Online pals the ticket for travel
Article by Jonathan Dart
Square, New York. The fight began with yelling, her best friend returned fire, she
went one way and the friend another.
Travel is notoriously hard on friendships so
it's perhaps strange that Ms Larson,
now a seasoned traveller, would choose to head off with someone whose
temperament has not been tested.
But like a growing number of professionals, she decided to find a travel buddy online.
"None of my friends were able to get time off
work to travel and it's hard to travel by
yourself as a female," she said.
"So I just started looking around on the
internet and started finding all these travel
groups." One of those online communities was at travelfriend.com.au, an Australian
website set up by web designer Henry Campbell in Melbourne.
He said that since its inception in June 2007,
the number of registered users had
grown to 1500, with about 100 people visiting daily.
He said the explosion of social networking
sites and people's lack of time explained
the site's success.
Monash University travel consultant Simon
Crunden said it showed travellers no
longer used the web only to book airline tickets.
Ms Larson had a successful trip to New Zealand with an online acquaintance.
"It's strange because the things you look for
in someone to travel with are not always
the same things you look for in a best friend," she said. "It's important to find
someone who's not too over the top."
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