The Best New Travel Sites: Trippy, Hipmunk And More
Trippy, Hipmunk, Oyster and Airbnb are some of the most outstanding travel startups in recent years.
Remember back when travel sites like Orbitz and TripAdvisor first rocked your world? Well, in the dozen years since those two biggies were founded, countless other Internet tools—online travel agents, booking engines, review sites and more—have been added to the mix, with an ever-growing crop of newbies striking us as particularly noteworthy additions to the field. We’ve winnowed that bunch down to eight standouts, from the take-no-prisoners hotel-review site Oyster.com to private-property booking site Airbnb.com.
Separating from the pack is increasingly important for travel sites now, as more and more travelers rely on them: According to 2012 travel-consumer statistics compiled by Funsherpa, 87% of travelers used the Internet for a bulk of their trip planning, whether it was to research an upcoming vacation, read online reviews or source initial ideas about where to travel.
“Travelers are looking for something reliable, for useful information, for savings, and to be inspired by others,” notes Brooke Ferencsik, a travel expert with TripAdvisor.com, which claims the title “world’s largest travel site” with more than 75 million reviews and opinions and 60 million unique visitors monthly.