There are many travel apps I have reviewed but there are only a couple that I truly rely upon when I travel. One essential travel app is TripIt (Pro version). It is like having a travel agent in my pocket, one who makes sure I am where I need to be, and has all the information I need.
TripIt Pro Travel App to the rescue
TripIt Pro won my heart two years ago when I had one of those airline experiences from hell. Almost everyone who flies has had the experience of sitting on the tarmac … and the plane doesn’t take off. The captain came on to say that there was some kind of mechanical issue with the plane. After a while, all passengers were asked to disembark. In this particular instance, we had to get off a second plane, too: When we arrived at the gate, the counter staff didn’t know whether the airline had found another plane or if we had to make alternate arrangements.
Within a couple of minutes, TripIt sent me a notification of the alternative plane and gate. I was the Pied Piper as other passengers chose to follow me. TripIt was right: We were first to board the new plane. As I had subsequent connection to make, I was relieved to learn that I would still make take connection in time. TripIt Pro determined the time we would land with the new flight and told me how much time I would have to transfer.
Had it been necessary to book another flight, TripIt would have given me information on upcoming flights that I could book immediately, and perhaps get on flights that were filling up.
TripIt Travel App is my travel guide
The basic TripIt app is a place where you can store your full travel itinerary. Simply forward a confirmation email to email@example.com — and it creates an itinerary with all of the information about your flights, hotel, rental cars, railway, Fandango movie tickets, StubHub events and Open Table restaurant reservations. Then, with a single click, you can share the itinerary with others on your trip. Schedules, addresses, phone numbers, confirmation numbers and maps are all included in the itinerary. All of it is available offline, for those times when I’m without cell phone service. It doesn’t matter how you booked the reservation (TripIt doesn’t make the plans for you); it aggregates the information into one place. Check out this list of booking businesses that work with TripIt.
TripIt may not be a necessity, as we have the information in emails. But having it in one place, and being able to follow my schedule to get each confirmation number, is just one thing that makes traveling easier and less stressful. It’s right there when you need it, with no digging through emails. TripIt can be set up as a calendar feed for your calendar program so that anytime you make changes to your itinerary, it will show up in your calendar.
A history of your past trips is kept in the TripIt app. It’ll be easy to find a hotel, restaurant, address or map when you return to a destination.
TripIt Pro Travel App keeps me Informed in real time
The pro version of TripIt gives you real-time notifications. While it is (hopefully) a rare occurrence to have to change planes like I did, gate changes are commonplace. Often, I will get on a plane with the thought of a particular gate for my connecting flight, only to find that the gate has been changed sometime while I was in the air. Gate change and flight status notifications are pushed in real time to your mobile device as well as to Apple Watch and Android Wear.
Notifications begin 24 hours before your flight, at the time when you can click on your reservation in the app to go to online check-in. If there are better seats available on your flight, TripIt Pro will list those options. The next notification tells you when it is time to leave for the airport based on local traffic conditions. In a limited number of airports, it can tell you how long you’ll have to wait in the TSA line (to be expanded to more destinations). On my last trip, my flight was delayed and there was a gate change. I was informed hours before takeoff of the delay. Before I landed, I was notified of the gate change and offered a display of how much time I had for this layover.
It may seem a small thing, but on my last trip to Nebraska, Tripit told me that there was a high chance of rain when I arrived. This let me grab my rain poncho to make it easily available when I landed.
TripIt Pro versus the TripIt basic travel app
As mentioned, TripIt can aggregate your itinerary so you have all of your travel information in one place. But to get all of the features, especially real-time notifications, requires an upgrade to TripIt Pro. The Pro version lets you track you reward and mileage points, notifies you if there is a better seat available on your upcoming flight, and will quickly find another flight if your plans suddenly change. TripIt Pro typically costs $49 per year but they’ve offered GoGo Travelers subscribers a 20% discount ! Sign up with this special TripIt Pro subscription link for gogotravelers readers.