On the previous post, we examined Google Trips performance in the context of the 4 criteria that would make an itinerary app just perfect for me.
Again, this is what I want and need in an itinerary planner:
- Keep all my trip related information (reservations, notes, etc.) in one place
- Be smart enough to use my hotel information and favorite places to build daily itineraries. But also only include attractions that are open on the days/times it adds them to my plans.
- Provide transportation information offline i.e. let me know how to get from the airport to my hotel, from my hotel to places I want to visit as well as from one point of interest to the next, then back to my hotel. Ideally this information can be minimized and expanded as needed, but I should never depend on WiFi or phone service to access it.
- Provide little handy extras like packing checklists, tips, etc.
I had used TripIt about 7 years ago.
Then I stopped using it until last week. Many in the points and miles game swear by the basic and Pro versions. If you are a frequent traveler this app is a bit simpler than Google Trips (GT) and can meet your needs. Let’s see how it meets mine.
The one thing I loved about using this app again was the fact that it triumphed where GT failed me: it was able to seamlessly add ferries and whatever other type
of reservation one sends its way. I forwarded my email confirmation rather than give it direct access to my email like GT has.
In short, when it comes to keeping all your reservations in one place TripIt has me covered 100%.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about itinerary-building, the app falls way too short. This is primarily a reservation/confirmation based app.
The app won’t automatically create an itinerary or suggest top attractions. If you select “add an activity,” you would have to manually enter everything if you can’t email a confirmation. This could work when you have tickets for a museum or event, but not when you want to add sites. The Louvre yes, The Little Mermaid no way. This is my biggest disappointment with TripIt. If the Pro version offered that, I would gladly upgrade. Once you have added the attraction, TripIt does offer suggestions for nearby restaurants, cafes, bars and parking.
When it comes to providing offline directions this app also falls short. Ironically, it offers the ability to search how to get from point A to B, but it won’t save that information for offline use.
My work around is to double check that the recommendations are accurate with Google Maps or Rome2Rio. Then, I take a screenshot and save it as an image on TripIt under the reservation details.
In some instances, I have made the screenshot from Google Maps and added it to TripIt. In terms of extras, TripIt allows the use of notes and even lets you see how safe the area is.
However, it lacks a handy checklist.
While at this point, I prefer TripIt to handle all my reservations, and manage to make it save directions for offline use via photos, my disappointment with its inability to create itineraries made me look for an alternative: Visit a City.