How to use TripIt!, An Application For Beginners
I’m a planner. I like to have all of my flight, hotel and activity confirmations in one place where I can access them at any time. Before, I used the calendar feature of Microsoft Outlook. I really didn’t have an issue with preparing my itinerary this way. That is until I found a quicker and easier way to do it. Enter the app, TripIt! I want to share how to use Tripit! to make your travel planning less painful.
You can input all of your information via their website by opening an account at TripIt. You can even give TripIt permission to auto import travel plans from your email inbox (this can be rescinded at any time).
When you receive confirmations of your airline, hotel and tour bookings via email, TripIt will automatically scan your inbox and capture those bookings into your TripIt account. Each screenshot that you see below was automatically scanned into my account when TripIt discovered it in my Gmail account.
Let Tripit! do all of the data entry for you
The only time you will have to actually key in data is when you make a direct reservation over the phone and get a verbal confirmation. I use the free version of TripIt because it does pretty much everything that I require and I’m…um….budget minded.
Once you have created an account, you can begin to start inputting your itinerary. At the top right of the page, you will see a menu bar.
Click on “Add a trip”. You can key in your destination city and your trip dates. You may decide to assign a name to your trip or share it with your travel partner(s).
Fine tune it by adding specific details to your itinerary
Lastly, you can select if it’s a business or leisure trip then you can click the “Create Trip” button. Your new trip itinerary page will show a calendar of the dates of the trip. You may click on a date then select an appropriate category: flight, hotel, restaurant or activity reservations.
Continue until you have captured all of the pertinent information for your trip from your confirmation emails. You may copy/paste everything just to be sure. But I can’t recommend highly enough that you allow TripIt access to your email and let them plug in the info for you.
I like to detail the hotel’s checkout time, too. It allows a smooth transition from the hotel to the airport so that I can get to my gate in a timely fashion. We were able to enjoy a nice breakfast before taking the shuttle to our American Airlines gate.
We arrived at the first leg of our trip, Lima, Peru, early the next morning. All of our itinerary info for Lima was ‘automagically’ inserted into TripIt for us.
We would be arriving way before check in but I made sure to notify them via email that I would be coming in the wee hours of the morning. They were ok with it since there is always someone at the front desk.
I booked the reservation via Expedia and when the confirmation email was sent, TripIt was to the rescue again, plugging in all of the itinerary info into my account.
I had booked two tours before leaving home and those tours were entered into TripIt. I left one day free in between where we could just spend the day getting to know the city.
Next, we detailed the hostel departure date and time. Also, the second leg of our trip from Lima to Santiago, Chile is detailed here along with info on the apartment we rented. Again, we had a driver so directions to the apartment were unnecessary.
We got there fairly late in the day, so we went next door to the grocery store and bought food for the week. There was a tour early the next morning so we spent the day getting to know the city. We took a day trip to Valparaiso the following day. I decided to copy/paste info about the city that I found on the lonely planet into the itinerary.
I had to determine when I needed to leave the apartment in order to catch the third leg of my trip to Easter Island. The flight was rather early and since only there were only two flights a week, we could not miss it. This is where TripIt really comes in handy because it allows you to see how your reservations impact one another at a single glance.
Finally, the departure from the hostel is posted along with the first leg of the return to our hometown of Atlanta.
Also, you can download a free app version for Android, iPhone, Blackberry, Windows 7 and iPad in iTunes or Google Play.
Upgrading to the premium option
There are several premium options available to you as a TripIt Pro ($49.00 per year) user that you might find useful like: