TravBuddy is a site dedicated to helping users find others who are travelling to the same places they are. Users can meet up and enjoy the experience with their fellow users. The user can begin by submitting a destination in the field provided on the TravBuddy homepage. The site presents a list of others who are also travelling to that area, along with the date they will be there, their name and a short snippet from their profile. The user can refine their search by adding a date range gender, age range, current location filter or a text filter. The site also helps users find hotels in many popular locales. A community forum is available so users can converse before meeting up. The site supports user reviews as well that can be created for hotels, sights, attractions, restaurants, tips, advice, nightlife and entertainment.
TravBuddy was launched in 2005. The site was founded by brothers David and Eric Bjorndahl. The brothers intended on building a tool that would let users find others who are traveling to the same places during the same times so they can enjoy the experience as a pair or group rather than alone. By March of 2008, the site included over 1,300,000 registered contributors and include access to more than 750,000 travel photos, 65,000 blogs and 17,000 travel-related reviews.
The travel industry has really taken off on the web, which means there are many websites that offer information, advice and services to travelers. TravBuddy is a little different because it doesn’t focus on searching for airfare or other services. Instead, it is intended to help users network based on where they are traveling. Users can find others who will be visiting a location at the same time and meet up to make the journey more exciting.
TravBuddy has a very casual, friendly feel that is highlighted by the playful stick figures that make up the site’s logo. They feature in images that highlight the main features of the site, set against a blue color scheme. The site contains a lot of information and a number of unique graphics, but manages to remain organized so users can easily find what they came for without much difficulty. The experience is pleasant and entertaining as well as practical.
A new user can join the TravBuddy community by clicking the “Sign Up” link in the upper, right hand corner of the homepage. A registration form appears on the next page and asks for a username, email address and password. After entering the Captcha code and checking the terms of service agreement box at the bottom of the form, the user is automatically logged in. The next page invites the user to begin creating their new TravBuddy profile.
TravBuddy is available to all users for free. Anyone can join the community and explore all tools and features for nothing. There are no subscription fees and the user is not required to make any purchases or book a hotel stay anywhere. The user doesn’t have to be traveling anytime soon, either. Free access is a good way to entice new users to sign up and find buddies to travel with.
TravBuddy is a great tool for anyone who plans to travel in the near future and would like to meet others. The site focuses on social traveling, so user who have no interest in making friends while out of town may find little of interest. The site does include user reviews which are valuable to anyone regardless of social preferences. Users can make friends, find traveling companions and review places and businesses through TravBuddy’s community.