We called it our Brew, a gathering of folks interested in inspiring free and spontaneous travel, this website is our outlet (and we also brewed some beer, of course!).
Trip Hopping aims to show people all possible ways of getting to where they want to go, searching many rideshare sites, buses, trains and hitchhiking sites and more. Built around this are other tools that similarly aggregate the best places to stay, things going on and gives you a better spatial idea of your friends travels.
Here at the end of the Brew we've released one our biggest updates, the site is vastly improved on all levels. We'll go into greater detail of some of the coolest new features in some later posts along with some videos, but here's what's new in a nutshell:
Your friends are your friends, so it shouldn't matter what service you've "friended" them on, you shouldn't have to start from scratch when you find a new tool online you like to use. That's why we've added the ability to import your Facebook and CouchSurfing friends and plan to add more services in the future. The coolest part of this is seeing them on the map or show up in searches for places when you wouldn't have thought to check for them. Kasper said it best when he started realizing how many people he knew were in California because of this feature, "This is cool!".
More ways to get places
We've added more rideshare sites and more transportation to our search results, as well as more hitchhiking spots and information from hitchwiki.org, you can even find a hitchhiking partner by searching or posting yourself. This makes it even easier to find the cheapest or fastest or most adventurous way of getting to where you want to go. We'll always be adding more too, that's kind of the whole point of the site!
More places to stay
We've tapped into more sources of hospitality and accommodation. When you search a place you can see hostels, hotels, couchsurfers, campgrounds and some alternative methods you may not have thought of. It's useful to see this on the map as well, many people will love the feature of seeing all the towns with couchsurfers along a route, perfect for scouting out where to stay on your next road trip.
See who's around and what's going on
You can now post on the new Community page, about whatever you want - a meetup, thoughts on a place, questions, travel advice, anything. You can tag your post with a location, say Phoenix, and people nearby in Scottsdale will see it as well. In addition you'll see public posts form CouchSurfing if there's a nearby group, places of interest (libraries, bars, anything you can type in a search box) and you'll see who's nearby, which includes your friends.
You can now add any kind of trip, not just rideshare. This means you can note that you hitchhiked from Berlin to Amsterdam and other people can check it out and comment on that. It's also just a click away to share your trips or ride posts on Twitter or Facebook, or just grab some embed code you can post on any site that accepts HTML posting.
You'll notice some other little features here and there too, we're loving it. Things are more stable as well and our code base is cleaner and much more collaboration friendly, I'm looking forward to encountering some more coder types interested in jumping in on the project and moving it along even further.
A big thanks goes out to Larry, Kasper and Laura who've played the biggest roles in the Brew the past month, and also to our friend David who made the labels for our beer and helped with other artwork as well. It's exciting seeing so much interest and energy being put into this, I hope everyone enjoys this travel toy as much as we do.