Traveler’s Stress Reliever: There’s an App for That!
My colleagues and I are sitting in the back of the plane. Sitting … and sitting. After boarding, our flight was delayed 90 minutes because of wind and rain in Chicago. Now we’ve finally touched down, and have to make a connection to Milwaukee. The flight attendant is announcing gates for connecting flights, but we’re not listening. We exit with our fellow passengers and race into the terminal … right past all the other folks desperately searching for the arrivals/departures board. We’re already on our way to Gate 43, because my TripIt Pro app told us so.
Yahoo! We’re on the flight to Milwaukee. I open TripIt Pro to double-check the plans for arrival. Car rental, check. Map to client’s office, check. Traffic on the roads, check – no snags. I settle back, and while I’m at it, check my latest travel awards. I’m thinking about vacation destinations and where those free miles might take me…
So, what’s TripIt Pro? It’s a dream come true for those who frequently travel by air – a mobile app that gathers all documentation in one place: itineraries, hotel and car rental confirmations, everything you normally print out or keep in an e-mail folder or calendar. All you have to do is forward your travel bookings, from any site, to a TripIt Pro e-mail address. TripIt Pro automatically organizes the particulars into a complete at-a-glance itinerary with dates, times, and confirmation numbers. Your itinerary shows each day, with all times listed chronologically: flight departure and arrival, car pickup, hotel check-in. If you want, it will sync with your online calendar. You can even share this info with colleagues and family via e-mail or social media to help them keep track of you.
And it does a lot more, like monitoring all the flights on all the airlines on your itinerary, and sending alerts like cancellations and delays, alternative flights with open seats, and gate changes. It even alerts you when you’re due for a flight refund – not something you’d likely get from the airline!
When you pick up your car, log onto TripIt Pro for directions and maps to your destination, thanks to a built-in GPS, as well as weather updates. (Sunny in Milwaukee!) You can log into TripIt Pro on your smartphone when you’re on the road, even when offline, or view it on a larger screen on your tablet or desktop computer. I’ve used my PC to upload scans of my passport and driver’s license into the app, and keep them on file with other documentation – no worries about losing those at the most inopportune time.
But don’t just take it from me. I caught up with my colleague Mandy Raasch in Florida, where she was on her way from Miami to Marco Island in hopes of finding some sunshine. A self-described “digital nomad,” who travels with her laptop and works from wherever she might be, Mandy had left home in Berlin, Germany two months before we spoke. She’d flown to Spain, where she picked up a cruise to Brazil, then spent some time visiting friends in Buenos Aires and on to Florida.
Try keeping track of her! Actually, you could do that quite well if you were one of her travel companions, who share their arrangements and meetups using TripIt Pro. “I don’t usually have a lot of plans up front,” she said, “just ideas. I decide when I’m in one place where to go next. In Europe, especially, I can be spontaneous, and mostly go where the sun is shining. I rely on TripIt Pro to keep everything organized and especially for the alerts. When traveling together with friends, we use it to set up a trip, change details, and make arrangements that we all share.”
You might not be a nomad like Mandy, but if you do a fair amount of traveling, check out TripIt Pro. It’s available on SAP Store for a free trial. We would love to hear how you like it – and to know more about your TripIt Pro travelogue.
Robin Lawson is a marketing communicator, business writer, and editor based in Massachusetts, USA.