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TripIt v. TripIt Pro
TripIt is an established player in the tech travel game by now, proving to be one of the best (if not the best) place to sync up every step along the itinerary from flight to car rental to hotel bookings and then some. But the best part is you can do all of that for free.
TripIt also offers a premium service for $49 per year, and there is a 30-day free trial available as well. TripIt Pro does have some benefits, including real-time flight alerts sent to your phone and email. While I have found these extra features to be helpful, I have a hard time justifying the extra subscription on top of every other $5-$10/month digital subscription out there these days.
But there are ways of getting TripIt Pro for free, or more like as a benefit/reward for other services. The Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard, for example, comes with a TripIt Pro annual subscription for free.
TripIt: Free for standard service: $49 per year for Pro. Accessible via all desktop and mobile browsers. Native apps available for iPhone/iPad, Android, Blackberry, and Windows Phone 7.
This app has been around the block for awhile, garnering attention and praise when released a few years back for its UI inspiration stemming from the departures and arrivals boards at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle International Airport.
But FlightBoard proved it was more than just a novelty when I was making a very close connection a few weeks ago.
Owned by the forces behind Expedia, FlightBoard taps into the departure and arrival data of almost every major airport worldwide in real-time (or as close to it as possible), displaying updated gate information as well as notifications about delays.
Between FlightBoard and onboard wifi, I was able to estimate how quickly I would need to move off the aircraft to my next flight, which I learned was (conveniently) delayed two terminals over.
FlightBoard by Mobiata: $3.99. Available for iPhone/iPad and Android.
A lot of my friends think Foursquare is a bunch of rubbish and routinely chide me for wanting to publish where I am all the time.
But that’s only a small part of the quickly-expanding Foursquare platform — despite the recent oddball development siphoning off the check-in process as a new app dubbed, “Swarm.” (I’m a bit peeved by the feature/app separation strategy demonstrated by Foursquare, Facebook, and others, but that’s a whole other article/rant entirely.)
While I do use Yelp and TripAdvisor for restaurant and hotel reviews from time to time, I’ve found Foursquare’s mobile app and desktop browser user experiences to be the most fluid and time-saving of the bunch.
Foursquare has also proven to be the most sophisticated and seamless way for keeping track of both where I want to go and where I have been through lists I can curate myself or follow others made by established travel and culinary sources such as Travel + Leisure, Zagat, and Eater, among many others.
Foursquare and Swarm: Free. Native apps available for iPhone, Android and Windows Phone. Reviews/lists (but not check-in process) also available via desktop and mobile browsers.