TravBuddy was designed and created for real travelers, as a place where they can share their real experiences, hotel reviews and advice or warnings. The site might not be impressive in terms of its appearance, but the amount of information gathered on it is quite amazing.
Travellers always face the possibility that what they saw in a guide or a hotel brochure might be different from the truth. Also, travel advice you can find in official sources usually doesn't mention important facts, like dangers, surprises, and cultural differences. The best way to get prepared for a trip, especially to an exotic place, is to talk to people who actually have been there.
TravBuddy gives people that opportunity. Those who had interesting experience can write about it, add photos, and comments, and those who are looking for information have a vast database covering all continents.
Activities on this site are mostly about browsing and reading, or adding one's own content. So, new users can start creating their profiles with adding markers to the map, as 'I've been there' signs. Then, they can describe their activities, with pictures, creating a one of a kind guide.
All the reviews and stories are organized according to their location, so if a user wants to know all about a particular place, they can find it on the map and check all the connected articles to get a comprehensive idea about that location. Of course, some less popular destinations are not included in the search, until someone decides to write about them.
The design is functional, but not really original. Of course, on a site like that the attention should be drawn to the users' photos, maps, etc, and not to the site itself. All content is organized in boxes, which makes it easy to find what one is looking for, but at the same time a bit boring. The colors are pleasant and rather traditional (shades of blue and a bit of orange).
TravBuddy can be a really useful site for passionate travelers, and a place that can help them write down and organize their memories and photos. Even though the social networking features are not highlighted, it is possible for the users to get in touch, for example, with people who live in a destination someone is planning to visit.