|by Amy Chen||Helpful Websites||1|
Friends don't let friends travel with bad advice, say the people behind Where I've Been, the social-networking tool that pinpoints the countries and cities where you've traveled, lived, and want to visit next.
Today, Where I've Been is expanding to become more than just a way to brag: Based on where the friends in your network have gone, you can now click on various icons on the map to look up reviews of hotels, restaurants, bars, shops, and other attractions. Members can also post photos and videos.
Since the Where I've Been platform is compatible with sites like Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, Friendster, and hi5, the idea is you're more likely to trust a user review if it comes from someone within your social network. "What we're trying to do is be that aggregating source," says CEO Michael Dalesandro.
The Ask an Expert function lets you pose questions to just your friends or to the general Where I've Been community. The site also pulls info from third-party sites like Citysearch, Kayak, and Hotelvideoreviews.com, and uses TripIt.com as its online planning service.
The company is also highlighting its Travel Bucks currency. The more things you do on the site, the more virtual dollars you can earn to trade in for philanthropic causes, such as donating to a rainforest preservation fund. Dalesandro says he envisions the Travel Bucks one day being valid for free trips.
MORE WAYS TO CONNECT
Don't forget: You can also sign up for a free myBudgetTravel account on BudgetTravel.com, where you can create Travel Journals and share your photos and videos. If you sign up today, you'll be entered to win a trip to Ireland.