A new travel website is turning friends into travel agents, coworkers into guidebooks, and families into concierges. Gtrot.com (short for globetrotters) recently stepped out of its beta phase and is now a full-blown social travel site with various tools designed to personalize trips at home and abroad. The brainchild of Harvard-grad Zachary Smith and co-founder Brittany Laughlin, Gtrot registers past, present, and future trips through Facebook with the vision of friends swapping secrets and gems from around the world.
Registering a trip to London may yield insight to an unassuming pub in a hushed corner of the East End from an old high school friend who studied abroad there. Maybe a trip to Australia produces a scroll of the best surf breaks from a cousin who roamed the coast down under. Gtrot is a market for travelers to exchange ideas and information.
“The greatest thing about travel is being able to share experiences—in the planning stage, during your trip and after you come back. Experiences are better shared with friends,” says Laughlin.
Coinciding with Grot’s growth out of its adolescent phase is a foray into deals. Five days before a registered trip, coupons and discounts are shuffled to users that relate to their particular destination. Everything from slashed hotel rates to buy-one-get-one-free drink specials. The deals are the product of a vast search of over 200 coupon sites like Groupon and Living Social.
Gtrot’s aim is to arm travelers with unique information hassle free as they explore the far reaches of the globe. By acting as a pilot fish to Facebook’s shark, a vast global network of hints, tips, and wisdoms is made readily available.
“There are thousands of resources for travel online. We want to help cut through the noise by allowing you to get advice and connect with people you trust,” says Laughlin.
Nate Storey is a Research Assistant at Travel + Leisure