Leave The Printed Travel Itinerary Home – Use Tripit
If you’re like most travelers one of the last things you do before leaving on a trip is print all your various confirmations – airline, hotel, shuttle. This is how I traveled for many years – with a big bulging pocket full of confirmations or more often a manila folder that I was constantly removing from my backpack so I could check my reservation.
About five years ago I stopped printing any paper reservations. Instead I rely on a free online service called Tripit.
What Tripit does (which still seems like magic to me) is allow you to forward all the email confirmations you receive after booking a reservation to a special email address — email@example.com.
Once Tripit receives your confirmation email – it strips out relevant information like flight numbers, hotel confirmation numbers, etc and creates an itinerary just like the one below.
You can also connect with friends within Tripit and the service will tell you when a friend may be traveling to the same location.
Where Tripit really shines (aside from managing all of your itinerary emails which you’ve forwarded to firstname.lastname@example.org) is in their mobile clients.
They offer free applications for iPhone, Android and Blackberry. Here’s an example of the iPhone application screen which has allowed me to travel paper free for the last few years! Clicking on any of the items shows the detail of the reservation (confirmation number, check in time, weather, etc).
If you don’t have a smartphone you can “converse” with Tripit via a series of email shortcuts such as “get flight today”. Just send an email to email@example.com with one of the following commands and tripit will reply.
TripIt To Me lets you send your trip information to your email.
Just send a command to firstname.lastname@example.org from any email address associated with your TripIt account, and they’ll email you the information right away.
1. Send an email to email@example.com with “get flight today” in the “subject line” or “body.”
2. TripIt will email back your flight itinerary for today. Here’s a sample:
Your flights departing today, Mar 24, 2008:
[flight] 03/24/08 AA 205 dep SFO 10:02am arr ORD 5:00pm; John Doe, Sally Jones; seat(s) 18A, 18B; conf #HLJRDW
[flight] 03/24/08 AA 1904 dep ORD 7:15pm arr LHR 8:20am (+1 day); John Doe, Sally Jones; seat(s) 23A, 23B; conf #HLJRDW
I’d love to say that “going green” was my main motive for using Tripit – but in reality it’s the convenience of not having to stop as I’m rushing out the door to make a flight and print copies of confirmations that has really sold me and kept me a Tripit user.