I’d heard (first from Joel Spolsky, I believe) about a cool new travel planning site called Tripit. I’m making arrangements for a trip to St. Louis later this month, and so I thought this would be a good opportunity to try it out. To say the least, I’m impressed.
The first thing that I noticed was the registration process: there isn’t one. All you have to do is take any travel-related email (hotel confirmation, airline itinerary, etc) and forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org. If the email account you sent it from isn’t already registered with Tripit, they create an account for you and send you your registration details. Most sites would have you create an account first, filling out a lengthy form before you could use it. Tripit’s strategy on this is brilliant as it removes all barriers to entry to their service, making it completely painless.
Tripit then takes that email and creates an itinerary. I emailed it a hotel confirmation, and it was able to extract out the hotel name, arrival and departure dates, the city I was staying in and more. It builds a nice itinerary out of this data, and adds some useful information to it like weather and maps.
Tripit also allows you to collaborate, sharing your trip information with others in your party. There’s also a social networking component. If you add contacts who also use Tripit, you can see who else might be close to you on an upcoming trip. I don’t really travel enough to probably get much use out of that, but I can certainly imagine that it will be useful to a lot of people.
One other nice feature is that it can publish your itinerary in iCalendar format, for consumption by Google Calendar, Outlook 2007, or Apple’s ICal. It also appears to have good support for mobile devices, though I haven’t had a chance to try that out. One other nerdy item to note is that they’ve marked up many of their pages with Microformats.
All in all, Tripit is an impressive service so far. I would definitely recommend giving it a try - it’s as easy as it gets.