**As published at digiday:DAILY** Publisher: TripIt, Inc. Price: Free Platform: BlackBerry OS, iPhone and Android Advertising: None Functionality: B+ Fun Factor: B Overall: B+ I travel frequently for business, so finding the right digital tools for keeping track of all my itineraries has become a necessity. But it’s been a bit of an ongoing journey, simply because there are almost too many options. The one solution that has grabbed the bulk of my travel interest – at least since the beginning of the year – is TripIt. Like any good app these days, TripIt has all the makings of Web 2.0: Users can connect with other users, share details about upcoming trips and then expand that reach to various social media outlets. Personally, I’m not interested in sharing my travel plans (work or personal) with much of anyone, but for those that are, this is a must-have feature.
Another fabulous aspect of TripIt is its ubiquity: The platform offers a full-featured online experience, as well as mobile options on all the most popular operating systems and smartphone choices available today. I have the mobile app installed on a BlackBerry, iPod Touch and Android device, and the company sticks to a simple menu layout on each, which makes for a comfortable transition between devices. Beyond the obvious benefit that comes from having all your travel plans in one spot, I mostly use the feature that checks flight statuses. With a quick click, the app will pull up the latest flight information relevant to your trip, with the latest information from the airport and/or airline involved. No one likes to show up to the airport any earlier than they absolutely must and this simple feature helps decrease those wasted pockets of time. Adding itineraries to TripIt is pretty straightforward. The company has a generic e-mail address (email@example.com) that users can forward travel plans to, but you can also manually input info for hotels, flights and more. The e-mail option is the simplest, but there have been instances when TripIt didn’t recognize the details of my itinerary, and I resorted to manually entering the information on my own. In my experience, these errors occurred either because my trip involved a boutique hotel company, for example, or the formatting of the airline’s original e-mail got jumbled in the process. The standout marketing component for this app lies in the direct links TripIt provides users to relevant airlines, airports, hotels and other businesses related to their travel plans. It is great having access to all of those disparate Web sites in a single spot and it’s a positive side effect for all of the involved travel outlets. There is a pro version of TripIt that costs $79 a year, but I can’t justify that cost considering all the base features that are included with the free version. And besides, competitors like Pageonce offer almost all of the “pro” features in TripIt for free. For that reason alone, I’ll continue to use a variety of resources, but that’s becoming half the fun with all things app these days.