets an email confirmation with ticket reservation, itinerary, etc. Sight unseen, he forwards this email to plans@tripit.com and moves on to reserving his rental car and hotel.

On the backend, TripIt recieves the forwarded confirmation email and knows exactly how to read it into their master database. The email can even be forwarded from an unregistered email address which you can claim later.

The beautiful next step is the organizing of all this information. TripIt sorts your travel plans out into “Trips” and will give you everything in chronological order. This traveler going to SXSW, for instance, has a chronological listing that shows his departing flight, his rental car pickup, his hotel information and his return flight. As a bonus, Tripit gives him a Google Map of the area you’re staying on.

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Now, I don’t like just plugging services for the sake of plugging services. You can go to Mashable if you want to be filled with nonsense. However, TripIt actually is a useful web product, but more than that, it’s a useful mobile product. If you have a smartphone (Blackberry, Treo, iPhone, etc) then TripIt becomes infinitely more useful.

For mobile users, you can access all of your itineraries by browsing to m.tripit.com, something that has become the defacto reference point for all of my travelling and checking in. It literally, if you’re a smartphone user, eliminates the need for a stack of trifolded paper printouts from 6 different reservations.

If you really want to own your travel itinerary and you own an iPhone, consider buying the “TravelTracker – with Tripit” iPhone app. While everything about TripIt is completely free, this app costs $19.99.

Comments

  1. says

    I love both Tripit and Dopplr. I think Dopplr is more for fun as it lets me know some interesting facts like my carbon footprint from traveling, but Tripit is more practical and useful.

    I’ve been using tripit since last early last year using it for business and personal travel. I love the ease of just forwarding your flight, hotel, rental car information in an email and boom, out comes a nice itinerary in which, I can pull up from my blackberry and know where I need to go, including all my frequent flyer, visitor, renter information without having to print out multiple pieces of paper. Its like having a personal assistant to remember all the little details you can’t possibly retain in your head.

  2. says

    I heard of TripIt a long time ago but never jumped on the wagon. Think it might be time to, especially in light of a lot of planning for SXSW!

  3. says

    I’ve taken to using TripIt as the primary entry with Dopplr as a consuming service of TripIt. Dopplr was an interesting first attempt when I looked at it but having to update the same information again with a different collection of people that can “see” or share in the information was futile. Yet, I have people that I want to know or share my travels with that are exclusively Dopplr. Ah, the chores of “sharing”.

    What really pulled TripIt back into the lead however was the integration (or stub publishing if you want to split hairs) with Linkedin Apps. It’s a great feature and I’ve actually had success at trade shows to generate meetings that might not otherwise have happened.

    By contrast, other event and travel planning services have performed with much less success. I’ve found Yahoo! to be unstable with the Upcoming service and increasingly empty. Also, Linkedin Events is so filled with random events and a poor filtering process (please steal Yahoo! Upcoming UI) that it is borderline useless.

    The only grip I have is that I wish TripIt would do a better job of reaching into Linkedin Events (yes, rant worthy) for refining the presentation to accommodate degree of connection. As you can see in the linked blog entry above, there are always going to be parties wanting to expose more or less. The critical feature that makes TripIt useful is also the limitation of having only a relationship with TripIt vs. relationships with other TripIt users that cross social networks as union sets.

    I’d wager that if Facebook Connect gets a leg up, Linkedin might have to get into that field even it is kicking and screaming all the way. In any event, TripIt is working well for now and I hope it improves over time or is consumed by another company that is complimentary to the use cases I enjoy.

  4. says

    I’ll be headed to Austin for SXSW soon, too. I haven’t heard of TripIt before, but will have to give it a try. We go to several shows a year, and are not always on the same flight, so this will help me keep everyone organized. Thanks!