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Another useful travel tool: TripIt

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Starting on Wednesday we're in Hong Kong, a city that both of us have visited and another expensive destination. We're only there for a week, and we intend to spend a lot of time catching up on the blog and other items on the to-do list.

In the meantime, here's an word in favor of a handy travel app useful to anyone who takes a lot of trips: TripIt. The core concept is easy. Every time you book a hotel, flight, or other travel plan, forward the confirmation email to TripIt, and the application automatically compiles it into an itinerary. [1] Your flight times, record locator number, hotel address and phone, and other information are (mostly) automatically at your fingertips. If you don't get an email, you can add information the old-fashioned way: by hand.

While this system isn't foolproof -- we've had a few hotel reservations missing the hotel name -- it takes very little effort to correct any errors, and I've been surprised at how few there are to begin with. All in all, it's the easiest way to get all our plans in one place on the web. Typical of such systems, there are mobile apps that synchronize with your mobile for offline access.

There are many other bells and whistles (e.g., the ability to share trips with friends, keep track of frequent flier miles, and a map showing your travels) but TripIt's ability to keep track of our schedule with a minimum of fuss is what has turned it into an indispensible tool in our kit.

[1] You can even give TripIt access to your Gmail so that it scans for travel plans automatically. That said, I'm not comfortable giving anyone that much access to my email.  

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