New Technologies That Are Making Travel More Social

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Throughout the years, technology has always changed the way people travel.

Cars and airplanes enabled us to go further, more quickly.

The rise of the internet allowed people plan and research their travels in greater detail than ever before.

Search comparison websites made booking hotels and plane tickets (among other things) a buyer’s market, and helped us to find the cheapest deals around.

With the rise of social media, it seems that the travel industry is taking the next step, and that travel is becoming more social than ever.

Not only will we be able to share general tips and advice regarding traveling, we’ll also be able to recommend accommodation to one another, find travel companions, connect with locals and even choose who we sit next to on a flight.

Finding Great Travel Deals

I briefly mentioned earlier how comparison websites (such as Skyscanner and Kayak) can help you get great deals, but social networking has brought that a step further.

When it comes to getting information to masses of people in an instant, there is no tool better than Twitter.

This means that (providing you’re following the right people on Twitter and you check it fairly regularly), as soon as a great new travel deal becomes available, you’ll know about it.

So who should you follow on Twitter to receive such divine knowledge? I recommend following:

  • @traveldeals
  • @travelbargains
  • @airfarewatchdog

As well as this, following your favorite airlines, tour operators and hotels/hostels on Twitter can prove to be highly fruitful.

New travel technologies

Booking Accommodation

While sites such as Hostel World and Hostel Bookers allow you to rank accommodation in different cities/areas based on customer reviews, new social media websites aim to take things a step further.

Airbnb is a site that allows people to offer their homes (and spare rooms) out to others (at a price), essentially allowing you to turn your home into a bed-and-breakfast/hotel with relative ease.

It’s sort of like an upgrade version of CouchSurfing. You’ll have to pay for your accommodation, but you’ll have a lot more choice and flexibility in regards to booking.

So why stay in a place listed on Airbnb when you could just as easily stay in a hotel?

The wide variety of places on Airbnb is astounding, and is so much more interesting than staying in a run-of-the-mill Marriot hotel room.

Places on Airbnb range from rooms in ancient British castles and villas in the mountains of Morocco to igloos in Slovenia and treehouses overlooking the San Francisco Bay (although they do have plenty of ‘regular’ accommodation as well).

Before you book, you can read reviews from previous guests and hear all about their experiences, and if you have any questions you can message the host directly through the site.

If you’re going out of town for the weekend, you can put your place on Airbnb for a bit of extra income.

Booking a Seat on Your Flight

Dutch airline KLM has a ‘social seating service’ called ‘Meet and Seat’.

Passengers with Facebook or LinkedIn profiles can view each other while booking their seat, and can choose where they want to sit on the plane accordingly.

Although this service is only available on flights between New York, San Francisco and Amsterdam at the moment, KLM have announced their intentions to expand the service in the future.

Whether other airlines will follow suit and develop similar features remains to be seen, however.

Travel companions

Finding a Travel Companion

In this busy world it’s rare that you and all of your friends will all want (and be able to) go traveling at the same time.

There may be times when you’re desperate to go off and explore the world, but none of your friends want to.

Although traveling solo is an option (and there are many benefits of traveling this way), you might want to consider finding a travel companion another way.

Ajungo is a website that allows users to connect via Facebook, Twitter, FourSquare or LinkedIn and find travel companions based on your planned travel itineraries (i.e. where you want to go and when). The site obviously works better if you’re already heavily into social networking and have a large group of contacts to call upon.

Globetrooper is another excellent website that allows users to create trips/trip ideas (such as ‘Let’s climb Mt. Kilimanjaro!’) and find other people wanting to join them.

The site is intelligently laid out, so you can search trips by region or by activity (such as backpacking, motorcycle touring, mountaineering, etc.).

Connecting with Locals (and Potential Hosts)

Fancy connecting with one of the locals in the place you’re planning on going to? Fancy getting FREE accommodation while you’re there? CouchSurfing is the answer.

CouchSurfing enables you to get in contact with ‘hosts’ all over the world, who will let you stay on their couch for free while you’re in town.

Staying with a local person will provide you with a far more authentic, real experience of a place than if you were to stay in a fancy hotel and stick to the tourist hotspots.

For more tips and information on CouchSurfing, check out:

Tripping is another great website, that is described as a “global community of travelers, expats and locals”. The site allows you to connect with local people with similar interests to you.

As with, has a “wide range of safety mechanisms” to ensure the credibility of others.

Related posts:

  1. New Website That Turns Your Friends’ Social Media Posts into a Personal Travel Guide
  2. Making Friends on the Road: Why Traveling Solo is Easier Than You Think

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