If you’ve got a vacation coming up, a startup called HoozTrippin is aiming to make it more fun by connecting you with other travelers.
Co-founder and CEO Steven Oh (who was formerly the head of product at Rotten Tomatoes and Movielink), describes the site as “Match.com for travelers,” except broader: “We don’t limit ourselves to just singles.” In some ways, it sounds like a complement to a service like Triptrotting, which connects travelers to locals. Local guides can make for a better trip, for sure, but so can hanging out with fellow travelers — for example, that’s one of the big reasons many of my friends prefer staying in hostels.
So when you enter your trip information into HoozTrippin, you can see a list of other members who are going to be in the same location at the same time. If you enter the specific hotel, you can even see who else has said they’re going to stay there. Then you can send those other travelers a message or a “wink”. (And yes, if you’re more, uh, romantically inclined, Hooztrippin profiles also include relationship status.) After a trip, you can also share photos with other users.
Oh says there’s functionality for students, too, allowing them to see who’s traveling to the same location from their school.
One challenge for the site, as for most other just-launched social networking services , is getting enough users to make the things interesting or useful. When I explored the site, Oh gave me a location and specific dates to enter, so that I’d find other people with similar trips. When I entered a trip that I’m actually taking, I wasn’t as lucky. Oh admits that this is “definitely an issue,” but he says the site is working on features (he won’t say what they are) that should improve things.
As for privacy and safety, Oh notes that you can choose to share your trip publicly (so that the information is available to all other members) or privately (so that the dates and hotel information only show up when people have a matching trip).
HoozTrippin is self-funded.