Thursday, 9 October 2008

Tripwiser: Roll up, roll up, get your clone holidays

Cloning sounds like something best left to Photoshop users, Dolly the sheep's creators, and the dark forces in Star Wars. Yet travel-networking site is currently celebrating the launch of their new cloning tool: something that enables users to copy other members' trip and itineraries.

I've just had a quick scout around the site and I'm not sure I'd want to clone any of these trips. For the most part, they look rather unimaginative. Itineraries for Paris, for example, make groundbreaking suggestions such as "Don't miss the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre".

I use the internet to plan holidays that escape the bog-standard, cookie-cutter experiences and try, instead, to get the inside track. I'm far from keen on wading through reams of clueless recommendations that would be too basic for a standard guidebook. Even if I can now have the convenience of accessing these via Facebook.

Sites like this will soon become victim of their own success. They may build up an initial following from people wanting to announce to the world that they've been somewhere, but more discerning travellers will soon end up giving them a wide berth.

Much better advice can be found over at ever-growing, which enables you to leave your own tips, but also specifically selects knowledgeable local experts. Or possibly TripTips, which allows you to build a network based on people you know and trust.

This is what I want. Not having to wade through a million and one opinions on Tripwiser. Or Tripadvisor. Or TripTie.

And, good grief, a bit more imagination with site names wouldn't go a miss either.