Top 10 Travel Social Networks and Communities
social networks are more powerful than ever and web 2.0 has brought us tons of social networks available to travelers exclusively. While most of them generally have the same, overlapping features, their functionality, community, users, and feel vary pretty greatly. So here are the top travel social networks and travel communities available online today.
There are a bunch of very new, not so established travel social networks, some that even just opened up to the public in beta.
|Dopplr – This sleek, very web 2.0 site has a large variety of features. It’s very easy to navigate, and lets users create trip itineraries and find travel tips created by other travelers. You can share your trips with others and find connections. Most importantly, Dopplr is all about integrating other popular services you already use into the site, like Twitter, Facebook, Calendars, and Flickr photos so it meshes well with your online lifestyle.|
|Trip Wolf – This very new social travel community just launched July 2008. I like this site because of it’s personal nature, and it reminds me of a Facebook for travel because of its “friends” and “travelers” features. TripWolf’s “travelers” allows you to find “gurus” of destinations who can help you plan your trip, so it’s personal nature is a huge plus. Since it is brand new, it’s not as full as most other sites, but in time TripWolf can be great.|
|Trip Say – Trip Say is still in beta invite only, so it is very new as well. This travel social network reminds me of Digg.com and is big on social voting (thumbs up, thumbs down, etc) and quick tips/comments on destinations. It is very easy to navigate, guide-like site with many integrated features like photos, nearby destinations, maps, groups, and links outgoing to more comprehensive guides on a destination.|
|Trip Hub – Trip Hub is a social travel site that takes on a little different focus. Trip Hub is centered around groups planning trips together. It’s arguably the best group trip planning tool and website that allows users to invite travelers, share itineraries, map out their plans, and create travel blogs.|
|Driftr – Similar to TripWolf, Driftr is a Facebook-esque travel social network site that lets people have friends, create profiles and trips, and research others’ trips. For your tirps, you can share photos, and tips on where to eat, what to do, etc. It has a slightly cleaner, less cluttered design which is awesome and easy to navigate and use. Unfortunately, it’s still very new and small, but with a few thousand more users Driftr could be great.|
|World66 - World66 is a travel community that is more based on travel articles and guides rather than actual networking with others. The site has some new forums which aren’t too active yet, and also has new blogs and gallery features.|
Several older travel networks and communities don’t quite fall under the “2.0″ category because of their age and designs. But, they are still very very useful and have much more content than the new blood sites, which might be the most important thing anyways.
|Virtual Tourist – Virtual tourist is the web’s largest travel community and social network. With over a million members, there are member tips, guides, and photos on literally every place on earth. It has a sort of archaic, but functional, design but makes up for it with it’s massive amount of relevant, helpful travel facts, guides, and tips, as well as forums.|
|BootsnAll – BudgetGlobetrotting’s favorite travel forums by far. This comprehensive travel community revolves around the message boards, where forums are loaded with great guides and tips that come from the best user base around. The users and community is very friendly and helpful, and contacting individual travelers with questions is a great solution to answer your travel questions.|
|Lonely Planet Thorn Tree – Publishing giant lonely planet has the second best forums and community online. The boards are very active and busy just like Bootsnall, and there’s a lot of helpful information on different travel destinations worldwide to assist you in your travel planning.|
|Trip Advisor – This age old travel site got an updated 2.0 look and feeling, but is not one of my favorite travel communities. It’s focused around free travel guides and information, but lacks a sense of community with other members.|