There’s no denying that most modern travel is viewed as nothing so much as a huge hassle that must be undertaken to get from point A to point B. Where are the teleporters that were supposed to be transporting us across the globe in the blink of an eye? Is this or is it not the fabled 21st century? Well, to be honest, we’d probably find something to hate about that mode of travel, as well (perhaps it would transport people, but not their clothing or luggage). After all, it wasn’t that long ago that airline travel was considered a luxury. People actually dressed up to board airplanes and it was much faster and more convenient that going by car, bus, or train. Although the addition of strict TSA regulations is prone to causing backups and delays at airports, and seats have gotten so small and cramped that you can practically feel the person behind you breathing, it’s still the fastest way to get wherever you’re going. And there are tons of apps designed to make your travel experience a little less stressful. Along those lines, you’ll almost certainly want to check out the TripIt app on iTunes.
This clever freebie is well liked by users (with a rating of 4.5 stars), and it has been cited as the “best app” for travel and a “must-have tool” by those that appreciate its utility. The long and short of it is that you can ostensibly use the application to organize your travel plans thanks to functionality that lets you store all aspects of your itinerary in one central location (that just happens to be mobile). You’ll start simply enough by adding plans to your TripIt itinerary, including information pertaining to flights (or other forms of travel), lodgings, car rentals, and other transportation (shuttles, ferries, etc.). You can also add in scheduled activities like meetings so that they populate in your itinerary and you can easily see how they fit into your travel plans (in case you need to give yourself enough time to arrange for transportation, for example).
But what if you’re in a time crunch and you can’t afford to waste precious minutes entering every detail of your upcoming trip? No problem. TripIt is tailored to recognize bookings from more than 3,000 travel sites, meaning that all you have to do is forward your confirmation emails to email@example.com in order to have your info entered instantly on your itinerary. This could include (but is not limited to) ticket purchases for transport, lodgings, and even restaurants and events. From there you can simply pursue your itinerary on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch to see what’s coming and change plans if necessary. Additionally, you can store multiple trips (and even share travel plans with family, friends, and colleagues who have TripIt), network via Facebook and LinkedIn, and track points from your travel reward programs. There’s even a map feature to help you get around once you reach your destination.
Of course, there is also a paid version of this app, TripIt Pro, which offers the same features as the free app with no ads. In addition, you will receive reminders while traveling and be notified of price fluctuations that you may take advantage of. For the person who travels often, like a corporate executive or someone who takes traveling physical therapy jobs, it might be worth nearly $50 for these upgrades. But for the average vacationer the functionality offered by the free app is bound to be more than adequate, as shown by the many rave reviews.
Thanks to Evan Fischer for this guest post. He is a freelance writer and part-time student at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, California.