Finding out the most useful travelling advice and tips can come in a variety of different forms, be it travel agencies, guidebooks, documentaries, blogs, YouTube channels or by simply chatting to a friend in a cafe. However, one way of attaining information that has become increasingly popular in recent years is through travel networks. Travel networks are online platforms where travellers can connect with one another, offering information, guidance, advice, recommendations, organising events and making friends in a friendly, all-inclusive environment. People can pose questions that may be difficult to find answers to elsewhere, as well as discovering things going on nearby, from music concerts to salsa classes to football matches. Not only do they provide a space for like-minded travellers and backpackers to find connections, they bring a sense of community to the world of travel that can sometimes feel slightly isolated, particularly when travelling alone.
As a consequence of all this, we have assembled a list featuring a selection of the seven most best travel network platforms, be it in New York, New Delhi or Papua New Guinea. No longer will you feel lost and supportless when taking a trip to the otherside of the world, all by yourself. With our list featuring the most helpful travel networks, you will be able to find travellers near you, wherever you are. This list contains only the most genuine and helpful platforms for connecting travellers worldwide and was put together by taking into account a range of factors to ensure that only the best were selected. Each one was thoroughly assessed, with each review containing a brief summary of the service, its highlights, what makes it unique and its potential drawbacks, while the pros and cons of each one are listed in an easy-to-read set of bullet points below each review. There are hundreds of platforms out there matching a similar description, however we’ve chosen only the ones that most suitably fit our criteria by considering a number of factors outlined below.
Taking into account the user interface and how easy the platform is to navigate is always an important part of the review process, regardless of the service being offered. A good, user-friendly interface with simple aesthetic is an obvious, yet often underrated, aspect of many websites, and something that can ultimately influence the entire experience for travellers looking to make connections or obtain advice. While a website may offer a vast array of options and added features, an overcrowded and confusing homepage can make using even the platform’s most simple function difficult for many users. Frequently, the best sites are those with a simple, minimalistic aesthetic that make no attempt to over complicate the service offered by adding too many extra features, while they also seem to be the ones with the fastest loading speeds. Those that have an abundance of pop-up adverts and promotions can also make searching for information a more stressful experience than it ought to be. Therefore, we made sure that, when reviewing the various travel network platforms, we considered the overall usability and how easy it was to find what you were looking for before going on to assess any other factors.
When it comes to discovering great tips and advice, a blog is one of the best resources to have included on a website. Blogs can be fantastic places for finding useful articles on travel-related topics, from packing lists to entire city guides to day-by-day itineraries. For example, Trippy is one platform that offers a road trip planner allowing users to type in any two destinations to bring up a detailed, day-by-day itinerary, including where to stay, eat and drink. It provides users with the best places to stop-off en route, as well as any related questions that have already been answered by the community of travellers. This means that you can find out all the information you need in one place, without even having to type in individual questions yourself across various websites. BeWelcome, meanwhile, has its own blog containing lots of information on different topics, ranging from where to eat in Berlin to how to spend 24 hours in La Paz, with over one thousand pages of posts. This is a great resource for people planning trips who are unsure exactly where to go or simply looking for some info on a place from someone who has already been there. Therefore, when reviewing the various travel network platforms, we ensured that we assessed the presence of a blog as this would make the service more comprehensive.
Another feature that was considered when reviewing each travel network was whether it included a comments section and, if so, how interactive it was. Offering a space for users of the site to leave their feedback and any questions they may have on the articles creates a more comprehensive platform as it expands on the topics, adding a variety of perspectives and thoughts from other travellers who want to share their opinions. Rather than simply allowing the writer to have the final word, as is the case in guidebooks, a comments section opens up and expands the topic, providing extra information that had not occurred to the writer. Trover, for example, has a great comments section where users can leave details of their own experiences, adding not only more information to what has already been posted, but also creating a community atmosphere on the website. Furthermore, we looked at how interactive the comments section was, by this meaning whether other people could leave replies, as well as ‘like’ or ‘dislike’ the feedback. In general, those that allowed people to add their thoughts on comments were ranked higher than those where you could not.
Finally, we looked at the function for finding events and connecting with fellow travellers. When travelling alone in particular, it can feeling isolating sitting in a hostel or Airbnb room with nothing to do in the evening. While exploring during the day may be fine by yourself, it is certainly more awkward going and sitting in a bar in the evening without any company. For that reason, resources for finding and connecting with travellers via local events is a fantastic feature to have included on travel network platforms. InterNations, for example, has its own events section that constantly updated with new activities, from food festivals to jazz nights, and can be easily sorted by date or category. Like Facebook Events, you can click attending, as well as find out who else will be going. Touristlink also has a similar feature, however it focuses more on booking tours and being able to see who else will be participating. You can connect with members of the group or pose questions to the group leader, building a rapport before the tour has even begun. Hence, when reviewing the various platforms we made sure to assess whether there was an events section as this tended to make for a better service than those without.
Overall, this list provides a selection of the seven most useful travel network platforms, carefully selected from hundreds of similar services. Connecting with travellers while abroad can be a unique experience, teaming you up with like-minded people from every type of background imaginable. Find fellow backpackers, discover local events, ask questions, read blogs and more, all be simply referring to this carefully curated list. We have taken into account the aforementioned factors to provide you with only the most genuine and useful platforms for connecting with travellers, almost anywhere you decide to travel to.