Travel Social Networks – How Travel Social Networks Impact your Travel Style
Julia is waiting at Schönhauser Allee, a train station in Berlin;10 minutes later a silver Mercedes arrives, a stranger opens the door and Julia gets in. She only talked to this stranger three days ago on the phone to arrange her trip, but now this stranger is giving her a ride to the Frankfurt Airport for 1/3 the cost of a train. At the airport Julia will board a plane to visit and stay with a girl named Celeste, who lives in Barcelona – for free, and later in her trip she will travel to Andalusia, where she will spend two weeks. In Andalusia Julia will stay with a local family who live only 15 minutes from the beach, and in exchange for her food and accommodation, she will teach German to the family's children for three hours a day.
This is just an example of a typical social travel experience, and Julia isn't alone. Julia is part of a new species of travelers - called the “Social Traveler”. The Social Traveler is very different from average tourists, because social travelers plan their travels on the internet and they love to stay in contact with other social travelers. At the heart of what a social traveler aims to achieve are unique experiences, they want to meet locals, enjoy local cuisine, learn a foreign language, learn about different cultures and traditions, and they view getting lost as an excuse to explore.
Social Travel Key Facts
Social Traveling is all about planning and sharing your travel experiences on the internet. More than 87% of travelers use the internet for most of their travel planning, 31% watch travel videos, 43% read reviews, 16% post reviews, and 45% go online to source trip ideas. (source: technorati.com). These key facts show the growing interest travelers have to use the internet, and they are the basis for all travel social networks.
The internet is booming, and today it seems like one travel social network is popping up after another. There are many websites like Trip Advisor that provide user-generated content, but what really makes a travel social network stand out? What is the essence of social traveling?
First of all, social traveling is not a service; it's a style of traveling. For example, if you rent an apartment on a social travel website you may still travel like the average tourist. The difference is that social traveling begins with interaction; social travelers go beyond the “normal” trip, by reaching out to meet locals, and share their experiences.
For social travelers “social traveling” doesn’t end when they return home. This is because social travelers open their doors to others, and they are excited to receive foreign travelers into their homes the same way they were received abroad. Hosts are interested in learning about their visitor's culture and language, and hosts are eager to share information about their town, city or country with the social travelers who stay with them.
Click here to sign-up as a social traveler with Staydu.