Crowdsourcing Travel Tips: How to Tap Into Your Social Network for Trip Planning
By now, most of us are pros at combing social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest for the information we need. But with so much clutter on each of these platforms, there’s got to be a better way to find travel recommendations from your social network, right?
When you’re visiting a new place, it often helps to work with a list of suggestions from people you trust — whether it’s in regards to your hotel (or vacation rental!), restaurants, or attractions. Lucky for us travel fanatics, a new genre of websites is emerging, offering crowdsourcing for travel tips from your network of contacts and friends. Check out these growing social travel planning sites, each based on offering and receiving recommendations from your online network:
If you’re a Pinterest enthusiast (like we are!) then you’ll love Wanderfly.com. This travel planning site recently relaunched with an image-based feed of recommendations and “likes”. Though you may stumble across similar content on Pinterest, Wanderfly is specifically structured to aid in the trip planning process, allowing you to create “boards” for different cities or travel interests. The site has been described as “Pinterest meets TripAdvisor,” which we find to be quite appropriate.
Similar to Wanderfly is Trippy.com, which serves as a combination of travel inspiration via pretty photos and practical trip-planning features. You can pick your favorite suggestions and drop them automatically into a custom itinerary, complete with maps and smartphone accessibility. Traveling with friends? An easy share function allows you to copy itineraries between users.
Reminiscent of the Facebook newsfeed is Gogobot.com‘s travel planning platform. Travelers can post questions seeking tips or recommendations, which will then appear in the Gogobot Network feed. Users are able to create destination guides for different places they’ve been, and are ranked on the site based on the number and quality of their reviews. The most significant aspect of the tool is the Facebook app integration, which sorts recommendations based on the places your friends have been to and reviewed.
Unlike many other social travel sites, Tripbirds.com doesn’t require your friends to post all of their travel content to a specific site. Instead, the service aggregates your friends’ geo-tagged social media check-ins from sites like Facebook, Foursquare, and Instagram. Your connections must sign up with the site to allow it to connect with their geo-tagged posts, but once you have built your network on the platform, you’re able to source all kinds of information. For example, if you’re planning a trip to South Lake Tahoe, you can see which of your contacts have posted content from that location, and then send them a message asking for advice or tips. Jauntlet.com is another like-minded site doing geo-tagging aggregation for travel planning.
As their motto goes, TripIt.com “drags traveling kicking and screaming into the 21st century.” The application turns your flight, accommodations, and car rental confirmations into a personalized itinerary. Users also ave the option to book restaurants, tickets, activities, and more right from their online itinerary. So, once you’ve compiled all of your travel recommendations from sites like those listed above, you can store it all in one concise place that you can easily access on your phone, calendar, or online.