TripIt Combines Social Networking with Travel Planning
One of the perks of being a college student is travel flexibility–especially during the summer months. For those of us jet setting this summer (or who need to organize trips to and from school during the year), TripIt allows for easy, at-a-glance trip organization combined with some interesting social networking aspects.
TripIt’s major selling point is its ease of use. You simply email your flight, hotel, or rental car confirmation to TripIt, and the site assembles all of them on a single, easy-to-read page. In addition, it provides handy links to check in to your flight beforehand and contact information for hotels and rental car companies. It even adds city maps and the weather report for the length of your. Traveling companions can all be added as travelers on a specific trip simply by adding their email addresses, allowing them to see and edit the itinerary–including adding daily activity plans.
If you prefer to see travel plans laid out on your digital calendar, TripIt has a nice “Export to Calendar” feature which gives the option to either subscribe to the trip’s calendar feed or download a calendar file for Blackberry/iCal.
The social networking aspects of the site are both interesting and a little silly. Users can add other users as “connections” and compete with them to see who has traveled the greatest distance (the prize for this appears to be bragging rights). A more useful application of the site’s social aspect is TripIt’s friendly reminder if someone in your network lives near where you’ll be traveling to.
There is also a pro service, currently available for $49 a year, which allows users to track frequent flier miles and which will text users if flights are delayed. For truly dedicated business travelers, it might prove useful, but for college students the free version does more than enough to streamline the travel planning process.