Finding the best trip planner can be a cumbersome ordeal. After using Tripit and App in the Air for years, and testing other alternatives along the way, I can conclude that the best trip planner is the combination of App in the Air and Tripit. Read on to find out how and why.
Being a somewhat frequent traveler, both for business and pleasure, I have tried a lot of apps for travel planning. There is no such thing as the perfect travel app. It comes down to your mode of transportation and accommodation.
If you are a frequent traveler with a limited number of airlines, and you manage to keep to a couple of different hotel chains, you are probably best off with the apps from the airlines and hotels. The big difference is when you have to put together your own itinerary involving airlines, ground transportation, different hotels and things to do along the way.
Why TripIt is the best trip planner for general trips
As with everything else, the difference lies in the details. TripIt is easy to use and has a good interface.
The easiest way to start putting together a new trip in TripIt is to start with emailing your flights or hotel booking to email@example.com. However, you can start building your trips manually with no more than the destination and the dates.
In TripIt, you can add not only transportation and accommodation but also things like restaurants and conferences – with ticket and reservation details.
If you are traveling with other people, you can add them as travelers. All travelers can add items to the itinerary, making it easy to make a complete overview of everyone’s plans and whereabouts.
Tripit has been around since 2006. The company was acquired by the expense management software company Concur. In 2014, Concur was later bought by SAP.
Platform: Android, iOS, Web.
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Why App in the Air is the best trip planner when flying
You can get a lot of the features in App in the Air Premium included in TripIt if you pay for TripIt Pro. The difference is that a lifetime subscription to App in the Air Premium costs about the same as one year of TripIt Pro. Besides saving the money, App in the Air Premium makes flying more fun.
App in the Air lets you track and organize your flights. Explore airports with the help of maps and other useful information. You can see the rating of the different airlines on things like food, flights, service, and staff. The app also gives you an overview of expected time through security and emigration, as well as the remaining time to check-in.
App in the Air also makes flying a bit more fun since you can track your total time and mileage as well as the number of flights and airports. The app also creates a flight map and gives you badges for every new country and a number of other things.
One of the things that make App in the Air so good is the synchronization with TripIt. App in the Air will automatically create a new trip based on the data from TripIt, making the use of the application totally hassle-free.
About App in the Air
App in the Air has been around since 2011. The company is privately owned.
Platform: Android, iOS, Web, Windows.
The downside of doing it cheap
The downside of going for the budget solution of using the free TripIt and the paid App in the Air Premium is that you miss out on seating advice. This is included in TripIt Pro. One free alternative for seating advice is SeatGuru. The downside with SeatGuru is that ever since to company was acquired by TripAdvisor; the quality has been spiraling downward.
My general tips on choosing a good seat
My recommendation is to use the free TripIt and the paid App in the Air Premium and to base your seat selection on the following criteria:
- The general rule is to sit as close to the nose of the plane as possible.
- If you are flying coach, avoid the seats in the front, this is where the bassinets are located.
- If you want to sleep, choose a windows seat.
- Want to recline your seat, avoid the row in front of the exit row or in front of a wall.
- If legroom is your thing, choose an exit row or bulkhead seat.
- If you don’t like noise, stay away from the seats closest to the lavatories and galleys.
- Unless you are a tiny person, stay away from the middle seat.
- If you want to be able to move, choose the aisle.
- If you want to have a smooth ride, sit above or in front of the wings.
- Independent of where you are sitting, smile and say thank you to the crew.
Have a good trip!