November 10, 2014
By: Lindsey Zimmerman @lindseyzim716
Good news for everyone suffering from an incurable case of wanderlust: it’s easier now to see the world than ever before! In the past, would-be explorers usually had to book their adventures through a travel agent, but now travelers can plan and personalize every aspect of their trips in ways that wouldn’t have been possible even a decade ago. And with our society becoming more and more connected every single day, travel planning is becoming a social experience as well.
Here are just a few of the many apps and websites that make travel planning a breeze, no matter where you are in the world. How many have you tried?
- Planely is a relatively new site that helps passengers connect with others on their flights. Their mission is pretty simple: why sit at the airport bored by yourself when you could be making a new friend? Once passengers register and enter their trip details into Planely, they can begin connecting online with fellow travelers even before arriving at the airport.
- Globetrooper takes Planely one step further by allowing users to plan trips and invite other users from around the world to join them on their adventures. It allows travelers to meet like-minded people who want to share the same kinds of adventures. So if you’ve always wanted to hike the Himalayas but none of your friends are up for it, don’t worry – there’s a Globetrooper trip for that.
- Couchsurfing is probably one of the most well known sites for finding free accommodation just about anywhere in the world. This site allows travelers to stay with a local resident for free in their destination city. Ratings and reviews are available for all Couchsurfing hosts so you know what you’re getting into. Even if you’re not looking for a place to crash, Couchsurfing holds free events and meet-ups in cities all over the world, making it easy to meet and connect with fellow adventurers.
- Yelp probably isn’t new to most people, but it can be incredibly useful while traveling. With reviews on everything from food to nightlife to shopping, it’s incredibly easy to see what other people’s experiences in your city have been like, and plan accordingly to avoid potential problems. You can also check out different events that will take place in your destination city in case you need something else to fill you itinerary.
- Airbnb is the place to go if you’re looking for somewhere to stay long term – or if you’re not into hostels. Locals who are willing to let travelers stay in their homes will create a listing on the site, often with a very reasonable price per night. Accommodations can range from a spare bedroom in an apartment to an entire house. Just like with Couchsurfing, you can check out reviews of potential hosts written by other travelers who have stayed with them.
This list is by no means exhaustive, and there are hundreds (if not thousands) more sites and apps that are socializing travel in similar ways. Exploring the world is getting easier one click at a time.