Travel sites are, frankly dime a dozen on the internet. From sleek, but faceless big corporate types to gonzo-style efforts that, frankly, sometimes look a little dodgy to medium-scale operations that straddle the divide between bigtime corporate and start-up—all of these are what you find when you surf the net.
A few days ago, someone emailed me and asked me to check out geckogo.com. As a somewhat jaded blogger and net surfer, I was thinking that this was going to be some uninspired clone of Travelocity—a site that only offers a convenient way of booking your flights and take advantage of discounts in package tours.
Boy, was I wrong.
GeckoGo-Hotel and Travel Guide is a relatively refreshing way of looking at travel. According to the site, GeckoGo is a “collaborative travel planning resource for independent travelers”. They’ve really got the description down pat, what the website is, is a wonderful series of resources on different places and countries as “reported” by travelers who have actually been there. The site caters to travelers who eschew the package tours and established itineraries that are commonly visited by the everyday, unimaginative tourist. This site is for those who want to wander off the beaten path.
Although you get the usual travel book descriptions of each country in the site, the real gem here are the personal accounts of travelers. You get tips on travel essentials for each country, what to expect, the places to see and even different accommodations in the country. The tips alone are worth checking out as I have always maintained that you can never get enough information about a country. For all you know that one tip can actually save you a lot of trouble. The hotels and accommodations cited in GeckoGo are also rated so it’s a great way of checking out which ones will offer good value for money and which ones are just plain crap and not worth a penny.
GeckoGo also offers a small community answering forum that is similar to Yahoo! Answers. Basically, a visitor can ask a question that can be answered by other people. Again, this is a convenient and highly useful feature that really brings up the value of the web site. I have a quibble about the site in terms of its technical aspects though. When I used Mozilla Firefox, I kept getting this error every time I go to a new page. It was a minor thing but at some point it was starting to get annoying.
Although the fundamentals of this site are quite solid, I have to say that it does suffer from the relatively low number of visitors. There just aren’t enough reviews at the moment for the more exotic countries in Europe, and most especially in Asia. But this is a small criticism for an overall very promising travel site. I’m pretty sure that with a more aggressive marketing effort, GeckoGo will attract that magic number of visitors that will bulk up the valuable information that it offers to non-traditional travelers.