Saturday, April 24, 2010

Keeping all my travel plans together

When it comes to going on vacation or even a business trip one of the hardest things for me is keeping all my confirmation numbers, contact info, and other paperwork together and at the ready.  Most people just print out all their email confirmations and have to shuffle thru them when the time comes to find the right one.  It can be a pain when trying to find the email from the rental car company and having to flip thru all the airline, hotel and whatever other emails to find it as the last piece of paper in the pile or worse not finding it.  Some people have gotten more organized.  They create one sheet with all the info they need either by hand writing out all the info or typing it up neatly in some program and printing it out which alleviates a lot of stress in the long run.  However, now there are companies that try to do all the work for you, and whats better yet is they are free, or at least have free options.  The one that I started using, works as an application on my cell phone.  I forward all my email confirmations to a specific address from the one that I used to set up my account, and the software on their end does the rest.  These programs are set up to recognize the email format of all the major companies (air, car, hotel, online travel agent etc...) and formats the info accordingly.  My upcoming trip that I set up by sending 4 different emails is now neat and clean on my phone.  The reason for 4 emails was, the car, hotel, and flights were all purchased separately.  Opening the application on my phone and refreshing it, I now have a trip all planed.  The software even automatically added directions from the rental car agency to my hotel and link to a map of the area around my hotel.  Opening each item on the list gives confirmation numbers, all contact information and even what I paid.  Flight even has an option for check flight status.  Oh how I could have used that a few months ago.  In all, this looks like its going to make my weekend travel as paperless as possible and relieve a little stress.

There are a few companies that offer what I am talking about.  You just need to find the one that works for you.  To find them just search for trip planner.  Keep in mind that some charge and others don't.  Know what you want it to do for you.  So far I am happy with what I have found and look forward to using it for all my future trips.

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