Would you like to go abroad to improve your foreign language skills? Or would you rather have a relaxing holiday sunbathing on Thai beaches or doing a gastronomic trip around Italian countryside? Most of us would probably check out our friends’ profiles on Facebook and then decide: From our findings, today’s social network induced voyeurism is revolutionising the travel industry by influencing people’s destination choices.

According to Tripl, a new social network site, up to 52% of people say a friend’s photos they viewed online inspired them to book a holiday to the same destination, while 46% say they have been abroad after being invited on a trip via Facebook.

And where do most of us view these networking sites? On our smartphones, of course. “Smartphones are changing the face of travel at an incredible speed”, says Mark Mayne of T3 magazine. “We use them to track flight prices and then to book our flights and accommodation, to store boarding passes and travel documents, and to download city guides”, he says.

Here you can find a selection of 8 recommended apps and sites:

  1. Foursquare (chosen by Responsible Travel) Another one of the many apps that allow you to “check-in” to a place so that people know where you are. You can choose specific locations (a hotel, for example) or towns and cities.
  2. Word Lens (chosen by Wired.co.uk) One of many cool translation apps. You simply point your camera at a sign or menu and it will do the English translation in real time. Currently only available in Spanish to English.
  3. Wikitude (chosen by Responsible Travel)
    Simply hold your phone’s camera up and this app will display information about your surroundings on screen!
  4. Ji Wire (chosen by Wired.co.uk)
    This app that tells you where the nearest Wi-Fi hotspot is so you can avoid those hefty data charges when accessing emails.
  5. GroupOn (chosen by Responsible Travel) If you don’t like planning and prefer the thrill of “pack and go!”, you can find last-minute deals for trips you may not even have considered on the social network GroupOn.
  6. Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree forum (chosen by Responsible Travel)
    In this huge forum travellers can post questions such as: “I’m in Italy- how can I get from Pisa to Rimini?” The site also features trips, articles and suggestions on things to do.
  7. Iknowagreatplace.com (chosen by Responsible Travel) With this app, your travel questions are answered within 48 hours by locals, experts or people who have been to your destination.
  8. Bumped.in (chosen by The Future Laboratory) An online travel service that connects people on the same path by sharing your itinerary with fellow travellers.

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