Two New(ish) Social Travel Tools: Everlater and Atlas Obscura

By , 06/11/2010


I just got back last week from a week-long vacation in Greece, where I went for a dear friend’s wedding on the island of Mykonos (with a couple of days in Athens as well). Since much of my time there was built around wedding-related activities, I was pretty last-minute in my planning and research on what to do once we actually got there.

I used Lonely Planet guidebooks for much of our sightseeing, but I also tried out two new(ish) travel tools with social media elements before, during and after the trip. I first heard about both at SXSW Interactive this year.

Everlater is a free online travel journal/travel blog site that allows you to post updates online or via a free iPhone app (which can be used offline or synced using wifi). I’m still working on completing my notes and uploading photos from my trip, but it’s a pretty robust service that was helpful in keeping track of what we’d done each day as we went along. It’s been many years since I’ve been able to keep a proper travel journal, but because I always had my phone with me and could enter notes offline, I found the Everlater app to be really easy to integrate into my day.

From the iPhone app, there are options to add notes about food, lodging, activities, etc., and to write longer stories or add photos. You can share your journal with others either before your leave (so they could follow along) or after you’ve completed your trip.  I think the service has an advantage over just posting your updates to an existing blog because of the way it allows you to organize and navigate the information you share and how you share it. Also, you may have a sub-group of people or close friends who are interested in hearing more details about your trip than the general readers of your blog (and your trip can be public or password-protected).

Atlas Obscura, a “compendium of the world’s wonders, curiosities and esoterica,” is an interesting look at all things a little off the beaten track. I looked up Greece before I left, and among the items saw this one on the Syntagma Square Metro Station. My friend and I went through that station a few times, and I made sure we stopped to look at the artifacts and layers behind the glass walls. Had I not read about it in advance, it probably would have gone by in a blur of subway commuter efficiency. Atlas Obscura functions in part by reader submissions and in part by editorial oversight, so I think this is one that will also get better – and bigger – over time.

Both services were helpful in different ways, and given my love for travel, I imagine I’ll be using these again.


3 Responses to “Two New(ish) Social Travel Tools: Everlater and Atlas Obscura”

  1. Nathaniel says:

    Thanks for the review and sharing these apps!

  2. Nathaniel says:

    Oh, forgot to mention. You can now embed an Everlater trip into a blog. You should do that with your trip!

    • Laurel Hart says:

      Thanks for letting me know – I hadn’t seen that (or hadn’t gotten there yet!). Good luck with Everlater. I hope it’s going well for you guys.

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