Over the past few months, we’ve heard from many of our users who not only miss traveling, they miss planning travel.
According to a Cornell University study, the anticipation of a trip can increase your happiness substantially, even more than the anticipation of acquiring something tangible, like a new car. And while we don’t know when travel restrictions will be lifted, we do know that we want to feel prepared to get back on the road when the time comes—and that using TripIt helps spark some joy along the way.
What you can do now:
- Offset past flights. TripIt’s Carbon Footprint feature makes it easy to see, track, and offset your carbon footprint. Non-profit organizations like the Gold Standard vet and recommend high-quality carbon offset projects you can donate to. Check out their current projects here—or sign up for Jet-Set Offset, which will automatically offset flights for you. Learn more here.
- Save itineraries to help you plan. Rather than deleting trips you were unable to take, keep them in your TripIt itinerary to help you remember the locations you had planned visiting, the restaurants you’d still like to experience and the activities you want to check off your list.
- Monitor price drops on future planned travel. Many airlines have minimized change and cancellation penalties in the event that travel restrictions change. If you’ve booked future travels, TripIt’s Fare Tracker, available with a TripIt Pro subscription, will alert you if you’re eligible for a refund or credit if your airfare drops after you book.
- Track loyalty programs. Since most travelers juggle more than one loyalty account (each with its own username), TripIt offers an easy way to stay aware of your award programs, displaying balances, history, expiration dates, and status level. For programs that have modified their balance expiration policies, any revised expiration dates are reflected in TripIt, as well.
- Organize in case of an emergency. Make sure you have your emergency contacts and all your important documents, including passport, visa, drivers license, plus details on your travel expediting services like your known traveler number, TSA precheck, CLEAR, or global entry info.
- Be prepared. You’ve got the time now, so if you’re planning an international trip make sure you’re up to speed on everything you might need upon arrival. TripIt Pro’s International Travel Tools provide country-specific information, including vaccinations, embassy info, visa requirements, emergency phone numbers, and more.
- Know the Safety Score of your frequented destinations. Search past trips in TripIt for locations that you frequent to stay on top of Health & Medical in Neighborhood Safety Scores (COVID-19 is included in the scoring).
Getting prepared based on the “knowns” is just one side of the travel coin, however. Equally important is preparing for the unknowns—something we’re currently focusing on at TripIt. We’re asking ourselves what needs business travelers, leisure travelers, and families might have, and how they might be different. What about accessibility? International travelers? How can we innovate solutions or provide travelers with the information they need to make the best decisions for them? Boarding, security, sanitation, documentation—these issues are front and center for our team. In the meantime, TripIt already offers several features to help mitigate the unknowns.
When you travel again:
- Security checks may take longer and require more steps. Aviation marketing consultancy SimpliFlying recently predicted challenges that may arise for both travelers — like needing to arrive four or more hours ahead of a flight to go through the necessary checks — and airlines, “Enhanced cleaning regimes could spell the end of the 30-minute turnaround, upon which many low-cost carriers base much of their business model.” TripIt Pro includes security wait times at select airports to help you plan and prepare for the changes these new policies will have on security lines.
- As more flights become available, there may be frequent gate and timing changes. TripIt Pro keeps you up-to-date with alerts for flight and gate changes.
- Share your travel plans with family or friends so they always know where you are. Just click the share icon on your itinerary to share your travel plans via text or email. No more copying and pasting the details about when you’re arriving or where you’re staying. You can also select individual (or multiple) trip plans within a TripIt itinerary and send them via text, Slack, WhatsApp, or your favorite messaging app.
Travel will return, and when it does, the TripIt team is making sure you have what you need to be prepared to do so. Until then, a little future travel planning might help fill the void in your calendar—and some fun Zoom backgrounds might bring some joy.