Between emailed hotel confirmations, boarding passes and driving directions, travel for many still means packing loads of paper. A slew of apps are aimed at eliminating clutter and organizing your itinerary in one place. Click to read about our favorite for getting you on the road or on the beach with minimal hassles.
There are a lot of apps that help you travel smarter and, increasingly, these apps are designed to store all the information about your destination in one central place. But what we wanted, as we worked our way through a hectic summer travel schedule, was one app that would store all our travel information and make the process as easy as possible. Or at least easier than our old method of printing out travel confirmations after copying-and-pasting the details into Google Calendar.
Itinerary looks great and has a lot of the features we were looking for, but, in the end, we found that it relied on us to do too much of the manual input. We liked WorldMate’s built-in currency converter and its connection to LinkedIn to find connections in the cities we were visiting, but found the best services (including flight delay updates) were hidden behind a paywall. We were tempted to try TripDeck, until we read reviews on the iTunes store about multiple crash issues.
Our Recommendation: TripIt
TripIt gave us everything we were looking for, including most of the features listed above. One of our favorite features, however, was the ability to email flight and hotel confirmations, dinner reservations and other plans straight to firstname.lastname@example.org and have them added to our itinerary (we had some problems adding a second email address but the fix was easily found in the Support section of TripIt’s Website).
Other services offer similar email services, but TripIt took it one step further: by connecting our Gmail account to our TripIt account, the site performed regular scans of our inbox to look for new travel plans and added them automatically to our itinerary.
And that is TripIt’s key advantage: a lot of the planning becomes automatic. Directions from the airport to a hotel are automatically inserted into your itinerary. Connections on TripIt’s social network as well as your other networks can also be added so you know who to visit (or avoid) when you reach your destination.
The site and free smartphone apps are primarily supported by Groupon-like offers for your destination, but users do have the option of upgrading to TripIt Pro for $49 per year. The biggest advantage, and probably a must-have for frequent fliers, is an automatic refund tracker for all of your flights, as well as complimentary memberships to services like Hertz #1 Club Gold.