Since Queen Beatrix resigned four years ago, we celebrate King’s Day already on April 27, which is the birthday of King Willem-Alexander. However, it happens every year that some lonely tourists still believe that the Dutch celebrate Queen’s Day on April 30, so they find themselves dressed up in orange in Amsterdam among totally normal dressed people. The reason? They relied on outdated travel guides they have probably found in a box with books in their grandmother’s attic. Luckily, the times that we had to rely on old, borrowed travel guides are over. We find our inspiration elsewhere.

Thanks to the internet and people’s urge to share every detail of their life (I’m a sinner, too) we have a lot more sources of inspiration for our next trip – and our ideas are often crowdsourced. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary Crowdsourcing is “the practice of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people and especially from the online community rather than from traditional employees or suppliers.” Woohoo, that sounds fancy, but what does that mean? Crowdsourcing means that you use the people in your (online) community – the crowd – to get information, to raise money, or to get a job done. In our case we get ideas and inspiration from other highwaymen and highwaygirls for our next trip to Thailand or Peru.

Recommendations from the crowd

Can you give me an example? Sure, not only one! You probably know a few platforms which actually make use of crowdsourcing. You might just not have realized it. Probably the most known is TripAdvisor: Let’s say you are on holiday in Italy and have found this really nice, little ristorante. You liked your pizza (and the cute waiter) so much that you decide to leave them a 5-star double plus plus review. You share your experience with the crowd so that other people from the crowd can read your recommendation and benefit from it (by having the best Pizza Quattro Stagioni in Firenze). Thereby, you not only give others inspiration, you also provide the owner Paolo with some valuable insights about his customers. Win-win for everyone.  TripAdivors is in my opinion particularly useful when you already know your next destination and you want to find the best hotel, pizza, hostel, sushi place, b&b, or karaoke bar. If you are still not sure where to go to, TripAdvisor is probably not the right starting point. So where else can we satisfy our hunger for new travel inspiration?

Crowdsourced inspiration

Do you have a bucket list? I kind of did… at least I had a list of things in my head that I really want to visit. But I hadn’t written them down and they were mainly general things like traveling to Peru or to see the Northern Lights. But what do I want to do and see in Peru? Where do I want to see the Northern Lights? I had no clue – until I found UnboundedPeople. I think the best way to describe the platform would be “a Pinterest-like digital bucket list and travel diary”, but let me show you:

The first thing after you have created an account is to update your Passport aka your profile where you add some (travel-related) facts about yourself. You can follow other unbounded people and they can follow you. In that sense it is as well a social network. This is my Passport:

On my bucketlist

The feature I like most are the different types of lists you can create to organize your inspiration & tips:

  • Bucketlist: “Your list of dream destinations. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but it will definitely happen in the future!”
  • Travellist: “Destinations you’ll be visiting soon. The date has already been set. List all the activities, must-sees and hotspots.”
  • Done-that list: “You’ve already visited these places. Share your experiences of them and help other travellers with your ratings, tips and suggestions.”

Within these lists you can create different destinations and add entries for these specific destinations. For example, during our Europe roadtrip my boyfriend and I camped two nights on an island off the Spanish coast which belongs to a National Park. Since it is such a beautiful, peaceful spot I’d definitely recommend it to others so I added it to my Done-that list:

Now others can browse my lists for inspiration and pin my entries to their own lists if they like them. I have surfed for inspiration as well and already added some tips from others to my bucket list (use U-Discover). For example, I want to make a bucketlist for the Netherlands, so that I don’t leave the Netherlands in about a year without having visited the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

And why is this crowdsourcing?

Let me quote the founder of UnboundedPeople, Tessa Eberson:

“Being connected, wherever you are and whoever you’re with, so that you can share your dreams and experiences about travelling and unforgettable places, seemed like a great idea to me. That’s how my idea for UnboundedPeople emerged. An online meeting place where travellers can share their personalised world map and database full of fantastic destinations and travel stories. A community packed with experiences and memories of beautiful places all over the world. The perfect online experience for finding inspiration for your new travel goals, for making travel plans and for connecting with people who’ve already been to the places on your bucket list.”

It is undeniably a social network, but because its purpose is the exchange of inspiration I would as well classify it as a crowdsourcing platform. Without the contribution of the crowd, unbounded people all over the world would still rely on old, outdated travel guides.

A highwaygirl signature

PS: I’d be happy to hear what you think about UnboudedPeople or whether you know other travel platforms that work in a similar manner. And you are more than welcome to follow me on UnboudedPeople.