Travel is an inherently social medium so it is no surprise that it is starting to merge with the concept of social networking to create a new trend of social travel sites. Videos, pictures, reviews of hotels, restaurants and attractions, all can be shared in a Facebook-like style. There have been several startups just in the last year of these social travel sites. The sites often mimic established social networking sites via their format and user interface.
One recent startup is gogobot.com created by former MySpace executive, Travis Katz. Gogobot is modeled somewhat after Facebook and lets travelers post recommendations for travel spots and exchange them with their friends. The idea being that people would rather trust their friends’ advice over various online review sites such as TripAdvisor.
The idea is starting to gather momentum and Gogobot is not the only new social travel site hitting the web recently. Gtrot is another site, created by a couple of undergrads, and it offers the format to share travel tips on Facebook and various other sites, plus giving users many local deals through sites like Groupon. For solo travelers, tripl.com allows users to plan travel around where Facebook friends and LinkedIn connections are. Over at tripping.com, members volunteer to be hosts and suggest different sightseeing activities and other cultural exchange opportunities.
Some other highly ranked social media travel sites include Dopplr, a travel site that integrates with other social sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Flicker. Finding connections is easy with the search-by-city function. It immediately brings up how many Dopplr users have traveled to the city and a whole array of places to stay and things to do while in the city. Plan trips through user advice and the site’s unique trip outline function.
Tripatini bills itself as a Facebook for travelers and the similarities are quickly obvious. The categories are set up just like Facebook and allow users to comment on the walls offering suggestions, comments and questions. Also like Facebook, you get no real benefit from the site without being a member.
TripIt is considered one of the most popular social travel sites and it provides itineraries, maps, directions, weather predictions and nearly anything else you can imagine for a trip. Instead of having tons of paperwork for your trip, you can plan it all in one place. The site offers the ability to share plans with friends and have instant access to trips with a smartphone.
Elizabeth Smith is a marketing and health blogger with a particular passion for travel. She also loves to explore the many Manchester airport hotels available when she travels internationally and likes to document her experiences in each.