Talking Tech at TripIt's San Francisco HQ (Plus a Little Ping Pong)
If you open up your Foursquare app in San Francisco's Mission district, a slew of tech start-up HQs pop up all around. One of them is a name you may also be familiar with as another app on your phone or iPad: TripIt. Begun in late 2006, TripIt has grown from a simple travel itinerary management tool to something that can easily replace many frequent flyers' thick leather journals, full of appointment notes, airplane seat numbers and jotted loyalty program info.
So, while walking through The Mission on a sunny May day, we stopped in to see what makes TripIt tick. The answer, as we discovered, is actually quite simple: TripIt's overarching desire is to use technology to make life easier, to simplify the "internet travel experience." For users, this comes through immediately. Sign up for a free TripIt account, then forward all your trip confirmation emails to TripIt and a nice itinerary is generated, complete with city maps and pertinent reservation details for everything from flights, hotels and rental cars to Airbnb stays, ferries and Megabus rides.
Personally, ever since upgrading to the $49 annual TripIt Pro (which tracks everything from our flight status to if we're eligible for a refund), the combination of TripIt plus mobile boarding passes means we haven't had to print and keep track of any travel documents for a while. It's a new sort of freedom we didn't think possible for someone traveling as often as we do.
In their own words, TripIt was created by "frustrated travelers who have worked in both travel and technology for a long time [and] know firsthand that using the Internet to make travel plans and organizing the details is difficult and time consuming." Amen. But now that they've pretty much got that on lockdown, what's next?
The almighty iPad, of course. The free app is already available for the iPad, but they're working to make its content more robust, says TripIt's Amy Jackson. That's as much scoop as we could squeeze from Amy, so keep your TripIt app up to date on your iPad and keep watch for new features. They're also planning to bulk up unique content on their blog, including inspiration from their regular users (like you!).
And heyare you looking for a job? TripIt's top dogs stress that they're hiring like gangbusters. Here is their career search page, which is regularly updated with new positions. If you're knowledgeable in technical stuff, enjoy the use of a ping pong room, Nerf guns and Buddha garden, then give it a go.
[Photos: Cynthia Drescher for Jaunted]