We are meant to travel. Our early nomadic ancestors traveled towards sources of food and water. Later, as societies developed their children made it come to them. In the 21st century we travel a lot more than in the centuries before. The World Wide Web has also given us the gift to look beyond our worlds on a computer screen. Yes, virtual tours and travels aren’t the real deal, but they do light the spark for the wandering spirit to take over.
If you are stuck on a rock, then inspirational travel ideas are not too difficult to come by. Facebook’s new Graph Search could be the thing for friend-recommended travel spots. If you are a visual person like me, travel videos could be a start. Alternatively, you could head to any travel website worth a price of a plane ticket; travel websites play to our sense of scenery and serenity. So, how about journeying to these five very visual websites for some travel inspiration…
Gorgeous spots around the world are showcased by travelers here. Trover is a photo-discovery travel website and mobile app for iPhone and Android. You can jump to any location on Earth and browse photos of food, culture and fun activities special to the area. Trover is built on sharing travel recommendations with the help of photos and you contribute your own as well. What’s better is that you can build your personal dreams – a traveling wish list in pictures – a Trover list. The mobile apps enhance your travel experience when you go there by helping you navigate to the coolest places.
Also check out a similar photo discovery travel website – Discoverful
Looking for trip ideas but want to customize it just perfectly without calling a travel agent? Try TripTuner and its unique system of “sliders”. TripTuner takes a slightly different approach to other travel websites by allowing you to match a destination with your own travel tastes right at the onset with the graphic equalizer like sliders. Mix and match to display compelling images of your personal travel spots. You can create your wish list and keep it for future travel plans. TripTuner is a not a booking and itinerary planning website, though there is an option to book hotels. It is more a fun (but serious) tool to serendipitously discover cool spots.
Trippy is again a Pinterest-esque site which allows travelers to share travel photos and help their fellow men and women discover travel spots around the world. Just like Pinterest, you can create your own travel boards which are visual collections of photos from the trips you have taken. Check out Anthony Bourdain’s travel board. You can also create custom boards on any travel theme of your choosing e.g. bargain shopping or pubs around town. If you were on Pinterest with your travel wish list, Trippy could be a better place among fellow travelers.
Wanderfly is a beautifully designed travel recommendation website that lets you choose your travel preferences with tags, connect to a trusted network of travel junkies, and get personalized travel advice. Wanderfly is a TripAdvisor company now so the social integration between the two companies should be strong. The beautiful design showcasing the travel recommendations is seducing enough, but you can follow other travelers within Wanderfly (or bring them in from Facebook and Gmail) and use these connections to create your own wish list. Of course, in the interests of the community you are also expected to give your two pennies worth on some great spots – so upload your pictures and leave a tip.
Discover photo postcards shared by the Gogobot community as they traipse around the world. The Gogobot website is like the visual backend of the iPhone and Android app which travelers use to plan their trips and upload photo postcards. Just like the travel postcards of old, these digital ones take you to far flung corners of the world. Browse through the photo postcards and plan out the things you want to do once you reach your destination. There are enough clues in the pictures. You can ask your travel questions on the Gogobot network, the open forum for travelers. Questions seem to get a fair number of responses which show the community is very much on the go.
These five photo rich travel websites not only give you a reality check (hopefully in the good sense) of a travel destination; they also help to cut through the hype that’s generated by catalog styled travel brochures. You can quite literally do some couch traveling even before you buy your plane tickets. But even more than that, the often panoramic photos help to fire up that sense of adventure in all of us.
So, if your travel passions have been ignited by these five, tell us about your favorite trip planning websites. Do websites like these five help you visualize your travel wish list and get you off the rock you find yourself in?
Image Credit: traffic sign via Shutterstock
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