TripIt is an almost magical web service (with mobile apps available) that keeps your travel itinerary organized for you, automatically. If you travel, even a moderate amount, TripIt takes the load off your mind, secure in knowing that you have all the information you need while you travel. Here are some tips for using TripIt to consolidate all your important travel information with zero-effort!
TripIt basically does two things:
- Accepts travel confirmation emails and
- Build a detailed itinerary calendar
That is, you forward the travel confirmation emails from airlines, hotels, rental cars, etc. and TripIt builds an itinerary and maintains a personal calendar that contain all the relevant travel information from those emails.
This can be done without paying for TripIt. It has other features and TripIt Pro has even more features that maybe useful for frequent super-travelers.
No-Maintenance Usage Tips
To make TripIt into a no-maintenance tool, you should do the following:
- Signup for a TripIt account (free)
- Set up email filters or rules, in your email program, to forward your travel confirmation emails to TripIt so you do not have to forward each one, manually (which you are inclined to forget).
- Subscribe to your personal TripIt calendar via your calendar viewer so that you have all the necessary information from your own calendar (rather than having to go to the TripIt site to look up your travel details).
These last two tasks depend on the tools that manage your email or calendar, but since everything is standard, these days, if your software is current, you should not have any problems setting these up.
TripIt identifies you by the email address that you forward the confirmation emails from, i.e., your email address. It interprets the content of the forwarded email to figure out what and when to schedule the event on the calendar it created for you. You can skip the step of forwarding each and every email confirmation by setting rules to automatically forward any such confirmation emails without intervention.
If emails other than the confirmations get forwarded, as well, not to worry, TripIt kind of ignores them. Well, they don’t really ignore them; they send back a message telling you they did not know what to do with that email. This is a hint that you might want to redefine your forwarding rule to avoid these—or you can just ignore these, yourself… no harm done.
As of this writing, duplicates emails forwarded to TripIt will result in duplicate entries in your calendar; this can be an annoyance. Also, cancellation confirmations are often not acted upon. You’ll need to log into your TripIt account and delete these entries yourself. Those changes will be reflected in your calendar.
Getting the Calendar
Your TripIt account has a calendar associated with it. By subscribing to that link from your calendar application (whether it is Microsoft Outlook (after version 2003), Apple iCal or Calendar, Google Calendar, or others).
To get the link used for the subscription:
- Click on your name, in the upper right, and click “Settings,” in the drop-down menu.
- On the left side’s menu, click “Publishing your data.”
- Make sure “Include detailed items in your calendar feed” and “Automatically adjust time zones in your calendar feed” are both checked.
- Then, click the “Subscribe” link, then the “Subscribe to calendar feed” link, in the popup,
and select-and-copy or right-click and copy the webcal: link (make sure to copy all the way to the ending of “.ics”).
- Paste that link into your email program. This will also work on a portable device such as an iPhone, iPad, or Android device. For details on how to subscribe from various calendar apps, read how to subscribe to a calendar, here.
If you are having any problems getting this working for you, let me know. Add me as part of your TripIt network and see where I am or when I am close by: