Half of my life is travel. Sure, New York is exciting. But so is travel. In any given month I’m somewhere in Europe or the West Coast. In between, I’m at home working—and planning where to go next.
Nearly three years ago I wrote about Knapsack, a personal travel planner for Mac users. Knapsack has matured, improved, and gained new features. If you travel, or plan to, meet your new Mac travel planner.
Research, Plan, Organize, Revisit
For me, there are four basic components to personal, non-business travel. First, I figure out where to go by doing some research. Knapsack does that by including a Map Search function.
Enter a location and Knapsack brings it up on the world map so you can zoom in to any location.
Location? Find cities, hotels, museums, airports, anything that will show up on a map (Google Street View notwithstanding). The zoom feature is particularly cool. Click to zoom in on a city or location you’d like to visit.
Once you’ve decided where to go you can begin the planning session right within Knapsack. All the tools you’ll need stay in Knapsack on your Mac. Start with a tentative itinerary.
Depart, arrive, depart and everything in between, including trip destinations, personal activities and sightseeing, even the details of your packing lists can be placed in Knapsack on a per trip basis.
Planning in Knapsack can be as detailed as you want. On a day by day, or hour by hour basis. Any itinerary item can be moved up or down to change time or day.
Knapsack also does to-do lists for before the trip and during the trip so you won’t forget to take something, or forget to go someplace important on the trip, or forget to get something to take back.
Trips can be categorized and groups—either future planned trips, or completed trips. Along the way you can rate different parts of the trip—locations, restaurants, cities, whatever you visit.
If you’re an iPhone or iPad, and iCal user, you’ll like it that Knapsack can sync upcoming events and to-do items. Because I’ve been doing the heavy duty business travel (combined with personal days) deal for a few years, revisiting my travels has become more pleasurable.
Knapsack lets you stick pins in the maps of places you’ve visited, as well as create a full trip summary (even works for business trips).
Here’s where Knapsack needs a corresponding iPhone or iPad app. Why? More and more I find I’m traveling without my Mac. Sure, I can take notes and photos on my iPhone as I go, but that means Knapsack doesn’t go with me.
Putting Knapsack into an iPhone version that automatically syncs with MobileMe or my Mac would make it a nearly perfect travel planner.