You can convert all those e-mails into one itinerary with flights, hotels, maps, activities and more.
Tired of printing confirmation e-mails for every flight, hotel, car and restaurant table you reserve? Or typing the contents of all those e-mails into your calendar?
Time for a travel organization app. There are several, and they can swiftly transform your e-mails into a single, easily shareable itinerary with confirmation numbers, addresses, maps and detailed notes. Which is best? That depends on who you are. All of the apps can help make itinerary creation a breeze, but each is distinguished by different features, be it flight alerts, currency converters, airport spa locaters or customizable lists like “Wines I drank along the way.”
I tested some of the best-known apps — those most likely to appear in app stores and Web searches — and divided them into four categories to help you find a perfect match. I’ll share my personal picks at the end.
For the app-averse
The simplest way to combine your various travel e-mails into an itinerary is with TripIt (free), which has a clean, easy-to-read interface. Register for the service and from then on, whenever you receive a confirmation e-mail — from an airline, hotel, car rental company or booking service like OpenTable, StubHub and Fandango — TripIt will automatically import your plans from your inbox, creating an itinerary with details like confirmation numbers, flight gates and hotel addresses.
If you don’t want to automatically import your plans, just forward your confirmation e-mails to planstripit.com instead. Either way, you can view your itinerary on your smartphone or tablet (through the app and on your calendar if you enable “calendar sync”) and on the Web (so if you still want to print it, you can). And you can share your itinerary with friends, relatives and social media followers. Relish quantification? You’ll enjoy visiting the website and seeing how many miles you’ve traveled.
Those who pay $49 a year can upgrade to TripIt Pro, which includes alerts for things like flight delays, gate changes and better seats when they become available. Pro users can also monitor their frequent flier accounts. If you’ve been using TripIt, you know that some airlines have been unavailable, but you can now track your American, Delta, Southwest and United miles, too.
For the Itinerary-Obsessed
Like TripIt, TripCase (free) allows you to forward your e-mail reservations to an address (tripstripcase.com) and generate an itinerary. One can also be created manually by filling out tabs like flight, lodging and restaurant (though that could take longer than printing confirmation e-mails). You can sign up for TripCase on its website or app with either your Facebook account or e-mail address. I did the latter and received an e-mail with a “verify” button that I had to click in order to join. This wasn’t a smooth process; it took a few tries before I was successful.
That said, the TripCase app does have some nice features, like the ability to look at your itinerary in “timeline view” as well as “action view,” which includes a fun heading that shows when you’re going. For instance, I have a coming trip to France, so mine said, “trip starts in 2 months.” There are good maps and, for any hotels on your itinerary, a graphic shaped like a Do Not Disturb sign reminds you of the checkout time.
Like TripIt and TripCase, WorldMate (free; a “gold” version is $3.99) can be used on the Web and on your mobile device. And it automatically creates an itinerary when you forward your booking confirmations to a designated e-mail (tripsworldmate.com). Designed for business travelers, the bells and whistles here include a currency converter, a tip calculator and the ability to share your trip with your LinkedIn connections. WorldMate allows users to search for hotel, flight or car reservations using travel sites like Kayak and Expedia, too, though this is easier done on WorldMate.com than on the app.
For The List-Maker With A Creative Streak
Technically, Awesome Note is a productivity app, not a travel app. Your travel e-mails are not automatically imported. I included the app ($3.99 for iPhones) because it will appeal to travelers who enjoy taking notes and making to-do lists and who want a visually engaging way to categorize and share them.
Even better: You can do this on your smartphone, tablet or laptop because Awesome Note syncs with Google Drive and Evernote, so all your notes (one might be an itinerary; another might be a packing list) can be synchronized across devices. And there are various ways to share a note with loved ones, be it through Google Drive, printing it or sending it as an e-mail, even a text, from within the app.