This post is brought to you by Sheraton. Click here to explore Sheraton Club. As always, VentureBeat is adamant about maintaining editorial objectivity.
Planning a trip? Who better to turn to for advice on where to go and what to do than someone you know? Like many of us, you’re probably connected to hundreds of people through Facebook and Twitter, so those may be just the folks to ask.
A new wave of friend-sourcing services can help you get advice from people you’re connected to. These services tap into your existing network to bring you the inside scoop on your next destination. Here are a few to consider.
Travel planning site Gogobot helps you plan a trip using advice, photos, and check-ins from your social network. The service connects you through Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare. After you sign up, you can create a passport of places you’ve been, add photos, and write reviews. You can also look through others’ passports to check out places you want to go. If you have a question like, “Where is a good tapas bar in Madrid?” you can ask other travelers along with people in your network. Gogobot is also available as an app for iPhone and Android.
To get authentic reviews on cities to visit and places to stay, visit Triptease. The site, which boasts a large community of global travelers, lets users upload photos and write their own reviews of cities, hotels, and meals. The results are as good as any luxury e-zine, only the reviews are salt-of-the-earth, tell-it-like-it-is real. Reviewers can follow one another and comment on each others’ reviews. You can also share reviews on your networking sites and invite others to join in.
Forward all your electronic travel confirmations to Tripit and this clever service will pull everything together into a neat itinerary. So if you need to check a flight number or find the address for your hotel, all that information is right there where you need it. This wonderful little app has a social function, too. With Facebook for TripIt, your trips are automatically posted to your Facebook feed. What better way to get comments on where to grab dinner when you’re in Los Angeles? Tripit is available for iPhone and Android.
People love sharing photos of places they’ve been to on Facebook. So why not gather all those photos together and make a slide show of all the locations your friends have been to? A free iPad app, Jetpac aggregates photos your friends have shared on Facebook. It figures out where those photos were taken, plucks out the best shots and places them in trip books. You can peruse trip books to see who has been where, follow activities and ask travel questions.
More questions? Fire away on Travellr, a traveler’s question-and-answer forum with a social twist. When you ask a question, the system intelligently routes your question to locals and past visitors with similar interests in real-time across social networks. So if you ask, “Where can I rent a bike in San Francisco?” Travellr immediately looks up people who live in that area and passes the question on to them. You’ll get questions sent to you based on a your whereabouts and interests as well.