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The Road Warrior Advisor's Killer App

Web-based service aggregates everything about your trips so you can conveniently refer to logistics when needed.

Bill Winterberg, 02/28/2013

Continuing on this month's theme of technology for the road warrior advisor (see Tech for the Road Warrior Advisor), another essential service for the advisor on the go not covered in my earlier update is TripIt.

Launched in 2006, TripIt is a Web-based service built to organize and retrieve your travel itineraries of all kinds, including flight, rental car, and hotel information. The company was acquired by Concur, a provider of travel and expense management solutions, for roughly $120 million in 2011.

After signing up for a free TripIt account, simply forward travel itinerary and confirmation information to a TripIt email address, and the service parses all of the details. You can also add custom trip information including notes and addresses of restaurants or specific points of interest you want to visit along the way. Everything about the trips added to your TripIt account is aggregated in one place, so you can conveniently refer to logistics when needed.

TripIt was launched in the era before smartphones and rich mobile device interfaces, but arguably the service's best attribute today is its robust suite of mobile applications. TripIt has nearly all popular devices covered, including apps for iPad and iPhone, Android phone and tablet, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone 7.

TripIt also offers a Pro version of its service that includes notifications of flight refund opportunities and real-time alerts about flight delays, cancellations, and gate changes. TripIt Pro members also receive complimentary one-year memberships to Hertz #1 Club Gold for rental cars and Regus Gold for walk-in access to 1,200 business lounges and cafés worldwide. The annual membership to TripIt Pro is $49, and a 30-day free trial is available.

While I'm not yet an avid user of TripIt for my own travel information, evidently I'm missing out on an opportunity to simplify my own travel life. Take it from Blane Warrene, SVP of customer communications for RegEd, who tweeted just last week (and also referenced Uber, mentioned in this month's column):

"Thank you @TripIt for making travel just a bit easier! Especially having hotel details handy for @uber"

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Bill Winterberg, CFP, is a technology and operations consultant to independent financial advisors. His comments on technology have been featured in a variety of financial industry publications. You can view more information about Bill and see his schedule of upcoming speaking engagements at his Web site, FPPad.com. The author is a freelance contributor to MorningstarAdvisor.com. The views expressed in this article may or may not reflect the views of Morningstar.

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