Gear: Itinerary Planning

cabo01Years ago, I had one of those Windows CE based palmtop computers for travel use. (Does that date me?) They were really under-powered, were too small, had a terrible keyboard, a tiny black and white display – but they were tough, and got good battery life, and had a modem so I could dial for email. The particular one I had did have one amazing program, it was an integrated travel planner. You could enter flight, hotel, and other reservation data, and it would add these to the appropriate contacts and calendar pages. Time zones would get synced properly, it was really fantastic for the time.

By the time I got rid of that and got a real laptop, there was nothing like this. I had MS Office and some pretty good calendar apps, but I just tracked everything on a list and manually copied everything  back and forth. It was fine, but I really did miss that killer app. Around 2009, I found a replacement.

TripIt.com is a site that allows you to collect trip data into itineraries for each trip, and then syncs that with the web, and apps on your phone or tablet. You can add everything manually, but even better it connects to your email, (to find info to add), and Calendar (to display your itinerary). You can also forward confirmation mails directly when booking planes, hotels, etc and they get added to the itinerary. This all can be shared with members of your trip, or they have business account options to do group planning. They also have a paid upgrade for delay and gate alerting and stuff like that. It also has a place to store critical numbers. Like ID, TSA, Emergency contacts, etc. Really handy.

I’ve used this for every family trip and it really is a lifesaver when looking for a confirmation number. Especially as we book months ahead for most things, and it’s easy to lose things in my Inbox.  I’ve tried a few other apps and sites, but I stick with TripIt just because they just keep the whole thing simple, and so it just keeps working. It also works on any platform, so when I change devices I just re-sync all my data and I’m back in business.

Check it out.