Four tips to make the most of TripIt

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I’m a huge, huge, huge fan of TripIt, the travel tool that keeps your reservations and itineraries straight. It’s not an exaggeration to say that I don’t think I could function without it now that I’m on the road to 60+ engagements a year all over the country. But even if I was just an occasional traveler, TripIt would be incredibly valuable.

I’m gushing, aren’t I? Ok, I’ll stop.

Here are a handful of tips I’ve learned about making the most of TripIt.

  1. Let TripIt set itself up for you.
    To get started using TripIt, just forward any email reservation to plans@tripit.com. As soon as they get your email, they set up an account for you and invite you to fill in the details. If you have multiple email accounts that get reservations (such as a personal email for trips home for the holidays and a work email for your conferences), it’s easy to merge multiple accounts so all your forwards go into the same dashboard.
  2. Use TripIt to manage your meetings and commitments.
    When I’m headed to an event, I need to know when I’m on stage, what room it’s in and more. TripIt lets you add meetings, appointments, notes and events to any trip. Now when I look at a trip to an event, I see the travel, lodging and appointments inside the same trip.
  3. Rename and merge trips to make them easier to read.
    TripIt names each reservation with the dates and city by default. When I’m looking at my inineraries, it’s easier if I’ve renamed them by event, such as ASAE, Women’s Conference, etc. And when a trip has multiple legs, TripIt will make a new trip for each leg. It’s easy to click a box and merge them into one trip.
  4. Upgrade to Pro to save money and hassle.
    For several years, I used the free version of TripIt and found it to be more than adequate. I upgraded a few months ago ($49/year), and it has already paid for itself. TripIt Pro monitors fares and sends an alert if you could save money. A couple of months ago, they sent me a note that a fare had dropped $114, along with the airline contact number so I could call and ask for a refund. I called. They refunded. I saved more than twice what TripIt costs me in a year. Nice.I’ve also found TripIt Pro’s alternative flights feature very handy. I’ve been stuck in a customer service line at an airport trying to get rebooked, and TripIt Pro gave me the information I needed at a glance to simply call and rebook on another flight without having to stay in the line. They also send me updates on delays, gate changes, checkin opportunities and more.

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