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The Secret for Making Travel Planning a Breeze

(ARA) – The holiday season is upon us and you’re probably traveling somewhere to see family and friends. While some Americans still turn to travel agents to do trip planning, most are now doing it themselves online. According to a new report from the travel industry research group, PhoCusWright Inc, more than half of all U.S. travel will be booked online this year.

The Internet puts a wealth of travel information at your fingertips, but once you have all the information in hand, it can be a real challenge to stay organized. Well, now you can throw away that bulky manila folder filled with print-outs of all your flight, hotel, rental car, maps, directions, weather, and travel notes. There’s a free online service available from TripIt (www.tripit.com) that automatically organizes all your travel information into one master travel itinerary that you can share with the people who need to know — no matter where you’ve booked the different parts of your trip.

Based in San Francisco and founded in October 2006, TripIt’s mission is to simplify the online travel experience. By automatically creating master itineraries with all your critical trip information, this unique online service helps do-it-yourself travelers organize their travel plans so that their trips go more smoothly. Better yet, TripIt enables friends, family and co-travelers to share travel details and work together to plan new trips.

‘We came up with the idea for TripIt because we were frustrated do-it-yourself travelers ourselves and know firsthand that using the Internet to make travel plans and organize the details is time consuming and difficult,’ says Gregg Brockway, TripIt’s president and co-founder. ‘TripIt can do a lot of the ‘dirty work’ of organizing travel. Our goal is for TripIt to be like a great personal assistant and take care of all the details so that travelers don’t have to.’

Here’s how TripIt works: A traveler simply forwards their travel confirmation e-mails — TripIt will work with most any travel service — and the TripIt ‘Itinerator’ instantly incorporates them into their master itinerary. Then, TripIt puts that information to work on the traveler’s behalf by automatically anticipating basic needs to make the trip easier, such as adding daily weather reports, local maps and directions, helpful destination information and more by using information pulled from a variety of other popular websites. Travelers can then print out all their bookings neatly in a single document to take on their trip. The information is always available online, safe and secure.

Once the itinerary is created, TripIt helps solve the coordination and communication challenges of keeping in touch with the people who need to know about it. ‘With TripIt, it’s really simple to share travel plans and collaborate on new trips with friends, family and colleagues,’ says Brockway.

To set up a free account with TripIt, visit www.tripit.com or just email any of your travel confirmation emails to plans@tripit.com and a master itinerary will be waiting for you to make your holiday travel just a little easier this year.

Courtesy of ARA content