What is the difference between Google trips and TripIt?
Traveling can be both exhilarating and stressful, with numerous details to keep track of and organize. This is where travel planning apps like Google Trips and TripIt come into play. Both services aim to simplify the travel process, but they differ in various aspects including features, usability, and integration with other services. In this article, we will delve into the key differences between Google Trips and TripIt to help travelers choose the app that best suits their needs.
Introduction to Google Trips and TripIt
Google Trips was a trip planner app developed by Google. It served as a trip planner and travel guide for anyone who is exploring a new place. The app organized your essential information in one place and made it available offline, providing your travel reservations from Gmail, and giving recommendations for things to do, places to see, and where to eat.
TripIt is a travel organization app by Concur Technologies, a company that specializes in business travel and expense management. Unlike Google Trips, TripIt is not solely a product of a search engine giant. It specializes in travel itinerary aggregation. Users forward their travel confirmation emails to TripIt, which then creates a master itinerary for every trip, making all the details available in one place, with the option to access them offline.
TripIt shines in itinerary management. It allows users to forward confirmation emails for flights, hotels, rental cars, event tickets, and more, to a designated email address. TripIt then automatically imports this data into a consolidated itinerary. Users can also manually add plans, edit details, and include additional activities.
Google Trips, before it was discontinued, automatically gathered travel details from Gmail and organized them into individual trips. This automation meant less work for the user, but it also meant less flexibility in terms of managing and organizing different components of the trip manually.
Ease of Use
Google Trips had an easy-to-use interface that integrated well with other Google services, providing a seamless experience for users who were already using Google platforms.
TripIt, on the other hand, requires a bit more effort upfront, as users need to forward their confirmation emails or manually input their trip details. However, the app is user-friendly and after the initial setup, it provides a detailed and easily navigable itinerary.
Access to Information
Both apps offered offline access to your travel information, which is crucial when traveling in areas with limited internet connectivity.
Google Trips provided extensive information on attractions, places to eat, and local tips pulled from Google’s vast database, which was incredibly valuable for travelers looking to explore their destination.
TripIt offers detailed travel plans and even real-time alerts for flight changes. However, it does not have the same in-depth guidebook features that Google Trips had.
TripIt has a few tricks up its sleeve that Google Trips lacked. For instance, TripIt Pro, a premium version of the app, provides additional services such as real-time flight alerts, seat tracking, alternative flight suggestions, frequent flyer point tracking, and more.
Google Trips emphasized integration with Google Maps and provided personalized recommendations based on a user’s history and preferences within the Google ecosystem. It was more focused on being a comprehensive travel guide, but without the advanced trip monitoring features of TripIt Pro.
Google Trips benefited from being part of the Google ecosystem, offering deep integration with Google services such as Gmail, Calendar, and Maps. This meant that it could seamlessly pull information and suggest personalized activities based on the user’s preferences and past behavior.
TripIt integrates well with calendar apps and also allows users to share itineraries with others, which is especially useful for group travel or for keeping family and friends informed of one’s travel plans.
Why Google Trips is No Longer Available
In August 2019, Google announced that it would discontinue Google Trips. The functionality of Google Trips was not entirely lost, however, as Google integrated many of the features of Google Trips into Google Maps and the Google Travel website. Users can still access trip reservations and recommendations directly through these services, which is especially useful given the popularity and widespread use of Google Maps.
The Advantages of TripIt
Despite Google Trips being discontinued, it’s important to recognize the lasting popularity and utility of TripIt. TripIt continues to evolve and provide extensive travel planning services. The app’s ability to centralize travel plans, track points, and offer real-time updates is invaluable for frequent travelers. Additionally, TripIt Pro offers features for a fee that can save travelers money and time with features like fare tracking and the aforementioned flight alerts.
Making the Choice
When Google Trips was in operation, the choice between it and TripIt would largely depend on the kind of traveler and the features they valued most. Google Trips was ideal for the casual traveler who wanted a simple, integrated way to manage travel details and explore a destination without the need for extensive itinerary planning. TripIt, conversely, catered more towards the power user who valued comprehensive itinerary management and was willing to invest a bit more time in setting up and customizing their travel plans.
Now that Google Trips is no longer available, users looking for a robust itinerary management tool would naturally gravitate towards TripIt. However, for travelers who were fond of the Google ecosystem, they can still find value in using Google Maps and Google Travel to assist with trip planning and organization.
While Google Trips and TripIt were built with the same goal of easing the stress of travel planning, they approached the task differently. Google Trips was more automated and integrated with Google’s vast array of services, while TripIt required more user involvement but offered greater depth in itinerary management and travel planning.
Since Google Trips has been phased out, the discussion on which service to use is more about how the remnants of Google Trips live on within Google’s other services versus the ongoing developments of TripIt. For travelers who miss Google Trips, it’s worth exploring how Google has repurposed its features within Maps and the Google Travel platform. For those seeking a dedicated travel organization tool, TripIt remains a top contender, especially with its advanced features in TripIt Pro.
The best tool for managing travel details is the one that aligns with your personal travel style and needs. With technology continuing to evolve, there will undoubtedly be new developments and perhaps new contenders in the field of travel planning apps. But for now, TripIt carries the torch for those seeking a comprehensive solution to manage their globetrotting adventures.
Despite the sunset of Google Trips, the legacy of what it offered continues to influence how we plan travel today. TripIt, on the other hand, has continued to adapt and evolve, becoming more indispensable to its users. Its enduring presence in the travel app marketplace is a testament to its functionality and the loyalty of its user base.
The Continued Evolution of TripIt
TripIt has not rested on its laurels following the departure of Google Trips from the app scene. Instead, it has continued to innovate, offering new features and integrations that keep it at the forefront of travel planning. For instance, TripIt has improved its interface and has become more proactive in providing travel information to users, much like Google Trips did with local suggestions and activities.
Moreover, the app has expanded its services to include health and safety information, which became particularly important during the COVID-19 pandemic. Users can now find details such as airline safety measures, the cleanliness of hotels, or health advisories for their destinations, all within the app.
The Role of Artificial Intelligence
Both Google Trips and TripIt leveraged artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance their services, but in different ways. Google Trips used AI to analyze a user’s preferences and past behavior to make personalized recommendations. It also utilized Google’s search data to provide comprehensive destination guides.
TripIt uses AI to read and understand the travel confirmation emails forwarded by the users to create a master itinerary. This AI has to continuously learn from a multitude of travel-related emails to be able to accurately extract and organize information from different formats.
Integration with Other Services
While Google Trips was heavily integrated with Google’s own services, TripIt has taken a more open approach to integration. It works with Apple Watch, Slack, Amazon Alexa, and more, making it a more platform-agnostic choice for users who are spread across different ecosystems.
TripIt’s ability to synthesize information from various sources and present it in a coherent, easy-to-understand format is invaluable for travelers who use different booking platforms or who travel for a mix of business and leisure.
The Human Touch
One area where Google Trips was less focused compared to TripIt was the human element. TripIt allows for easy sharing of travel plans with friends and family, which can be a crucial aspect of travel, especially in times of uncertainty or emergency. This feature emphasizes the importance of staying connected and having support from one’s network while traveling.
Looking to the Future
The world of travel apps is ever-changing, and the space that Google Trips once occupied is now being filled with other services seeking to offer something unique to travelers. These range from apps that specialize in last-minute bookings to those that offer immersive travel experiences through virtual reality.
TripIt’s sustained popularity could be seen as a commitment to understanding and meeting the nuanced needs of travelers. However, it also faces challenges and competition from up-and-coming apps as well as from travel service providers who are increasingly offering their own itinerary management tools.
In the comparison between Google Trips and TripIt, we find two different philosophies toward travel planning. Google Trips was about seamless automation and integration within a familiar ecosystem, while TripIt focuses on detailed itinerary management and proactive travel assistance.
With Google Trips no longer in play, users have turned to Google Maps and Google Travel, as well as other third-party apps, to fill the void. TripIt, for its part, continues to provide a comprehensive travel organization tool that caters to both casual and serious travelers.
For the modern traveler, the choice may be less about Google Trips vs. TripIt and more about finding the right mix of tools and services that fit their individual travel style. Whether you’re a tech-savvy traveler who enjoys parsing through details or someone who prefers to have an automated service take care of everything, the modern travel tech ecosystem has a solution for you.
TripIt’s longevity and continued development suggest that it will remain a key player in the travel organization market for the foreseeable future. As travelers ourselves, we can look forward to new features, better integration, and perhaps even new players in the space as we continue to explore the world, one itinerary at a time.