Staying in a hostel is one of the best ways to travel cheaply. Yet many people are loath to do it. One of the biggest reasons why people are scared of hostels is the fear of being stuck in a room with folks that they wouldn’t want to even sit next to on the bus, much less spend a whole night sleeping next to in a foreign country. On the other hand, the possibility of meeting interesting people from all over the world is a big draw.
Enter inBed.me, a new travel and tech start-up that combines the power of social media with a traditional hostel reservation system. Like other hostel booking sites, such as Hostels.com and HostelBookers, you can book a bed on inBed.me in many parts of the world simply by entering your dates and number of occupants. It then allows you to filter your search results by accommodation type. An added bonus is that you can also filter by ambiance. Such a filter means that couples looking for a more romantic experience, for example, won’t accidentally stay in a property filled with screaming children. Since the site is still new, you likely won’t get as much results and be able to read the reviews of past guests as you would with other booking sites. That will change as the site grows however. It’s expected that more properties will join the 25,000 already in.
What really sets inBed.me apart is its ability to show you who else will be staying at the hostel during your dates. Click on the thumbnail pictures that show up under “Who will be there” and you’ll be taken to their profiles. Depending on how much the user has opted to share, you’ll see his or her picture and learn a little background information. You can also contact the user directly. The benefit of the site will be more evident as it grows and more users join.
The ability to see and connect with others is something that the founders of the site realized were missing during their backpacker travels. The lack of a personnel connection inspired them to take action. “Traveling as a backpacker really transformed me as a person, but I realized that the transformation came from the exchange with all the people I met along the way. That’s why we want to create a resource to facilitate these real connections,” Diego Saez-Gil, co-founder and CEO at inBed.me, said. “We have big plans for the future that include geographical expansion, development of mobile applications and some features for the product that will make it really useful for the social travelers. The year 2012 will be really exciting!” he added.
While the site’s social media feature can’t guarantee that your hostel experience will be an absolute success, it increases the chances that you’ll stay at a place with like-minded travelers. It’s certainly another tool that you should keep in mind when booking future travels.
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