Photo by vlauria (Creative Commons)

If you’ve been around the Matador community for long, you already know that there are lots of ways to get great, free, independent travel advice online.

(And if not, you’re about to learn! Check out our roster of friendly destination experts, or search our blog posts and articles by location, for a start.)

Online travel info has gone well beyond what you can find on booking sites like Travelocity or Expedia, or even on the sites put up by guidebook publishers like Lonely Planet or Rough Guides.

Some sites are user-generated, some are professionally written – and some are a mixture of both.

But what most of the newer sites – including Matador – have in common is the ability to network with the people providing the advice. After all, doesn’t it make sense to know a little bit about the person who’s just recommended a restaurant or a tour? If you know their style, you’re better able to tell whether it might be your style, too.

Online travel info has gone well beyond what you can find on booking sites like Travelocity or Expedia.

Here are a couple of new travel communities we’ve come across recently. They’re worth checking out – after you’re done browsing Matador, of course!

Viatribe: Viatribe is a “competitive community of travel writers” offering reviews of accommodation, eating and drinking options worldwide. Browse their reviews and rate your favorites – or, if you’re interested in travel writing, consider signing up to contribute reviews of your own. Details are a little vague, but payment is involved – that’s where the reader ratings and the “competitive” aspect come in.

Tripwolf: Tripwolf is a “social guide for the discerning traveler” – members can browse reviews and listings from both professionals and other users, and can create a personalized 10-20 page guide for their trips, using their favorite content from the site. Unlike many indie travel sites, which are only available in English, Tripwolf aspires to exist in several languages; so far it’s also available in German.