How I used Tripit during our Italian Vacation

According to their website, Tripit allows travellers to keep all their travel plans in one location to build an itinerary, get organised and stayed informed. Sounds great, I wanted to reduce the paperwork I needed to carry on our trip to Italy and Tripit offered an easy solution.

I signed up a free account with my Google account and and opened a new trip for our Italian vacation. Then I forwarded our flight details to Tripit, and they were automatically translated into our itinerary. Checking the translation revealed no errors, so I continued forwarding our confirmation emails for tours, accommodation and travel bookings to Tripit. Despite a growing list of supported sites, Tripit could not process every email but they quickly advised me when this occurred and I could enter the information manually. (See an example itinerary here.)

I downloaded the Tripit iPod/iPhone App to access my data on the road, and looked forward to not carrying a load of paper on this trip. I updated the application a few days before the trip without updating the itinerary, and put my iPod Touch into my bag.

Luckily I decided to check everything again before we left, and found I could not access our itinerary on the application. At first I thought the Tripit application needed to have an Internet connection for me to see the itinerary and this would have been a disaster for my plan. I established a wifi connection, retrieved the itinerary, and prepared to test the application.

When you open the Tripit application, it attempts to update your itinerary but if you do not have an Internet connection you can simply cancel the operation and your previously downloaded data is available. Confident I had the right tool we headed off to Italy.

Jet lagged but ecstatic to be back in Rome, we headed to our hotel. I used Tripit to show our taxi driver the correct address and he dropped us right outside the door 15 minutes latter. We headed up the stairs to reception and immediately we faced a problem, the owner to see our confirmation email but as I dragged out the iPod she waved me away saying that she needed to see a paper copy. Bugger!

I explained we did not have a paper copy, and after a little fussing she checked us in using our passports to check against her reservations. Was this a flaw in my plan?

We took a risk and moved to our next stop without a printed confirmation, and checked in without a problem. In fact, no other hotel asked for anything other than our credit card and passports, the latter required by law in Italy.

Tripit is a great tool and while it is usable without an Internet connection, you can only access all its potential when it can access the Web but for my money it is the best itinerary tool available.