Anyone who’s done it knows the routine: you make your travel plans online (typity-type, clickety-click), then you get to type even more into the calendar, trying very hard to be careful, but take it from me, it’s hard to be perfect.
Enter Tripit.com. Go there and sign up for a free account. Then, when you make plane reservations and subsequently get a confirmation email from an airline, you forward the email to “email@example.com.” Tripit reads the email, puts the information into a handy little private space for you on their site, and then– the best part– they put your trip information into an iCal feed, which you subscribe to ONCE, and all of the information about the flying out and flying in is automatically part of your iCal calendar, forever and ever amen.
I made a Rule in Mail to automatically forward my Southwest Airlines “Ticketless Confirmation” emails to firstname.lastname@example.org, and by golly it works. My calendar has ALL of the information– flight numbers, departure times, arrival times, confirmation numbers, you name it– and of course I can subscribe to the same iCal feed on my iPhone, so my iPhone’s calendar is up to date too. You can change the information if you’d like, so the trip that Tripit titles “Oakland, CA 2/11/2010” can be retitled “MacWorld Expo SF 2010.” That’s what I did.
Tripit has a “pro” account but the free one is great as it is. If you fly frequently this is a no-brainer. Go to tripit.com now and sign up. You will save yourself a lot of typing, over and over and over. I wouldn’t do any of the stuff that asks you to upload your email address book– that will just irritate your friends– but that’s not required anyway. Just do the minimal free stuff, and you will reap the benefits time after time.
If you can’t figure out how to subscribe to your Tripit calendar let me know. I can help you.