Organizing travel

Whether trav­el­ling to a sem­i­nar or con­fer­ence, or just hav­ing a hol­i­day, using a travel orga­nizer can make the process sim­pler and eas­ier. A good travel orga­nizer keeps all your travel details (flights, hotels, car rentals, meet­ings, weather fore­casts, etc.) orga­nized and synced to what­ever devices you use (two com­put­ers, an iPad and an iPhone in my case).

I am aware of four travel orga­niz­ers that do this: TripIt, Trip­Case, World­Mate and Wipolo. In each case, you sim­ply for­ward con­fir­ma­tions from hotels and air­lines to an email address to auto­mat­i­cally com­pile your itin­er­ary. I’ve found the automa­tion is not always accu­rate, so I pre­fer to enter the details manually.

Because of the com­pe­ti­tion, the ser­vices seem to be con­stantly adding fea­tures to try to out-​​do each other, which is great for users. I use TripIt. Once I’ve entered flight details, hotel details and infor­ma­tion about any meet­ings into TripIt, I just check the app when I need to know when my next flight is leav­ing, where my hotel is, when the meet­ing starts, etc. The user inter­face is very sim­ple, and there are neat fea­tures such as weather fore­casts, and Google maps show­ing how to get from the air­port to the hotel. All book­ing ref­er­ences and other infor­ma­tion is stored for me, so I don’t need to carry around a sheaf of papers.

All the ser­vices include some social net­work­ing abil­i­ties for shar­ing your trips with friends. I turn those fea­tures off, partly for secu­rity, but mostly because I don’t want to annoy my friends with updates about trips that prob­a­bly have no inter­est to most of them.

There are free and pro ver­sions in each case, but I haven’t found the need to pay for a pro ver­sion yet. Peo­ple who travel a lot more than me would prob­a­bly find some of the pro fea­tures use­ful, espe­cially if you are in the US.

There’s a review of TripIt, Trip­Case and World­Mate in the WSJ, but it is more than 18 months old so the fea­tures have prob­a­bly changed since it was written.


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  • Guy

    Kayak, the travel com­par­i­son site, also has this.