Tuesday, May 18, 2010


I guess I should add to my 2010 goal list: I'd like to make 52 posts this year (or average one a week). The closest I got was back in 2008 when I had 50 posts, and I probably would have made it if I didn't slack off that November with only one post (about pirates no less). Still, I'd like to maintain some semblance of quality instead of only going for quantity. Now, in order to write once a week, I need a topic. Unfortunately, I'm not great at that part. I mean, I could talk about what we're up to, but most of the time it's really boring to read about (I worked this week... on lots and lots on graphs that I'm not allowed to share). So, my standard fall back has been talking about things I'm reading and I've got a nice book review series going. Today, I'm expanding that. For some of you, it will be very helpful. For others, it'll just make you jealous. Sorry.

Today I'd like to talk about an iPhone app I've found really useful called TripIt (iTunes link). My boss shared this app with me and it's pretty sweet. It helps you easily manage your travel information. It can handle flight, car and hotel information all together in an easy to use interface.

To see how it works, let's pretend you're traveling to Boise, ID (which, as luck would have it, I'm doing right now). Here's what you do:

First, sign up for TripIt at TripIt.com. I choose to use Google, but you can also sign up with Facebook, or create a whole new profile just for this service. Then, go to the upper right hand corner and select your user name -> "Settings" -> "About You". In the very first section is a spot called email. Since my travel is through HP, I added my HP email (you'll see why in a second), but your normal email should already be there. Now your one-time setup is done.

Then book your travel just like normal. Make sure you have whatever you book it with send you an email. Then, add your trip to TripIt. When adding your trip to TripIt, you can either manually enter the information or email the itinerary that was sent to you earlier to plans@tripit.com. TripIt will take that email and parse out the details of your trip. Then, you can login and edit the details and fix any mistakes that might have been made. I have found it to be extremely accurate. The only editing I've done is remove information I don't care about it. Here's what your trip looks like:

OK, now the really cool part. Download TripIt and login. The app will automatically sync with your account and list all your up coming trips. Clicking on a specific trip will display the details of that trip. You can see your flight information, your confirmation code and more. You can also see your rental car and hotel information - with links to the map app to easily get from one place to another. You can also sign up for the pro account and get additional up-to-date information (like if your flight is delayed) and even check in right on your phone.

I've used the app a few times and find it really helpful. I no longer have to carry paper around or keep old emails in my inbox when I travel. I highly recommend trying it out.

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