Why use TripIt?

by jeffhilimire on May 23, 2010

Travel is something that still isn’t a seamless process when it comes to how people typically book and schedule trips and how they tell their social networks where they’ll be.  For example, I use iCal to keep track of all my travel, yet when I travel places I will use Gowalla, Foursquare or MyTown (yes, I rotate between all 3), to check-in and let my friends know where I am.

I have a good friend, Ryan Tuttle, that asks me every month or so why I don’t use TripIt.  I decided to turn the tables and ask him why he uses TripIt.  Based on what he wrote back, I’m thinking of giving it a whirl.  (oh yeah, sometimes I check in with Whrrl).

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Why do I use TripIt?…

Basically I have the TripIt calendar feed, from my TripIt account, in
iCal so that I can easily track my trips. It’s easier to add to my
TripIt calendar than to enter the info in manually. For example, when
Delta sends me a confirmation email I just forward that email to
plans@tripit.com. I don’t put anything in the email at all, it just
recognizes me by any of my sending addresses and recognizes a standard
Delta confirmation email. TripIt adds the info to my calendar and sets
up other details about that trip… weather, flight status, etc.

TripIt also works with rental car confim emails and any major hotel.
The only time it hasn’t worked is with niche hotels… sometimes it
does and sometimes it doesn’t.

With all these items it puts all the confirmation numbers and other
info into the meeting block on the calendar, so I use that and the
TripIt app to look everything up when traveling.

That’s the main reason I use it but there are secondary benefits in
being able to see trips of people in my network. If I want to see who
is traveling or if we will be in the same place at the same time
TripIt lets me know.

Lastly, for me, TripIt also keeps track of how many trips each person
has been on, so there is a little competition aspect to it.

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  • http://www.tessahorehled.com Tessa Horehled

    If your primary reason for using a service of this kind is to see trips of people in your network as well as coinciding trips, why not use a cleaner service like Dopplr that isn't bogged down with the extra functionality that TripIt offers?

    If that doesn't make it obvious, Dopplr is my travel social network of choice. It's much easier and quicker to add trips and see your trip overlaps with contacts, much better mobile app and more enjoyable user experience on a whole vs TripIt.

    Have you tried it?

  • http://twitter.com/thedigitalists Greg H

    Why use TripIt? Because it's freakin' awesome! Seriously, as Ryan mentions, plans@tripit.com is a truly genius invention. So much easier than entering info manually. Also cool: the iPhone app. One-touch access to your entire itinerary. I have an iCal feed on my laptop, but I never even bothered setting it up for my iPhone calendar because the app accomplishes all of that.

    I haven't explored the social aspect very much, though I did recently reconnect with a friend I hadn't seen in years when he used TripIt to post on Facebook about an upcoming trip to NY. I also have no idea what the value of the premium subscription is, though I suppose I'm not enough of a road warrior to make it worthwhile. But the overall convenience factor of the service is huge.

  • Ryan P. Tuttle

    Tessa, I use TripIt because I didn't know of any good alternatives. I saw your post and tried Dopplr. It looks like a really good system and since all I need is the basics I was interested in trying it out. So, I did a head to head test. I'm going to Orlando soon and already loaded up the info in TripIt, 3 emails, one for the flight, one for the rental car and one for the hotel. Both systems failed to recognize the niche hotel, both found the rental car info just fine… the airline worked on TripIt… on Dopplr it registered the airline email as a second trip in the middle of my Orlando trip with me going to Delta, Canada. So, I have a pretty cool map of me flying to Orlando then to Delta, CA then back to Orlando in a 3 day period :)

    In Dopplr's defense the confirmation email I got from Delta was forwarded to me as an attachment instead of the standard html email, but TripIt had no problem reading that file.

    Only other negative for Dopplr is that the email processing took a long time (longer than TripIt).

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