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Social Site Review: Wanderfly 2.0

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Want to go on an exotic trip somewhere different? Or would you prefer to go to a beautiful beach somewhere?

The new updated Wanderfly 2.0 has the answers. By linking up with Facebook and also having its own community, Wanderlists has more than 1200 destinations with thousands of activities at your fingertips. The social media site, which also links with Twitter and Foursquare and has an RSS feed, helps you personalize your vacation.

I decided to check it out. I typed in where I was leaving from (New York City), told Wanderfly how much I wanted to spend ($1000 a person), when I wanted to go (August 2011) and left “I want to explore” blank. I was also asked what type of vacation I like – adventure, beach, extreme, luxury, shopping, history, family, etc. I chose Adventure and Extreme and hit “get going.”

My first suggestion was Minneapolis. Well, I’ve been to Minneapolis and I don’t see it as an adventurous/extreme type place, except for the winters I guess. Or, perhaps I am very wrong. But when I think of an adventure or doing something extreme, I think of some exotic place outside of the states.

I found that Arches National Park also came up in my search and I noticed that four people had been there and 15 wanted to go. The cost of the trip is $1529, a little over my budget but seems more in line with what I was looking for. The site provided me with nearly 20 places to explore, though I had never heard of some of the places.

Interestingly, Wanderfly aggregates from other travel sites so that you can read more about the destination and also get a sense of what others thought of the experience.

I like that the site enables you to send messages to your friends. I sent a message to one of my co-workers asking her if she wants to go with me to Flagstaff. (She wrote back and asked me when we were going!) It also allows you to post a message on your status. I posted a photo of the Icefields and said, “I love this place.”

In addition to neat destinations, the site also offers some hotels, flights and activities. You can even get advice from others who use Wanderfly.

Powered by Orbitz, Wanderfly will give you flights, times and roundtrip prices on airlines. You can even purchase your tickets on the site.

I decided to put in $5000 for my 7 day vacation. I told the site that I wanted to see art and it immediately recommended Paris, but there were several other really good choices there as well.

Wanderfly still has some quirks as any new site does. For example, when I put in romance, wanted to spend no more than $1500 a person and wanted to go for a weekend in July, I only got two choices – Ottawa and Cambridge. I never really thought of those places as romantic, but I guess they are an option if you want to go somewhere different.

I like that the site interfaces with Facebook and enables you to get advice from your friends. I think once the staff gets out some of the kinks, this could be a great site to go to when researching your next trip.

When I want to get away, I turn to my husband who enjoys doing all the research and planning. But if I were to go alone, I would definitely use Wanderfly to help me plan something out.

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About Hilary Topper