Whether you travel a lot or not very often at all, having a tool that takes all of your trip information and compiles it into one easy-to-read list can be VERY handy. If there's one thing I can't stand, it's scrolling back through thousands of emails trying to find that one booking for the rental car when you're stuck at a counter – wait no more!
Anyone who knows me knows that I love a good app, and this one works delightfully.
Why do you need an app to manage trips?
I consider myself a fairly organized person and going on a vacation which involves more than one location/booking/rental/reservation can be a little bit of a pain.
Sure, it's all in your head and you know what your plan is, but remembering booking numbers, check-in times, and other tidbits of information can be difficult. It's also a pain when you're you standing at a check-in desk to go searching through variations of emails to try and find the one that contains the poignant bit of information.
So what about if there was an app that could automatically (or manually) compile all the confirmation emails and receipts into one easy-to-read layout?
The app I've found that works the best for tracking travel bookings is TripIt!
Every time you book something, you get a receipt and confirmation of details. What TripIt can do is take all those details, digest them, and turn them into a simply-flowing timeline of your trip.
There are two ways this can happen:
- You can automatically sync your emails into TripIt – Now, yes, there are always reasons to be cautious about someone else scraping every single email you get, so you don't have to use this method
- You can manually forward any receipts/confirmations to TripIt – As part of your account, you identify your email address and any email sent from that address to TripIt will be compiled automatically into Trips.
This means that instead of having to extract data and input it manually, you just forward an email and let them do the work. Easy!
It then turns it into one long feed which starts at your first flight and ends with your return home (and can be adjusted if there are stops along the way or if you want it to include information from dates outside your journey).
This pulls confirmation details, links to emails and receipts, and more into an easy interface online or through the app. It can tell you about the neighborhood you're in, any cool things in the area, and any recommendations other users might have had.
In addition to that, the app serves as a Flight Tracker and flight booking monitor
All of your flight information is filtered nicely into the layout and that also includes (importantly) the flights you've booked.
As part of the TripIt service, any updates to flights can be found by tapping on the flight information and any urgent or important information will be pushed to your device.
Updates from flights also automatically adjust in the app and therefore you can use it as your one-stop-shop for getting where you're going.
It alerts you when conflicts arise in your travel plans
Anyone that knows me knows that I don't like conflict, and this little app helps me with my conflicts.
If you've booked two things that overlap, or if flights aren't properly lined up, TripIt will alert you to this and allow you to select which one you want to take priority.
This is handy when you're booking multiple people moving in different ways and might double-up or simply get a date wrong from afar.
The best part though is when you're traveling with friends (or keeping others in the loop)
One major feature is also that with one (or maybe two) taps and clicks you can share your itinerary to anyone who needs it.
If your Dad (in my case) wants to know what you're up to and print it out, then you can send a text version of it.
Or if you're traveling with your wife (in my case) who also uses TripIt, you can add them as a passenger on your trip and then you can both feed-in and share information as you each book things.
No more double-ups or “Who booked this hotel!?” moments for you!
Extra perks of TripIt: What you missed
One element of TripIt that I only noticed on our last trip was a handy little feature that reminds you to fill in the gaps when you've forgotten to make an appropriate reservation.
In our case, we were leaving our accommodation in one place, flying to another place, staying overnight, then flying back home. I'd forgotten to book anywhere to stay on that “staying overnight” bit because after planning two weeks of travel, I'd just written that one off as a one-night-stopover-wherever-we-can!
TripIt had a little alert at the top of the trip that said: “You don't have accommodation booked for the 27th January”. This seems like something that you'd, of course, think of but with time-differences, and the stress of planning more than one person's adventure, it can happen more often than you'd think.