Exactly a year ago I discovered the genius that is TripIt, a super simple organization and travel management app for pretty much any smartphone you’ve got. And we’re talking simple. If you’re a frequent traveler like I am, it is nothing less than a lifesaver.
Including right now this very second–in fact, I’m waving hi to all of you from sunny Copenhagen. Hej!
Here, I’m going to show you how I’ve been using it this week so far to keep me from going insane, and just why I love it so much. It’s also why I’ve been so happy to work with TripIt as a spokesperson this summer. (They realized that I was telling everyone I know about their app anyway, so…)
1. I automatically forward my hotel and flight confirmation emails to firstname.lastname@example.org, from any of my email addresses. That’s it. I know, I found it hard to believe too.
2. Hooray, it totally worked. I can now see an itinerary called
“Copenhagen” from the web, my phone, or iPad. It’s all synced
immediately. You can see a larger sample itinerary here.
Because every detail is input, from flight times to confirmation codes,
gates and connections, I check on my seat number. There’s a clickable
arrow next to it taking me right to Seat Expert
which is another resource worth a bookmark. It lets me see my plane’s
seat map, so I make sure I’m not stuck in one of those non-reclining
seats in the back next to the bathroom on an 8 hour flight.
Been there. Don’t want to do that again. In fact, I did change my seat to a slightly better one. Whoo!
I click on the hotel in my itinerary, and TripIt has populated my hotel
info with maps, links to the hotel’s site, and confirmation number and
more. I click through and learn wi-fi and breakfast are free. Whoo!
There’s also a place to add my own notes. (Note: See if Danes really eat danishes for breakfast. )
I forward the itinerary in one click to selected family members and
colleagues. Also, just a few other people to make them jealous. I can
also add others to my itinerary as connections or fellow travelers if we
need to coordinate. Like when we’re arriving at different times or
staying in different hotels.
6. I get a text alert to check-in
for my flight even before the airline emails me to check in. In the
past, I’ve also gotten notifications about plane changes (even when the
airline doesn’t tell you at all) which means I can rebook a seat and not
get stuck in that non-reclining seat next to the bathroom. There’s a
theme here, I know.
7. I land (it’s beautiful here!) and there’s a link in my itinerary with directions and Google Map access with my hotel marked off. Super convenient.
Hint: if you want to limit roaming data charges, grab a screen shot of the map or any of your itinerary and save it in your photo library.
Hallelujah, TripIt imported my confirmation number and the hotel booking policies. Because I
arrive at the hotel jet lagged after a 12 hour work day and they’ve
kindly given away my room. Having that number on hand saved me from “sorry you’ll have to stay elsewhere tonight.”
(Note 2: Don’t stay here again.)
9. My colleagues make dinner reservations, so I input the address manually into my account. Now we won’t get lost
when we walk there (provided we don’t drink too many Carlsbergs). No
need to rent a car this week, but if we did, my TripitPro account has included me a free membership to Hertz #1 Gold Club.
The trip is coming to an end. I know I have a long layover in Amsterdam on the way home, so I click the airport name
in my app and automatically get an airport map. I am already plotting
out the restaurants and most promising gift shop areas. As in, chocolate shops. -Liz
Obviously I can’t recommend the TripIt app enough. Since the free version is…well, free, download it
for IOS, Android, Blackberry or Windows 7 and see what you think. If you travel a
lot–by car or plane or otherwise–I guarantee you’ll want the TripIt Pro
And thanks to TripIt for working with me. Keep working with more partners like Seat Expert, will you?