If you travel or are thinking about traveling, connecting with your fellow travelers literally can pay dividends.
A NETWORK OF TRAVELERS
The tips, advice, word-of-mouth praise or warnings you find on travel forums and social networking sites related to travel can save you money, save your trip, and in the most extreme of cases, maybe even your life.
If you’ve ever had the nagging suspicion that some of the info put out by the slick travel press amounts to shilling for — or selling out to — certain big names in the travel industry, this is the best way to go against the corporate grain. Travelers tend to be candid to the point of cutting in their evaluation of airlines, cruise ships, eateries, hotels.
Anyway, here are some good social networking travel sites to get your travel 4-1-1:
The site bills itself as “the fun and easy way to find, review and talk about what’s great — and not so great — in your area.” Twenty-two categories, everything from restaurants to pets to religious organizations. If your car breaks down in the midst of your road trip, some Yelper will probably have a recommendation to a good mechanic. For a shot at a unique local experience, pay special attention to the category “Local Flavor.”
Yelp sites exists for cities throughout the United States, and now have taken hold in Britain.
Self-described network of travelers, experts and deal finders. Has won kudos from some of th brahin of the business travel class like BusinessWeek and Forbes. Lets you browse airefares, hotel rates and travel deals like the usual suspects, but also set up for you to explode nine specific vacation ideas.
Bills itself as “the worldwide travel blog.” Lots of off-the-grid features that can lead you to see some of the world’s great — and familiar — cities in new ways that’ll have you feeling like an adventurer when you get home.
The boost to your ego when you tell your friends about all the things you saw and did that they never read about in the traditional tourist guides is an added bonus. Whether you choose to tell them how this Web site led you to them is up to you.
Want to get the best deal on airline frequent flyer programs? Trying to figure out who’s is the best? Do you have an easier time understanding Einstein’s theory of relativity than the way your airline rewards or withholds its free flights, despite all those miles you’ve piled up?
This community of air passengers will share with you their tips on navigating through the frequent flyer maze, and even throw in some general travel tips as a bonus.
The travel networking sites linked by this site represent the opposite end of the travel spectrum from Real Travel. It includes several new travel communities with lots of interactive features that encourage exchanges of ideas and co
Airlines aren’t the only ones subject to info-sharing, bargain-spotting and merciless reviews by online travelers. Hotel Chatter is not necessarily the site on which to book your next stay, but well be the one to tip you to where you might — or perhaps more importantly, might NOT — want to book a room.
Spotted By Locals
Sites like this are why I love the Internet. A collection of “cityblogs” on popular destinations across Europe, 21 cities from Amsterdam to Zurich, put together by actual residents of the places they’re blogging about, “for travelers who like to experience cities ‘the local way’.” Not just a listing of hot spots, but insight into the culture and “feel” of a city.
It was put together by a couple of Amsterdam residents (and travel fanatics) who actually meet and talk to each cityblogger face-to-face before turning them loose on their website.
And then there’s this guy…
This guy appears to be something of a perpetual traveler, and he’s been letting us follow along on his various odysseys for more than a decade. Not so much a travelers network as a nearly encyclopedic collection of links to all — and I do mean all — things involving travel.
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