Tools for Tech-Savvy Travelers

Article by:
Eric Keiles EO Philadelphia
Mark Shipley
EO Albany

Mark is president of Wanderlust, a company that provides marketing expertise to destinations, resorts and tourism attractions. You can read his blog at or e-mail him at [email protected].

In 2009, the average traveler completed nine different Web search sessions and visited more than 20 Web sites before they booked a flight. I don’t know about you, but my time is far more valuable than spending hours trolling the Internet for information. Thankfully, there are some useful applications and Web sites out there that can make do-it-yourself travel planning easier. Here are the top five programs I use to ensure my travel is as productive as possible:

  • Tripware Outlook: This is a travel planning plug-in for your Microsoft Outlook calendar that promises to reduce the online booking process down to three minutes. Simply open an Outlook calendar appointment, enter a subject, location and time and then click the “Book Trip” icon. Tripware automatically places your itinerary into your Outlook calendar, syncs with your smart phone and sends you real-time travel alerts. You can change flights and hotel reservations by dragging and dropping the trip in your calendar, or cancel your reservations altogether by deleting the meeting. You can also save your travel preferences, habits, preferred vendors, membership numbers, credit cards and expense reports by simply clicking the widget. Find this plug-in at

  • TripIt with FlightTrack: These are my two favorite travel technologies. They’re incredibly simple programs that provide great functionality. To start, just set up an account on TripIt and e-mail your confirmations and itineraries to [email protected]. Your travel information is stored and updated on their servers, and can be shared with other travelers on LinkedIn or Facebook. FlightTrack Pro for the iPhone monitors your trip and sends you near-immediate information about flight delays, gate changes and even plane speed, altitude and Flightview maps. I’ve received flight connection cancelation alerts right after landing and was able to re-book before arriving at the gate. Find TripIt at and FlightTrack at

  • Goby: When I travel for business, my needs are pretty straightforward: Find the best route, room and price. When I travel for pleasure, I’m looking for an experience. Goby is a new kind of online search engine that helps travelers explore where to go—from big vacations to Forum retreats—by starting with the bigger question: What kind of experience do you want to have? You can begin with “beach vacation with my family” or “ghost towns in Utah, USA.” Instead of starting with flight and hotel choices, Goby delivers destination information and allows you to narrow your search based on what you like and don’t like. As you narrow your search, Goby delivers deals that match your search choices. Find this program at

  • Gliider: Gliider is a Mozilla Firefox plug-in that helps you gather travel information from any Web site and share that information with up to four people. You can collect whatever content you find that helps you envision and plan your trip, including Web sites, pictures, video, reviews, links and more. You can then share this information with the trip’s decision makers and collectively weigh the pros and cons of each variable. Even better, you can gather travel advice from your social network, get travel deals specific to your trip plan and create a complete PDF of your travel documents. Find this plug-in at

  • EveryTrail: One of the coolest new technologies out there is an iPhone GPS application and its companion Web site called “EveryTrail.” Savvy travelers can use this program to create a trip, take pictures along the way and save the pictured itinerary. If you’re planning to travel somewhere specific, you can search the EveryTrail community for helpful content, as well as see maps of trips others have taken and the photos they took throughout their journey. You can also share your saved trips on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and Blogger. Find this program at

  • These are just a few of the programs I use to organize, research and plan for my trips. Thanks to these savvy applications, I’ve been able to save on time, money and stress, which makes my trips far more enjoyable and productive.

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