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"Face" book your next hotel with ShareTrips

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ShareTrips was started by a couple guys who always got stuck booking trips for friends and family. Tired of making hotel decisions in a vacuum, or poring over endless string of e-mails with links to multiple hotels, (or in my case, having to hunch over the laptop, while trying to get my significant other or children to chime in with their opinions before I lose a really great hotel deal), they thought it would be great to have a service that offers real-time collaboration when booking hotels.

The premise to ShareTrips, a new social travel site, is this: traditional online travel websites only allow one person to view a webpage and select a hotel--even when multiple people are traveling. ShareTrips provides an online collaboration environment that gives ALL travelers in a party the ability to interact with a shared web page and provide input. The overarching goal of ShareTrips is to simplify the booking process for everyone who is traveling (and reduce the burden of having one person who has it "do it all").

But just so you know, these "guys" used to work at Hotwire. I caught up with one of the guys, Josh Skoko, the CMO at SF-based ShareTrips, for some insight into how they plan to go up against some of the bigger players in the travel space, who are already integrating social into their functionality, like Travelzoo, who allows commenting and user-shared reviews on Facebook. Skoko explained: "Travelzoo’s Facebook integration allows consumers to share deals with friends for future collaboration and planning. ShareTrips is focused on bringing that process one step closer to the consumer by allowing for real-time collaboration during the booking process. Through our integration with Facebook, friends can interact on a shared webpage experience and view deals together at the same time." Sounds good to me.

Basically, here is how it works:

  1. Copy your unique Share Code link.
  2. Email or instant message the Share Code link to your friends/family.
  3. Click the Microphone or Camera button to interact while sharing the ShareTrips webpage.
  4. Decide on a vacation--together, this time.

The site is fully functional (don't let the "Beta" tag at the top dissuade you, Skoko assured me) and ready for booking--and sharing (not in that order). At this point, there is no competition for this kind of online booking collaboration. If they succeed, maybe I won't hear about all things the hotel room doesn't have. Just how great it is.

Barbara Bryn Klare covers the ever-changing SF financial tech scene for Examiner.com San Francisco, and free and cool things to do in SF for dailybuddah, a culture/food/travel site with a daily dose of wisdom, found on Facebook and on Twitter.

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