13 Great Online Travel Resources for 2013
The internet is a changing my friends. Sites like Lonely Planet aren’t going to go away, but they are becoming more like encyclopedias on a shelf in the library…or maybe a better analogy would be those old National Geographics your grandmother used to keep in the closet. Someone will pull them out, but they have a hot time before they go into cold storage. The next generation of travel sites are all about the social aspects of the web. Below are 13 Great online travel resources to turn to in 2013. Check this out:
There are tons of these popping up like SwapMyCityPad.com which lets you switch homes with like minded people and CrashPadder.com which focuses more on rooms within a house so you also get a local host.
CampInMyGarden.com allows people to rent out a tent space on someones lawn.
The thing about all of these sites is that they are normal people sharing their non-commercial space with travelers. Now, I know there are at this point plenty of commercial properties who are migrating to these sites and the reason for that is because they see that this is going to completely screw the hotel business unless they adapt quickly. My contention is that it’s not just the hotel business that is going to get screwed but the entire ‘document’ web. This is evolution and you either adapt or go extinct.
Finally, here is the latest I’ve found of these personal experience sharing sites Vayable.com which is pretty new but offers experiences (meaning guided trips, cooking courses, and more) in exotic locales all over the world. From Morocco to Rome to Rio. Vayable has a main competitor in Skyara but Vayable seems to be more focused on activities provided by regular people while Skyara seems to have a lot more professional tours and courses.
A few trips on Vayable? Bob Dylan Walking Tour in NYC, joining a local king on a fishing trip in Fiji or indulging in a weekend sailing experience around Cinque Terre in Italy, textile design in a sustainable village and a trek through Singalila. Cool stuff, not prohibitively priced, and if the site works well- you end up making friends on it as well.
A few more sites that fit this kind of model? Well, for flights there is the now very popular Hipmunk.com which describes itself as
Flight results are presented in a visual “timeline” that allows people to select the best flight for them at a glance. Hotel results are shown on a map so that people can view where in a destination they will be staying and the landmarks near them. At Hipmunk, we want to make your experience a lot better and put the fun back into travel planning.
Lending Club is a person to person money lending site. Seriously. Members looking for a loan post what they’re seeking. Members looking to invest money finance the loans. Lending Club, based in Redwood City, Calif., says both sides win, with above-average returns for investors and lower-than-average rates for borrowers.
Chegg actually rents text books from person to person. Like Netflix for college textbooks and they plant a tree every time someone rents a book — more than 4 million so far.
NeighborGoods facilitates borrowing and lending at no charge in your neighborhood. The owners of the lawn mower — or whatever is lent — can charge a deposit or rental if they want to.
And then of course there’s Vagobond itself which I’m shamelessly plugging as a way for travelers to connect, lend, and help each other out. Join our communities and connect for a better travel experience. Come share with us on our Facebook page, via Twitter (@vagobond) or on our Google+ page or our new Google+ Vagobond Community.
The web is changing and life is changing with it. What sites do you think are a part of the new web?