By Sara Clemence
December 21, 2015
TREC Social Travel App
Credit: Courtesy of TREC

A few years ago, music D.J. Alex Merrell was at Art Basel in Miami, scanning through her Instagram feed to try to deduce which friends might also be in town. There had to be a better way, she thought. She started hunting for an app that would let her keep track of frequent-flying friends, and couldn’t find one that met her needs.

So, she built it. TREC (short for The Remarkable Explorers Club) is a new social networking app that lets travelers share calendars—making it easy to connect in Cartagena, Marrakesh, or anyplace else you plan to be—as well as notes on destinations.

TREC is sleek and focused: download it, create an account, then access your iPhone contacts to see which pals are on the network and make friend requests. Merrell was sensitive to safety and privacy concerns, so TREC only shares your location with friends—and even then, only the city you’re in. “Other apps basically show your exact location, and as a woman traveling alone, I don’t want that out there,” she says.

The app (currently available for iPhone) also supports personalized city guides, so you can see your friends’ recs for bars, hotels, restaurants, and more. But Merrell wants TREC to be much more than a set of social reviews: “I want this to be something that really connects people in real life.”