If you've been planning your next adventure online, you may have noticed that TripAdvisor has some new features for you. On top of all the usual good stuff -- details, prices, reviews -- everyone's favorite travel site now allows you to make your own profile and follow friends and travel publications you love.
You can also make your own contributions, share your own photos on your profile, and build your own following. Your TripAdvisor newsfeed will be populated based on who you follow, which publishers you like, and which destinations you frequent.
In essence, TripAdvisor has become the Facebook of travel sites. In fact, if you have a Facebook account, you can use it to create your new TA profile and add any Facebook friends who are already on the site. Pretty handy!
"We're very excited to be changing travel yet again," says TripAdvisor CEO Stephen Kaufer. "Just as you have your go-to site or app for music and shopping, we are making sure TripAdvisor is now your go-to resource for travel.
"The new TripAdvisor provides its members with great content from the people, brands and influencers they rely on for travel and in-destination advice before and during their trip. With the introduction of new voices to TripAdvisor, travellers can better plan their trips by easily finding their ideal hotel, experience or restaurant."
Even better: Travel Awaits is one of the travel sites that has teamed up with them on this new project.
Your profile also includes a map where you can pin every place you've ever visited -- and you can see where all your friends have been as well! You can also use the site to build your own itinerary by saving things that look interesting, making TripAdvisor more indispensable than ever when you're in the planning phase.
Using the 'Create a trip' tool, you can even share an itinerary you built with family and friends looking for advice. Just create a folder for the destination in question, then select the places and activities you like best. Add your own comments and photos, and share your recommendations with the world!
(If any of this sounds confusing, just go create your own profile. If you're familiar with Facebook or other social media platforms, it'll be pretty intuitive.)
All told, Trip Advisor's new look helps avid travelers get access to more relevant information, plan their own excursions more thoroughly, and share their experiences with their own followers. It looks to us like a win-win-win.