Want to get away this weekend but don’t have a destination in mind? Wanderfly is a visual travel discovery site that creates personal recommendations based on your interests and budget. Founded in 2009, the site just got a whole new look and won the award for best design at the LAUNCH festival in San Francisco.
Much like TripAdvisor, Wanderfly lets travelers review their favorite places, personalizing the experience by connecting to Facebook and Gmail to see what their friends like as well. But instead of using Wanderfly to hash out the good, the bad, and the ugly of a particular destination, the travelers focus on places they already like in order to discover something new.
To get a recommendation, just enter a few key words that describe what you’re looking for, like “cheap” or “cultural.” Then, choose the people or brands whose opinions you trust. Your recommendations will appear as a slideshow of cities. If you click on one, like “Paris,” a number of recommendations for activities will appear, like a visit to the Louvre museum, or a snack at a local gelato shop. You can add your own recommendation to the mix with a picture and a quick tip. Many of these features were added in response to user feedback after the site first launched.
Wanderfly might not be practical for people who have a destination and date in mind, but there are two features that can help you navigate a more structured trip. First, Wanderfly connects to the booking sites Orbitz and HotelsCombined, so you can see what’s available in your time frame. Second, there are some recommendation pages built around events, like SxSW in Austin, TX; and you can always type in the name of a particular city to see what’s there.
The Brooklyn-based company recently appeared on MediabistroTV‘s “Elevator Pitch,” a Web series where startups get advice from WebMediaBrands CEO Alan Meckler. At the time, the company had just raised a million dollars from Jason Calacanis, James Bailey, Roger Dickey, StartupAngel, Dave Morin, Charles River Ventures, and MentorTech Ventures. They had also launched branded pages with partners like New York Times, Jeep and History, and were starting to see an uptick in traffic. To hear Meckler’s suggestions for Wanderfly co-founders Christy Liu and Cezary Pietrzak, click here.
Image by Daniel Korzeniewski via Shutterstock.