There are hundreds of travel sites out there that will help you plan your trip, but often these guides come in the form of game-ified networks or consist mainly of questionable crowdsourced content from local experts — in other words, strangers. More often than not, these people are incentivized to write reviews, making the information questionable at best. Granted, there are some cool startups, like Triposo and Gogobot out there, but sites and apps like the former are taking an algorithmic approach to travel recommendations — no real people in sight.
Trippy, a startup launching at TechCrunch Disrupt today, is of the mindset that recommendations are always better when they come from people you trust and that know you well — your friends. Thus, iterating on the age old crowdsourcing model, Trippy is designed to be a so-called “friendsourced” travel solution, tying your social networks, like Facebook, into its platform to let you find out which of your friends have been to the destinations you’re considering — whether it be that they’ve checked-in, lived, worked, or studied there. (Much like Spotify’s model for music.)
Trippy believes that tapping into the travel experiences of your friend (people you implicitly trust) is far more valuable than receiving advice from strangers. Hard to disagree with them there, unless that stranger happens to be a wizard.
Through one-click recommendations and Facebook-style commenting, Trippy lets your friends literally and figuratively chime in to tell you what hotels, restaurants, and destinations would be right for you. The startup offers an easy autocomplete tool to quickly pull up what you’re looking for — from a complete database of locations. Users can then add places they’re considering so that friends can comment on the itinerary, offering feedback in Facebook-style comment feeds.
This hits on one of Trippy’s coolest features: The startup allows users to take advantage of a “friendsourced” itinerary made for the trip they’re planning in realtime, by picking suggestions for destinations you’ll like the most (based on those social recommendations). Trippy then automatically converts those recommendations into an itinerary and plots the trip on the user’s travel map.
When the Tripper is ready to check rates or book the trip, they can do that right from Trippy’s platform. And this is how Trippy plans to make money, by taking a share of the revenues earned by hotels and third-party services when the user makes a purchase.
The startup’s mobile app allows users to follow along through seeing your pictures in realtime as you roll through the recommendations they provided on your itinerary. The interface is clean and smooth, and if your friends are the traveling kind, Trippy may very well have some legs.