I may not have the available funds in my bank account to be the traveling fiend that I yearn to be, however, I do on occasion find the opportunity to pack my bags and explore.
I recently took a little trip to a small beach that I had never visited before but had heard several great recommendations about. While I was visiting, I ran into two friends from high school that I hadn’t seen in a few years- a great added bonus to my vacation. It was crazy to think that we all would have been in the same small town at the same time without having a clue if chance hadn’t brought us together.
It is experiences such as these that served as the inspiration for gtrot, a web portal used for helping travelers better sync up their plans with their globetrotting friends. Started by Harvard alum Zachary Smith, the website is now home to over 3,000 users.
The website links users’ Facebook profiles to pull in information on their friends who have entered rough travel itineraries into the gtrot site and plots the plans on a map. Your gtrot account creates a travel profile that includes previous trips, future plans and modes of transportation. The site also allows you to directly book flights, hotels and and cabs through Kayak.com and Hotels.com and then puts that information into your profile (you can choose to keep it private as well).
Gtrot allows travelers to connect with friends to plan trips and also allows users who have already booked vacations to see if any friends will be in the surrounding areas.
The second phase of the company is now in the works- one that will focus on integrating users’ social media posts about their travels and placing them into their travel logs. This way, travelers can not only see where their friends have visited but also read about their various experiences at different venues and locations. Gtrot will utilize tweets, Facebook updates and foursquare check ins to generate an extensive travel log of every traveler.
The website’s next plan is to enrich travelers’ experiences by connecting users with Groupons- the fastest growing source of group-powered discounts for entertainment, food and salon-type venues.
As a traveler, I am incredibly excited to create my own profile on gtrot and connect with friends all over the world. I think the site is an incredibly useful tool that will only serve to enhance all of my future travel experiences.
Check out the rest of the article on gtrot here to learn more about the great upcoming site.