Launch of Partnerships and Networks Platform Allows Like-Minded Travelers to Connect

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Tripping, a new travel social networking site with members in more than 100 countries, announced today the launch of Networks, a platform that connects travelers who share common interests and affiliations. Both public and private Networks are currently live on

Built on a social networking platform, Tripping helps travelers find locals who want to meet up for a drink, play tour guide and even provide a spare room or sofa, making it no longer necessary to pay for that expensive hotel room. The site is free and since keeping members safe is a top priority, it offers a wide range of safety mechanisms through its TripSafe Program that includes references, anonymous ratings, video validation and an emergency hotline for all of its members.

With Networks, members of that particular community will be able to connect directly with each other for conversation, shared cups of coffee and even home stays all around the world. Twenty official partners are already on board to have dedicated Networks including universities, travel associations, international volunteer organizations and even touring rock bands.

"As our world becomes globalized, we have a growing need for cross-cultural connections," said Jen O'Neal CEO and co-founder of Tripping. "Tripping is changing the way people travel by providing travelers with a safe, easy and free way to connect with local people worldwide. Our partners understand the value of cultural exchange and we're confident that Networks will strengthen their organizations on an international scale."

One such partner is Hostelling International New York, the largest hostel in North America. "HI New York gives travelers an opportunity to encounter people globally," said Community Outreach Manager Anthony Sodd. "We're excited to offer a Tripping Network to our members as it will enhance their cultural exchange experience while simultaneously introducing new travelers and volunteers to our hostel."

Other partners include AmeriCorps Alums, Trinity College, the seafaring travel program Williams-Mystic, the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association, tech organization Girls in Tech San Francisco, volunteer groups Tourism Cares and Hands Up Holidays, and touring rock band The Ruse.

In addition to public Networks, Tripping also makes it possible to set up a private Network, which adds another layer of safety to the site. "Lost Girls World," a leading online travel website and resource for women, is one of the first private networks to launch on the site. "We've chosen to create a Network exclusively for female travelers," said Amanda Pressner, co-creator of Lost Girls World whose book The Lost Girls has been optioned by Bruckheimer TV and Warner Bros. TV for a potential series on ABC. "Women can openly share their travel stories and experiences here. And then they can use Tripping to meet and stay with each other while traveling. It's fantastic."

Tripping also launched a series of Community Networks that are currently run by volunteers. These networks are open to all Tripping members and include such themes as Yoga Lovers, Travel Photographers, Expats, Golfers, Foodies, Musicians and more.

"We're excited to launch Networks and partner with so many top-notch organizations," continued O'Neal. "Through Networks, travelers can step off the tourist path and meet locals who share their personal and professional interests. This is going to take cultural exchange to the next level."

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