Travel plans automatically generated

Keeping track of travel arrangements — hotels, flight schedules, rental car reservations — is a problem for me. I make mistakes writing down the information, I lose printouts, I resent the time it takes to stay on top of everything. That all changed a few years ago when I started using TripIt, an online travel organizer that keeps all my trip plans in one place.

Here’s how I typically use it: I purchase a flight on Southwest’s website. I reserve a rental car on Hertz’s website. I book a hotel through When I get the confirmation emails I forward them to TripIt parses the information and produces an easy-to-read itinerary. It’s easy to add meeting and other plans. I can email the itinerary to other people and refer to it while I’m traveling, via the TripIt’s free mobile app. TripIt also adds the information to my calendar (I use iCal but it works with everything else, too).

TripIt is free, but I pay for TripIt Pro because I like getting text messages about canceled or delayed flights and gate changes. This feature makes it worth $49 a year for the pro account.

-- Mark Frauenfelder 02/14/13