Monday, May 04, 2009

Online Travel Planning

Since a trip to Europe in 1994 I have been planning my trips using the Internet. This has involved a lot of email messages and manual preparation of schedules as web pages. But recently I noticed "TripIt" pop up as a plug in on LinkedIn. One of my colleagues happened to be coming to Canberra and LinkedIn got their schedule out of TripIt and told me about it (on the assumption that as I am in Canberra, this would be of interest). This has a slightly worrying aspect to it, but I am trying it out for my trip to Melbourne. I had laboriously prepared my own custom schedule web pages, but thought I would try TripIt's automatic one.

The service claims you just need to forward your itinerary by email and their system sorts it out. My first attempt using the booking form for the hotel did not work: TripIt could not understand the format. But the second attempt using the form from the travel agent worked. It was able to work out my flights and advise who was nearby in Melbourne.

Apart from the privacy issues with this, performance seems to be a problem. LinkedIn is now reporting "momentary" problems and the TripIT plug-in is not responding (direct access via the TripIt web site seems to be okay).

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