Traveling broadens the mind, opens up new avenues, teaches you new things and, ultimately, is good for the soul. But where you go is often partly dictated by friends, spouses, partners, and anyone else you’re like to go away with.
While many do, of course, travel solo, meeting people isn’t always easy, and if you’re only going to be somewhere for a night or two, learning the local lingo for ‘table for 1′ might be a good idea.
Tripr, however, is looking to solve this problem, as it’s setting out to “radically change the nature of youth travel,” the startup says.
The iPhone app soft-launched this week, and promises to connect people who will be in the same place, at the same time, at some point in the future. Here’s a quick peek under the hood.
Perhaps the one (major) chink in Tripr’s chain is that it requires Facebook to log in. It can access your public profile, friend list, email address, birthday, education history, and photos. However, it can’t post to Facebook on your behalf.
Anyway, once you’ve done all the admin, such as setting your ‘home’ city, you can enter a planned trip. This includes details/preferences such as destination, dates, age-group, gender and more. You can also elect to tap ‘locals’, other ‘Triprs’, or both.
This at least partly explains why you have to set your home city to begin with – you could receive messages in the future from others traveling to your neck of the woods.
You can switch this feature off, thankfully. You can include multiple trips, and then await other travelers to indicate their own arrival plans, and you can message each other and arrange to hook up.
The general idea is nothing new. Services such as Badoo have existed for a while already, letting you meet (and date) other like-minded people when you get to your destination. But Tripr’s core focus on future travel plans is key here – it’s all about giving you the time to schedule meet-ups in advance.
Moreover, it’s not solely about meeting locals and other travelers when you get there – it can also be used for existing friends, or friends-of-friends, to see if they will be in the same place at the same time too.
I tried a few trips out, and it couldn’t find any matches for me. So Tripr’s user-numbers will be crucial here, something it will have to push to grow for this to be of genuine use. But if you know your travel dates far enough in advance, it’s certainly worth putting them in here, so other users stopping by can see there is a community growing here.
Tripr was built by a group of Oxford students, who built the app in less than 6 weeks. And you can check it out for yourself now on the App Store.