10 Websites that Make Travel (Much, Much) Easier The Vagabondish Team August 10 Accommodations, Features, Tips 10 Comments With the rise of technology, and particularly the Internet, travel has changed. You can book a ticket without leaving the comfort of your own home, and connect with fellow travelers before you even depart. Here are 10 websites that will make travel planning easier, allow you to connect with locals, and reduce costs. #1: Triptrotting.com Triptrotting is an online platform that matches world-travelers to like-minded local hosts for unique travel experiences. It is open to university students and young professionals, who can sign up to use it either as a host, a traveler, or both. The website will match the person in question with other users that share similar interests. The screening process takes away any fear you might have about being matched with an illegitimate host and/or traveler. Vagabondish.com recently took part in this year’s Ultimate Triptrotter contest where one lucky winner won a 4-week trip abroad! You can read Mike Richard’s feature here. Weary Traveler © Benjamin Chan #2: Tripping.com Similar to Triptrotting.com, Tripping.com allows members to connect with each other for travel tips, shared cups of coffee and even homestays. It prides itself on being “safe, free and good for the world.” Cultural exchange, according to the founders, makes the world a better place. As such, Tripping.com seeks to bring people together, thereby weakening prejudice and encouraging understanding beyond borders. Safety is key and the site makes a promise to remain forever free to its users. #3: Tripatini.com Tripatini has been praised as the “Facebook for travelers.” It’s a fun, free social network and blog where travelers and travel experts from across the planet hang out, share and learn how to travel better and smarter. The part that I like most about the site are the groups. Given your interests and even your profession, you can sign up for different groups. For example, if you live in Spain or are interested in traveling there, you can join the “Spain” group. Similarly, if you are a journalist or travel industry professional, the Media Only! group can be a great way to connect and network with other travel professionals. You may even find yourself getting a job through Tripatini. A great resource for those looking to get started, as well as those who have been in the business for a while. #4: TravBuddy.com TravBuddy is a free site for people who love to explore the world around them. You can use TravBuddy to find travel buddies, record travel experiences in travel blogs, or share travel tips with travel reviews. Like the other two, it is free to use. You can take a tour here and find out why the site has already been featured in Budget Travel, The Guardian and other major media outlets. #5: SpottedByLocals.com As a feature series, I recently wrote about the rising trend of wanting to fit in the locals (you can read the full features: 7 Reasons to Fit In With the Locals When Traveling Abroad and 5 Ways to Fit in With the Locals When Traveling Abroad right here on Vagabondish.com). Spotted by Locals provides up-to-date local tips for 33 European cities. I recommend you read an insightful review of the iPhone app by Michelle Schustermann here. © Travis Isaacs #6: Localyte.com A member of the Nile Guide Network, Localyte.com connects travelers with Localytes: local people and services in travel destinations. As the website explains: A Localyte is a local person living in a travel destination who is passionate about sharing their knowledge with travelers. Some Localytes are simply people who are excited to meet and help travelers visiting their hometowns and countries; others help travelers full-time and charge for their services. Learn more here. #7: Connecting: Solo Travel Network (cstn.org) Particularly as a solo traveler, the Internet is incredibly useful. Connecting: Solo Travel Network is a website that does exactly what its name says: to connect solo travelers. I quote the three primary purposes of the website directly from the mission statement: The First purpose of Connecting: Solo Travel Network is to encourage hospitality and networking, internationally, among people who travel without a partner. The Second purpose of Connecting: Solo Travel Network is to report without bias about going solo vacation alternatives or any holiday option that can be designated sensitive towards the needs of people who travel alone. The Third purpose of Connecting: Solo Travel Network is to foster the above concepts within the ideals of responsible tourism. #8: Couchsurfing.org This website has long gotten its fifteen minutes of fame. So much so that travel writer Brian Thacker has written an entire book on couchsurfing his way around the world, titled “Sleeping Around“. He has even posted an album of different couches around the world. If you haven’t yet heard of the site, it is about time you did. Couchsurfing is a website that seeks to “Create Inspiring Experiences,” bringing travelers and hosts together. The latter are those that offer the former a couch, a place to stay, or simply someone to contact in the given destination. #9: AFAR Connect Similar to the above, AFAR Connect seeks to connect travelers with their destinations and the people that live there, be it natives or expats. You can ask travel-related questions, to be answered by local experts and experienced travelers. Moreover, you can answer questions of others, sharing your knowledge of your favorite destinations and your hometown. It is a great way to connect. You might also be interested to know that AFAR publishes its very own magazine, centered on experiential travel and learning experiences overseas. #10: Farecompare.com While all of the above seek to connect travelers with the destination, when it comes down to it, you need to actually get to the place in question. Farecompare.com is a great way to do exactly what the name says: to compare fares. You can do it directly online or sign up to receive an email every time that a new (and cheaper) offer is available for the flights, destinations and dates which you entered. Getting discounts makes travel so much more fun! 10 Responses Elijah Normich August 10 I dare say you left out Helpx.net and other such sites. But otherwise, a lot of great sites. Thanks. Reply Raymond @ Man On The Lam August 10 I like to think I’m a pretty savvy traveler, but honestly, I have not heard about half of these — great list! Reply Ryan Spillers August 10 I recently became a verified member on tripping.com – which means I have verified my identity to the company. I think this shows a consideration and social responsibility on Tripping’s part that they are working to prevent something like airbnb’s recent insurance fiasco. The funny thing is, when i think of couchsurfing, I think of tripping even though CS came first – tripping does it right and I’ve also heard that they are releasing integrated video chat Reply Sarah Alaoui August 10 For an expat moving between countries, the Tripping.com community continues to be a great source of must-see places, must-eat dishes, and general useful tips from insiders who have already Tripped your destination! Reply Fresh From Twitter August 10 […] from @coollike http://youtu.be/Thry5mXld80?a Time Travel The 10 best travel resource websites! http://www.vagabondish.com/10-websites-that-make-travel-much-much-easier/ Powered by Fresh FromRelated PostsFresh From TwitterFresh From TwitterFresh From TwitterFresh From […] Reply Ten to read and watch in conservation travel | WWF Travel Blog September 2 […] runs down its picks for the best 10 websites that make traveling easier. Share and […] Reply Anshuman Bapna September 15 I’d love to suggest a few more, including the startup I run. 1. Roomorama.com – apartment rentals, with very strong design aesthetic and international presence 2. mygola.com – your personal travel concierge. you ask any travel question under the sun, someone will do all the research for you 3. spottedbylocals.com – advice from locals Reply LAbackpackerChick September 20 Always good to have a go-to list of websites like this. 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