We Tried The Travel Social Network Travello, And It's Got A Long Way To Go

Traveling solo and want to make friends? Want to book a tour before you get to your destination? Looking for more details on some budget-friendly destinations? There's an app for all of that. Founded in 2014 in Brisbane, Australia, Travello is a self-proclaimed "social network for travelers" that's currently available in 180 countries and counting. Designed to connect, inspire, and help nomads find activities and tours around the world, the app's visuals-first approach is what wanderlust dreams are made of.

Currently available on your browser or the Apple and Google Play stores, Travello allows users to share videos, photos, and status updates about their travels and upcoming adventures. Designed similarly to other social media platforms — it looks like a pared-down version of Facebook's homepage — users can then follow, like, share, and comment on the content they find interesting, even if they're not following the person or page.

But with so many social platforms out there — most of which already cater to travelers and travel enthusiasts — is downloading and signing up for Travello really worth it? We decided to put the platform to the test with a few experiments to see if it lived up to the hype — and the results were a little underwhelming.

Getting started with Travello

Signing up to Travello is easy. Once you've downloaded the app, a screen will prompt you to either login or sign up using your Apple, Facebook, or Google account. After filling out some personal details like your phone number, nationality, and gender, the app will then ask you to also select your interests — here, you can choose everything from the general "backpacking" category to more specific preferences like "ramen lovers," "scuba & snorkeling," and "LGBTQ travel." After that's done, you'll be all set!

Before you actually connect with people, Travello will automatically fill your feed with content from other members who share the same interests as you, as well as popular users the app is trying to promote. If you're not up for the content overload, Travello's interface has two additional options to help you determine what content you're going to be seeing. First, there's the "following" tab, which only shows posts from people you've actively followed; then there's the "map" tab, which lets you check out content from people nearby — or far away — by swiping and tapping through an interactive map that feels more tailored and less overwhelming.

Lastly, the bottom bar of the app lets you personalize your experience even further by choosing to find travelers near you and message them, find content from specific cities or destinations, connect with digital nomads who are currently working remotely while traveling, and even find meet-ups in your area.

A social network and marketplace for global travelers

One of the main selling points of Travello is that, along with being a great place to find and link up with different travelers nearby, it's also a marketplace for tours, activities, and things to do in hundreds of different destinations worldwide. To see what's currently on offer, all you need to do is tap the "shop" icon from within the app and start looking for what you want either by destination or category. However, this is where we noticed the first downside of the app.

Being an Australian-based platform, most of the featured tours (if not all) are for cities in Australia and neighboring New Zealand. This means if you're looking to sign up for a trip somewhere else — you're going to need to do a little extra digging. And, even then, the options felt scarce. Popular countries like Germany, Iceland, and Nepal, for example, only had one offer available. Meanwhile, destinations that are "featured" on the app — like France — didn't even make the cut and had zero tours available.

And even when there were tours available, some of them failed to meet the mark. When we clicked on the "Germany" card, the only option was for an already-sold-out "Oktoberfest 2022" experience — a clear sign that the platform hadn't been updated in a while.

Should you be using Travello?

In our opinion, the short answer is: not really. While the thought of a travel-specific app might pique your interest, there's nothing on Travello that you wouldn't already see on Instagram or TikTok. In fact, we found the platform a little dull and hard to navigate, and it even crashed about four times while looking at different tours, which made the experience incredibly annoying.

However, in spite of these drawbacks, the one reason we might consider coming back to Travello is because of the platform's discounts and cashback options. Although Travello isn't a tour company, it works with certified tour operators to sell packages at a "best price guarantee." To see how true this was, we compared its 14-day "End of the Earth" excursion — priced at roughly $4,499 — with the official G Adventures listing, which had the trip on sale for $4,769 at the time of writing. A $270 discount? Yes, please! Other examples of savings include a 16-day "Classic Colombia" tour, which Travello offers for $2,974, while G Adventures' price will set you back $3,651. However, we did note that these prices tend to vary wildly from day to day — sometimes even by hundreds of dollars — so keep your eyes peeled for any potential drops in price.

All of which goes to say: If you're looking for savings, check out Travello; but if you're searching for content, there are better options to get your fill without the need to add another app to your overflowing phone.