I travel quite a bit for work and also take at least a couple of family vacations each year and in the past I have always printed out my itinerary or labeled my vacation plans in Gmail to revisit later. I finally decided to try out an online travel management service when I discovered apps for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone 7. Just last week, the Pro version of TripIt paid for itself for several years thanks to the price monitoring feature that saved me over $317 on a single roundtrip flight.
TripIt is a slick travel organization service, with mobile applications for iOS, Android, Windows Phone 7, and BlackBerry, that is available in Free, Pro, and Business versions. The Free version may be fine for the occasional traveler and provides itinerary support (both automatic and custom) and support for sharing your itinerary with family and friends. They also have a Business account for office admins and others who manage trips for other people. In the past I would email my wife or friends my flight schedule, hotel plans, and more for trips and that was always a bit of a pain for them as the information was all over the place. With TripIt you can share your complete itinerary, which is important in case of an emergency when you need to be reached and may be out of cell coverage.
The TripIt Pro service is available for $49 per year and gives you some vital additional services, including flight fare monitoring and refunds, mobile alerts, VIP privileges to Hertz #1 Club Gold and Regus Gold, alternate flight serach capability, and auto sharing support for your inner circle. The Pro version paid for itself last week when I received a fare alert on my phone. I have never seen this before or even knew that airlines offered things such as price guarantees so I thought it was just some kind of spam deal. I followed the specific instructions presented to me on my phone by TripIt (phone number to call, price to ask for, and confirmation number to refer to) and received a credit of $317.58 to use on a future Alaska Airlines flight. This brought my original cross country airfare from $787.40 down to $469.82. You could go online and monitor flight status daily or weekly to try to monitor this fare change, but for $49 per year you can let TripIt do it for you and gain other advanced services.
I love the way I can simply forward all of my itineraries via email to firstname.lastname@example.org from registered email accounts and have my itineraries automatically created and ready for me when I login to my account. If you have a Gmail email address you can also have TripIt automatically scan your inbox for itineraries to save you even more time and make the process automatic.