I have been waiting years for this plan of mine to take affect. It has finally come, and I am so excited! Since my husband and I began dating seriously, like considering marriage and kids, we talked about doing less with the big lead up to Christmas and Santa and a 1,000 presents under the tree, and more about creating strong family traditions. We both enjoy traveling, and decided that creating the tradition of holiday travel would be much more sentimental and enjoyable for our family. It seemed like it was never going to happen- either we both were working full time, or starting new jobs, or having another baby. We would take smaller, closer trips like to Williams, Arizona for the Polar Express, or Telluride, Colorado for a wintery get-away, even Disneyland for a magical holiday. No matter how wonderful and important those trips were and are to us, we both yearned for something filled with more adventure. Something in a city we hadn’t experienced together. Something that we had to take a plane to get to. Now that our big kids are older, and they’ve made the journey twice now across the country, we felt ready to take on the one Holiday travel dream we have had for years now…New York City.
In a few weeks, we will hop on a flight to meet up with my husband in Washington, D.C., then all together head out to the Big Apple, and we have a full itinerary!
We will be staying at the beautiful Trump International Hotel and Tower in Central Park.
Visiting well known sites such as the 9/11 Memorial and the Statue of Liberty.
Photo of 9/11 Memorial courtesy of ChamorroChica.com
Seeing not to miss shows like the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular and the Broadway production of Annie.
Dining at fabulous restaurants such as Sarabeth’s and Balthazar’s.
Photo courtesy of BalthazarRestaurant (BalthazarNY.com)
And, of course, who can miss ice skating at Central Park, the lights and excitement of Times Square, Toys R Us and the American Girl Store…not my kids!
Ice Skating at Lake Las Vegas last year was good practice for our Central Park!
So, how do I keep all this together? A trip of this magnitude is not the same as planning a 3-hour road trip, or overnight stay in Moab on the way to Telluride. Of course, those trips take expert planning as well, but this kind of planning is different. There are several plane flights involved, check-in times, dinner reservations, show tickets, and site seeing to plan. Even with a smart phone, it is quite challenging to keep all these things together in an organized fashion. I asked around to my trusted travel writing peers for an amazing app that will allow me to keep everything in one place. My iCalendar just wasn’t going to cut it. I needed more detail in my itinerary and wanted something I could share easily with my husband, parents and friends and family in New York so they could meet up with us. Guess what? There is an app for that!
With overwhelming response, TripIt seemed to be the main contender. With the ability to download the app onto my iPhone, as well as log in from my desktop, I went for it. When logging into my account from the website, it asks if I would like to sync with any emails related to my trip. Why, yes! And with a simple click of the button, TripIt scoured my gmail account for trips pertaining to Washington, DC or New York City, and automatically updated my on-line itinerary.
Example of the Itinerary feature on TripIt
I could also go back in and manually add items as well. I can also include people from my address book on my itinerary, like my mother who is watching our twins, and my husband’s secretary so she can fill in his schedule at work. What I also love about this app, so far, is the ability to add the phone numbers, contact names, confirmation numbers, addresses and cross streets and it connects to my Maps app. How conveniently cool is that?
Example of the iPhone map feature on TripIt
Finding this app seems to have made a world of difference in planning a full itinerary with a large family, as well as keeping those who need to know up to date on our frolics in case they need to get in touch with us. Nothing makes a trip more successful than feeling confident in our whereabouts, and knowing especially when we leave little ones at home, that we are easy to reach.
If you’d like to follow along on our trip search #RSMLVNYC on Instagram and Twitter!
What is your favorite travel app to keep your organized?