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Jun 27

Tim O'Reilly

Tim O'Reilly

TripIt Looking for Beta Testers

TripIt, a new travel service started by Hotwire co-founder Gregg Brockway and fellow Hotwire alumnus Scott Hintz, is looking for a few frequent travelers to participate in a closed beta of a new itinerary management service. (Note: O'Reilly AlphaTech Ventures is an investor in TripIt.)

There are lots of online booking and reservations services, but TripIt is marking out a new niche: personal travel organizer. Gregg Brockway describes the service as follows:

Online travel is more than a decade old and travelers use multiple sites to book their trips. TripIt is the next wave in online travel, helping travelers consolidate and organize all their travel no matter where they book.

With TripIt, you simply email us your travel confirmation emails and we do the rest. First, we’ll automatically add the basic information you need to make almost every trip easier, such as maps, weather, directions, destination info and more. Second, we’ll help you share your travel plans with the people who need to know--friends, family & co-workers. Third, with a consolidated view of your plans, we can anticipate user needs and make relevant suggestions. Finally, by integrating with the applications people use most, TripIt will give you access to the right information when and where you need it - online, in print, via mobile, or in your calendar.

Travel is hard enough without having to worry about keeping track of your trip details, let alone your friends’ plans. Like a good personal assistant, TripIt takes care of the details for you.

What I find fascinating about tripit from a trendspotting point of view is the idea of an email-enabled personal assistant. Rael Dornfest's Stikkit (in which I am personally an investor and board member) is exploring this same frontier (though not for travel), especially with its Sandy project. I'm seeing a lot of folks trying to figure out how to parse the information flow that's coming at us, and use email, SMS, and RSS as transports not to other people but to intelligent agents designed to make use of the semi-structured information that is flowing along those pipes. In a way, you can think of these as communications mashup platforms, combining data from our communication streams rather than from database-backed websites. They monitor, convert, and return data to the user in a more useful form.

There's a kind of magic to forwarding on a travel confirmation from an airline or a hotel reservation and having them aggregated into an itinerary, along with automagically-added maps of the destination, local weather, and other useful information. I'll often put together a packet like this for a trip I'm taking, but that's a manual process.

Gregg continued:

We have 100 invites to the TripIt closed beta for Radar readers. Frequent travelers who book online are much preferred. We’ve set up a registration site at for people to sign up. If we get more than 100, we will add them when we expand the program. (People can also sign up for updates at the splash page.)

If you're a heavy traveler who puts together complex itineraries, you're the kind of person we're looking for. ( Joi Ito and Esther Dyson, are you listening? )

tags:   | comments: 9   | Sphere It


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Dave said:

There is a HUGE niche available with this app. My nextdoor neighbour's daughter is leaving for Europe next week. The ability for her family and friends to know where she's supposed to be on her Euro adventure would be a valuable selling point. Sure its not the target market but I'm sure the, all paid for Euro backpackers, would be a nice demographic to crack.

Gerv said:

So is TripIt in competition with Dopplr?

Eric Meyer said:

"So is TripIt in competition with Dopplr?"

That was what I wondered too. I actually signed up for TripIt specifically to be able to compare the two.

John Pope said:

Hey Dave and Tim - Check out Our application enables you to create a trip and "meta itinerary", invite people to view it, join the trip, discuss options, collaborate on decisions, etc. We have an event schedule that specifically would have allowed your next door neighbor's daughter to publish her daily schedule and share it with her parents. With her permission, they can "view" her itinerary and even see all her accommodations and planned activities on a single map mash-up. I like what TripIt has done in terms of making it easy to ingest itineraries. It's a compelling feature. (Disclaimer - I am VP Marketing for TripHub)

Tim O'Reilly said:

No, TripIt isn't competition for dopplr. They provide complementary services. I introduced Gregg and Matt, and hopefully they can find ways to work together.

I’m pleased to report we’ve had a phenomenal response to this blog post, so thanks everyone. We’re adding people to the beta in groups. For anyone who wasn’t in our first hundred, we really appreciate the interest. We will add more people at a later date, so feel free to continue to sign up.

Dave, thanks for the vote of confidence! We have a lot of work to do, but we should be able to solve your neighbor’s “where is my daughter” problem and more shortly.

Finally, for anyone interested in following our progress, we’ve started a blog at

Thanks Tim, Mark, Bryce and the O’Reilly organization for the support!

Gregg Brockway (TripIt president & co-founder)

For those who might want to plan their itinerary themselves and share it with friends, family or the entire web - even get suggestions on places to go and things to do - check out All you need to do is register (it is free) and you can start building your dream vacation.

There seems to be quite a lot going on the 'travel 2.0' field, which is good, since travel planning and organizing your itinerary has been a time consuming task up to these days.

I'll shortly introduce our answer to this problem. Our focus is primarily on the planning part. You can rate places you have been and based on that info (among other explicit stuff that you do) we can offer you recommendations on where to go and what to do there. We aim to ease the information overload and give you the relevant information you need on the places that are highly rated by people like you. We have crawled the web for hundreds of thousands of pieces of information about cities, sights, hotels etc. categorized and combined them to a simple entry, which you see on a map and which you can click to get more info.

Currently we are in private beta, but you can check us out and ask an invite at

amita said:

Check out this is probably the most impressive site that I have seen so far for social trip planning. I'm glad that all these startups are popping up this is a real problem and for a long time the more established sites were focused on booking, booking an more booking.

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