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Those Who Plan Together, Travel Together

Social networking sites take some of the work out of business travel.

Business travel doesn't have to be all about drudgery. Planned right, a trip can have its transcendent moments. And social networking sites for business travelers are perfect if you want to explore a new destination, get peer advice, meet new people or connect with friends, colleagues and fellow road warriors.

Here are a few sites to note:

  • IgoUgo.com is a gold mine of information from experienced travelers who weigh in on everything from hotel and restaurant finds to overpriced tourist traps. Its database of more than 8,000 international destinations is also a great source of ideas on what to do (or not do) at your destination when there's a lull in the business trip action. An added bonus: a travel deals section on hotels and airfares.
  • TripIt.com lets you share itineraries with colleagues, assistants and family members; Closeness Alerts notify travelers whenever their plans overlap with people they know who are also on the road.
  • 93%

    of businesspeople think a company's reputation is very important when choosing a vendor or business partner--but only 31 percent say they actually ask for proof of results.

    (Source: Porter Positioning)

    If you're less interested in finding info than on finding someone to talk to, Flight Club helps travelers with similar itineraries and/or flights meet. It's especially useful if you're heading to a trade show and want to find other attendees who are also en route.
  • Center'd is a planning site that ties together search, travel planning and community features. Locals with firsthand knowledge offer reviews, tips and lists of events. So if you're looking for a pickup volleyball game in a city where you don't know a soul, this is your site.
  • WorldMate Inc.'s "Connections" feature for BlackBerry users notifies them when friends and colleagues are nearby.
  • Marriott Rewards Insiders: The ultimate road warriors are the ones with millions of frequency points, and Marriott had the clever idea to give those globe-trotters a forum where they can share tips and experiences--such as where to find the best sushi and free wireless hot spots--with other travelers.

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This article was originally published in the January 2009 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Those Who Plan Together, Travel Together.

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