My brother travels a lot more than I do (though I do my own fair share). We were messaging online one day, and he linked me to www.tripit.com , which he’d been using for some time for managing his travel.
I followed the link expecting some Picasa-meets-tripadvisor site, and instead found an awesome utility for managing one’s travel arrangements. You should really jump on over to TripIt yourself to check out the awesomeness, but I will summarize here in order to share the nerdy goodness with fellow R&R readers.
Basically, TripIt compiles all your info from reservations you make, combines it with a little local information (say, weather), and then provides it all back to you in one easy-to-access location. You can also share your iteniaries with others, so that if, say, I want my boyfriend to know my flight details on a trip, I can give him access to view all the same info I have.
The really nice part about TripIt, though, is it’s well-honed ability to scrape your data out of the email confirmation you receive from whatever vendor you booked with. TripIt recognizes the format of emails from most airlines, hotels, and car rental agencies, and even recognizes additional confirmations like restaraunt reservations from OpenTable. So all I have to do as a TripIt user – after setting up my account with a list of all of my email addresses — is forward my confirmation email to a TripIt email address. No special formatting, no manual entry… I just forward the email.
From there, TripIt scrapes the data and compiles it with whatever else I might’ve also forwarded relating to that particular trip. (And for the record, if I want to include info for an event TripIt doesn’t recognize, or which is a personal appointment which I don’t have an email for, I can do that manually)
All the info is then accessible at the TripIt internet site, via a handy TripIt mobile site, and even via an ICAL RSS feed that I can pull into my outlook calendar. So it’s pretty darn easy for me to access my information, and eliminates a bunch of the usual ‘I must organize these emails all together then remember where I put them then forward them to anyone who needs to know the info then print out copies then remember to keep the copies accessible in my carryon’ shennanigans.
All in all, I’m loving the convenience factor of TripIt, and would strongly reccomend it to anyone who travels more than occasionally.