The Online Travel Problem

“Innovation stems from irritation.” –- Tom Peters

It’s hard to believe that it has been more than ten years since the first ticket was sold online. Now travel is now the largest e-commerce category on the Internet. There are hundreds of travel sites and services and yet–somehow–it’s still difficult to plan and organize all the details for a great trip by yourself.

As one of the founders of Hotwire, along with a group of travel expert colleagues, we knew self-service travel should be easier to book and organize than it is today. So, we started TripIt, a new company dedicated to helping people plan and organize their online travel arrangements.

If you’re like the majority of do-it-yourself online travelers, you book air, car and hotel from multiple websites–and have a jumble of emails and information coming at you from many different online sources. Additional travel information like maps, directions, weather and reservations for restaurants and activities just add to your organizational challenge.

When all is said and done, even the most organized traveler heads out the door with a folder of confirmation emails to manage. When changes are made, the problems get worse. One little change can affect all other components of your trip–which you must try to manage on your own.

What’s missing from the online travel experience is an easy way for people like you and I to collect all the information related to their trip in one place. The logistics of travel are complex enough today without having to worry about where all your information is at the last minute. In the “old days,” travel agents took care of the details. Today, that travel agent is you and I.

So, here’s what we think do-it-yourself online travelers should be able to do in order to improve the online trip planning experience:

 Shop  and buy on any website you please
 Keep all of your trip information easily accessible in one place
 Effortlessly add new or interesting information to your trip itinerary
 Automatically access the wealth of online travel resources without having to re-enter your trip details every time
 Share trip details and collaborate with friends, family and co-workers to plan and enjoy great trips

We hope that TripIt will help make this all a reality and “maddening” online travel planning a thing of the past!

In coming blogs, I’ll keep you posted on our closed Beta testing this Summer and about the exciting new services that we’re launching this Fall. We’re also looking to hear what other parts of online travel frustrate you, so we can work on those next!

Gregg Brockway
co-founder, TripIt