What’s more exciting than planning a great vacation? It all starts with asking yourself where you want to go and what kind of vacation you want to have. Interested in island hopping? Fascinated with the arts? Can’t wait to explore the rich history of a city? With so many options to choose from, it can all be quite daunting. Why not check out some websites that can help you with your search? Today, we’ve put together a list of six websites that will do just that. They’re travel inspiration sites that will lead you to your next, perfect getaway.
Next time you need help deciding on where you want to go, remember Wanderfly. The New York City-based company is an intelligent travel recommendation search engine. It asks you to enter certain fields, like city you’re leaving from, interests, budget and time frame, and then it will elegantly present to you their custom tailored recommendations. In just its first year, Wanderfly inspired 4 million trips from users in 217 countries and was named a Top 10 Startup by Time Inc. and one of the Top 100 Brilliant Companies by Entrepreneur. By creating successful partnerships, with companies like Hotels.com, Kayak and Jetsetter, the site is only getting more useful and robust. Of course, the best part about it comes from just using it. Hitting that “Get Going” button and then seeing your personalized recommendations is like going on vacation, right at your desk.
Tip: Login with Facebook to ask your friends questions, give advice, or write a review on your favorite destinations that you can post to your Facebook page. On Wanderfly, you can also see where you friends live, where they’ve been and where they are planning to go.
Let your Facebook friends guide you to your next, exciting vacation spot. On Uptake, login via Facebook and then use their new Travel Q&A feature, picking your place and asking a question like “What should I check out in London?” Uptake gathers information from your Facebook friends so that you can ask questions to only the ones who’ve been there. Using a patent-pending data mining technology, it sifts through your Facebook friends’ photos, status updates and comments to find this info. You can choose to ask your question to all of those people either through a public wall post or a private Facebook message. After you start getting answers from friends, Uptake adds that information to its destination pages and also includes maps and reviews from TripAdvisor. The three year old company has amassed 1.8 million destinations, hotels, and attractions and gets 4 millions visitors to its site each month. Surprisingly, it’s the third most popular search and discovery travel site in the world, behind TripAdvisor and Yahoo Travel.
Tip: Don’t want to bother your Facebook friends? Check out a list of destinations or pick themes and attractions on their website to see lists that will get your juices flowing.
Gogobot is the world’s largest social travel site. It allows you to connect with your actual friends with Facebook or Twitter and it’s a place where you can ask them for personal advice or reviews. It lets you see recommendations based on your social graph, from people you know, or people who know the people you know. Gogobot also helps you create a whole trip, asking you to select a location and then giving you the option to get advice from your trusted friends. This site even offers user reviews, where users can rate a place and share their experience with a brief write-up. A travel social network with similar features you’d see on Facebook or Foursquare, Gigabot also feels like a hipper, more social TripAdvisor.
Tip: Gogobot has an iPhone app which allows you to write reviews and send photo “postcards” from your trips. Seamlessly integrating with Facebook, Foursquare and Twitter, you’ll be able to share your travel advice wherever you go.
If you’re more interested in finding fun activities and being entertained while traveling, check out Goby. This search engine asks you three questions: What?, Where?, and When? and then gives you relevant suggestions right there on the spot. How does it work? It uses something called “deep Web” technology to search carefully selected databases and other sources of information that are pre-qualified for relevance. This site is great if you love seeking out new experiences or things to do on a trip. With over 350 categories of events and activities – like live-music shows, family-friendly outings and outdoorsy pursuits – it’ll whip up something that’s perfect for you.
Tip: If you’re a parent looking to do something fun or educational with your kids, make sure to download the Goby iPhone app for personalized recommendations. Once you give Goby permission to access your location and Facebook account, it will set up a personal feed, based on your interests it’s figured out from your Facebook account. Or you can skip that part and manually select your interests based on your favorite artists, venues or by picking out some categories. Pretty smart.