Goodbye TripIt. It took some time for me to delete this service. This was the first services I signed up for that made me think my iPhone was awesome. All your travel details in one place along with check-in times, weather, and other things you may need like car rentals, food, and more. The best part was that it was all automated. I gave them authorization to scan my email for trips and then they would automatically populate my trip list. The service was great but I found a better one* – Evernote (collective gasp noted).
I used Evernote to plan our recent trip to Cincinnati and was really pleased at how well it worked. It wasn’t automated like TripIt but that was good because I considered our options ahead of time to make a list of the best choices. How to do it then?
For traveling via car – air travel I add the flight number, departure time, parking information and so – I always include the hotel name, phone number, and address at the top of the note, that way I can call or get a map with one tap. I also include the room rate so it’s fresh in my mind and the confirmation number. All of this takes 10 seconds of copy paste from the confirmation booking screen to the Evernote note.
Below lodging I have a list of attractions. This is structured the same way, name, address, phone number and any confirmation numbers or details. During our Cincinnati trip we pre-purchased King’s Island tickets and had that confirmation number listed but our trips to the Newport Aquarium and museum didn’t have any. For each of these places I also listed their hours and ticket prices. The hours of operation were very helpful on that trip because we finished walking through the aquarium around 2PM and weren’t sure what our next stop would be – another attraction or the hotel – but I pulled up the note which listed the museum closing time as 5PM and after tapping the address link we saw it was only fifteen minutes away. Done and done.
Food. Sometimes I include this but for our Cincinnati trip I didn’t and should have. We had fast food the entire trip and while that was good for the budget it wasn’t good for the belly. This lack of planning on my part is a good example of why doing this ahead of time and not automating it makes sense. I had the Yelp app open on my phone and was scrolling through the listings but was making about as much progress as one does at the Cheesecake Factory while looking through their menu. Too much information. Instead I should have found two safe choices near the hotel and those would have been our family’s options.
Finally I include the packing list. This section is pre-trip only and I delete it before we actually leave but it’s handy to have a list of things that need packed like phone chargers, bathing suits, golf clubs, sunscreen. I start creating this list by thinking of any unique things we need on this trip that we don’t typically pack.
I think TripIt still is a great app but I don’t travel often enough to enjoy its best features. I also need the time to plan and choose what to do rather than wait and using the location based features.
Here is the note template that I use, nothing fancy but a basic structure for you to use on your next adventure.
*A better one for me at least. I was poking around the TripIt site before deleting my account and it did look like there were some features that might have been useful to me but I never got into using it and didn’t want another account when I had one that did the same trick.