TripIt-Travel Itinerary Meets Social Networking

Online travel sites are now more than a decade old.  More than half of the travelers in the US now book their travel online.  In the last several years, the popularity of airline, hotel and rental car websites has continued to grow.  Travelers need to keep track of multiple travel reservations to organize their trips.  A typical trip today may include a flight booked at United Airlines, a hotel booked at Expedia and a rental car booked at Hertz.com.

Tripit LogoThat is where TripIt comes in. TripIt is an online service that helps people organize their travel plans-flights, hotels,rental cars, trains and more-no matter there they were booked.  Travelers simply forward all their travel confirmation emails to plans@tripit.com and TripIt processes and combines all the related bookings into a master itinerary.  Then TripIt used the trip data to automatically pull information from other websites including information such as daily weather forecasts, local maps & driving directions from Google and city guides from Wikipedia, Flickr and more.  With TripIt, travelers can print, access and share their travel plans online, from a mobile device or even in your Outlook calendar.

One of the interesting features of TripIt, and how I was introduced to it’s existence, was it’s integration into LinkedIn.  Once again, LinkedIn’s Application tab allows you to integrate and share some aspects of your travel schedule on your Public Profile by selecting the TripIt-My Travel Icon. With TripIt activated in LinkedIn, you are able to see where your entire professional network is traveling  and when you will be in the same city as your colleagues.  Meet up at the next industry event or re-connect with old friends.

Recently, a friend and author was telling me about the fifty city book tour that she was about to undertake next year.  She mentioned that she was wishing that there was a way that she could publish her entire travel schedule, allowing and encouraging her many friends and fans across the US to be able to meet up with her during her tour.  She is an active LinkedIn user. Once her itinerary is finalized, she will now be able to email her various reservation emails to plans@tripit.com and everyone will have visibility to her city by city schedule and book signing locations.TripIt LinkedIn Profile Screen

There is also an extremely handy iPhone Application that has come in handy on several occasions for me.

TripIt iPhone Screens

TripIt has done an excellent job of creating a solution to a problem that every traveler has experienced.  Due to their integration with dozens of other travel and social focused services and sites, you can now regain control of all facets of your complex travel schedule.  You can integrate and automate your travel expenses, your frequent flier and frequent visitor points.  You can even add your Airport Shuttle services into Tripit.

If you travel even a small amount, you’ll want to create an account at Tripit.  You can thank me when you return from your next trip.

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