As the holidays get under way and traveling becomes hectic, TripIt allows you to keep your sanity with an organized view of all your travel plans. Itineraries are available at your fingertips and are easily shareable with friends, family and co-workers.
And now, TripIt has an iPhone app to make your life that much easier. If you are ready to spare yourself from the nightmare of holiday travel, follow the jump.
TripIt is a godsend for those who travel frequently, or set up travel plans for others. TripIt’s travel itineraries aren’t limited to flights, but keep track of meetings, dinner plans, maps and directions. Launched in 2009, TripIt is not a new app, but its most recent release has yet again propelled it to one of the top Travel apps on the market.
To get started on TripIt, you need to create an account. To be most effective this account needs to be linked to whichever email account you primarily send your travel itineraries to, however, you can also forward your travel itineraries to [email protected], input individual details on TripIt.com or in the app itself.
Taking Care of Business
Once you receive travel confirmation, whether it be a flight, car rental or hotel booking, the next step is sending it to [email protected] (it usually takes less than a minute for them to send a follow-up email telling you that the details have been added), manually inputting the information on your phone or allowing TripIt to scan your inbox. Then the trip will appear on the Trips page, the main page of the app. On this page, TripIt will show all upcoming trips in chronological order.
There is an Add button on this page which will allow you to manually add a new trip. When you tap on any of the listed trips you will be taken to a new page that offers more details. The location and travel dates will be listed at the top of the page.
Immediately following is a day-by-day itinerary of your travel plans. Times and icons pair up with the corresponding bookings. If you tap on any of these bookings a new page will open up, offering more details on the specific event. When addresses are tapped on, maps and directions will be offered. When website links are tapped, the website will launch in your browser. When phone numbers are tapped, I assume it launches in your phone app, but when I tried, all links were broken. You can also edit all booking information in the app itself, which is nice in the instance when you need to change a time or add a note.
Back on the detailed trip itinerary page, you can share the trip via email, edit the trip and add plans (this is where you would add meetings, concerts or anything else that you can’t forward to the TripIt email).
This page also has a People icon that when tapped, opens a new page showing all individuals in your network that are taking part in this trip — obviously, a perfect way to keep track of all the family or co-workers you’re flying with.
The four main tabs featured on the app are Trips (covered above), Points (only available in TripIt Pro), Network and Refresh.
Network shows all of your TripIt friend’s public “itineraries.” You can look up connections via city or date. The City tab will open up a new page listing all cities that your connections will be visiting. The Date tab opens a new page that categorizes your connections’ itineraries by month. The Network Updates is a running feed of people you have connected with.
TripIt in its free form is very useful. The paid version of TripIt only offers an advertisement-free app. TripIt Pro is where all the bells and whistles come into play.
TripIt Pro ($49 per year) offers a myriad of useful features including the ability to track all frequent flier points, the ability to find alternate flights, and instant alerts regarding cancellations, gate changes and flight delays. TripIt Pro also offers a complimentary 1-year membership to Hertz #1 Club Gold and Regus Gold with VIP car rental and access to numerous business lounges
Whichever version you choose to use, TripIt offers a complementary website where you can export all travel plans to iCal, Google Calendar, Outlook 2007 and Lotus Notes 8.5. On the website you can also view past trips and add connections.
Honestly, TripIt is one of the most useful apps that you can directly benefit from this holiday season, and really, any time you are traveling. Voted as one of the “Best 5 Apps for Business” by Fortune and featured as one of the “Best Travel Websites & Apps” in 2011 by Travel + Leisure, TripIt is a useful addition to anyone’s travel app arsenal. It works offline and is one of the most efficient ways to view and revise travel plans out of any apps out there. This app is also incredibly useful for anyone making travel arrangements for groups of people such as co-workers or family members. And, while I wish more of the TripIt Pro options were available in the app (and that TripIt Pro didn’t cost $49 a year), I think even in its most basic form, TripIt is completely worthwhile. Consider this an early present — a gift that will keep on giving (and keep your sanity intact).