There’s nothing us travel nerds enjoy more than hearing our advice actually helped someone in a real world situation, so you can imagine our excitement when travel blogger and Trippy member Joy Mitchell not only told us about how Trippy helped her plan her recent Austin trip, but dedicated an entire blog post to it on her blog Joy In Europe. Have a look below to read all about how the members of Trippy helped her see the town like local!
Trip planning requires tons of research. Asking questions, downloading apps, reading travel blogs, and scanning guidebooks are all on my trip planning to-do list. But what if there was a site that could eliminate a couple of these steps? Well, Trippy does that.
I was introduced to the site that gathers crowdsourced travel recommendations, earlier this year at the Los Angeles Times Travel Show, and have since used Trippy to help plan my first trip earlier this year to Austin , TX for the music and technology festival SXSW.
Experience Travel Like a Local
No matter where I’m headed, traveling like a local is always my goal. I want to eat, drink, shop, and visit places that locals — not just tourists — frequent. Having as authentic of an experience as possible is something that I’m always after.
Trippy’s community is comprised of travelers and local experts, which means that questions are answered by locals as well as travelers. So when you ask for a suggestion on the best craft beer bar in a city, you’re often getting a local’s opinion, instead of just the Googled opinions of a professional travel journalist or amateur traveler.
Think you know a city well? You don’t have to wait until your next trip to show off your expertise about your hometown, current city, or a place you’ve visited thoroughly on Trippy.
When I started planning my trip to Austin, I decided to try out Trippy for bar and restaurant recommendations, since my sightseeing plans were tied up with concerts around the city. After asking about for suggestions on the best Austin restaurants and bars under $25, I was given answers that led me to Austin’s local food trucks, Tex-Mex, and BBQ.
In between catered music sets, thanks to one user’s suggestion of food trucks, I headed over to Rainey St. and Driskill St. to explore the South by South Bites food truck court. Though I found the Chilantro Korean BBQ taco truck underwhelming compared to the Korean fusion we have in LA courtesy of chef Roy Choi, the Japajam burger at the Peached Tortilla truck was a revelation. I’m a burger snob, and everything about it was perfect. The Japajam was sweet, savory, and huge, just like everything else in Texas.
Though I’d visited another suggestion, Chuy’s, on a previous trip to Austin and still dream of their creamy jalepeño dip, I decided to give another user’s suggestion of Iron Cactus Mexican Grill & Margarita Bar a try since it was located in downtown Austin, which was the heart of the SXSW action. However, sometimes the best laid plans have a super long wait time, so I made my way over to Chupacabra Cantina directly across the street and ordered a “Tex-Mex” style chicken burrito, which equated to chicken and rice wrapped in a tortilla smothered in a curiously orange liquid cheese sauce that I suppose one could call queso.
For brunch the following day, I took another Trippy restaurant suggestion and headed over to the Magnolia Cafe on South Congress or SoCo, as locals call it. The line for this restaurant was just as long as some of the lines to get into SXSW showcases, but at least they offered free coffee for the patrons (except for tea-drinker me) to have while waiting. After being seated, I ordered the very popular gingerbread pancakes. They were good, but a bit overhyped. There are three foods I’m particularly particular about, burgers, classic Mexican dishes, and pancakes. The gingerbread pancakes tasted like toppings were necessary to make them pop and live up to the hype.
I didn’t get to the much recommended Salt Lick BBQ because I didn’t rent a car in Austin, and getting to the Driftwood, TX location by bus would’ve taken a huge chunk of my precious concert time. Still, I did make a point of getting to the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport early enough to grab some of that famous BBQ for my plane ride at Salt Lick BBQ’s airport location. Though I’m not a red meat-eater, I decided I might as well go for the brisket sliders. Everyone, and I mean everyone, had talked up Salt Lick’s brisket. And let me just say, based on nothing at all because I’ve never had brisket before, but the meat was magically buttery, melt-in-your-mouth tender, and the Salt Lick’s spicy BBQ sauce gave it a tangy, heated kick that– for lack of a better phrase–was the icing on the cake slider.
Thanks to Trippy, I found a handful of spots off the beaten path that weren’t completely swarming with SXSW attendees.
The Future of Travel Recommendations
While I use TripAdvisor almost exclusively for nailing down my accommodations in a city I’m visiting, Trippy was great for restaurant and bar recommendations, and I plan on using the service to help me plan my next solo trip to Europe.
Yelp can be great tool while traveling abroad, but it’s not always available in certain cities, and if it is, the listings are not as comprehensive and heavily reviewed as they are here in the States. I foresee Trippy filling the gap of arriving in a city and searching for local’s recommendations online, and instead, helping travelers land armed with a list of suggestions to try out at their leisure.
Instead of star ratings, Trippy operates more like Q&A sites Reddit and Quora, where the most liked answers are up-voted. If you’re a fan of star ratings, look for the highest answers and most mentioned places on Trippy.
Crowdsourced Travel Tips
While reaching out to traveler friends in my networks or posting a “where to?” status update on Facebook is something I do regularly when prepping for a Europe trip, I sometimes wish I could narrowcast my question instead of broadcasting it to my less travel-inclined connections.
Facebook is great for connecting you to people you might want to visit, but Trippy connects you to places you might want to visit. Instead of casting a wide net and filling people’s feeds with status updates requesting recommendations, Trippy allows you to direct your recommendation request straight to Trippy experts and users familiar with that particular city/country who can then chime in to answer.
While I’m still a newbie user at Trippy, I can’t wait to see what recommendations users have in store for my next big Europe solo adventure.
Joy Mitchell is a Los Angeles-based travel writer who especially loves Europe, as evidenced by her blog Joy In Europe. Be sure to catch her travel recommendations on Trippy and follow her adventures on Twitter!
Did Trippy help you discover cool things on your travels? If so, please drop us a line at email@example.com. We’d love to feature you on our blog!