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When it comes to travel, nothing beats the recommendation of a friend. But when it actually comes to booking a trip or buying something online, we all end up basing our decisions on reviews by complete strangers on sites like Tripadvisor, Yelp or Amazon, and let these random reviews dictate how we spend our time.

But let’s think about that for a second. Strangers who leave reviews on these sites don’t know us, and have no idea about our interests or tastes. They may be friends of the owner. They may have a personal grudge. Worse than that, they may not even exist: there is a whole industry within travel which profits from selling fake reviews.

Until now, we have used these sites because there has been no better alternative to sourcing trusted recommendations and reviews in a quick and convenient way. Though with the release of free travel app ‘Pearlshare‘, that’s all about to change.

A fantastic app which lets you build and share local travel guides, and tap into the knowledge of your friends, Pearlshare is about to leave review sites like Tripadvisor and Yelp behind. It’s easy to use, and a fantastic new way to guarantee you’re getting travel advice from sources you trust.

The Best Way to Find Travel Advice You Can Trust: Introducing PearlShare

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Pearlshare is a free app that allows you to easily build and share local travel guides. You can save all your favourite local places, or spots from destinations you want to visit (restaurants, bars, attractions etc), personalize them with quick comments, photos and tips, and then super easily share them with friends.

The app is built around ‘pearls’, which are your own ‘pearls of wisdom’! These are little nuggets of information, whether that be a great brunch spot in Sydney, a tourist attraction or a landmark. Each pearl requires you to leave a short comment about the place in 160 characters, and automatically includes handy info to include like opening hours, maps, URLs etc. They’re then available from your device whenever you need them.

The next step is to assign individual pearls to a travel guide. For instance I’m always being asked about travel to Tasmania (my home town), and where people should go. So I’ve added each of my recommendations for awesome day trips from Hobart as individual pearls, and then bundled them all together to form a guide. When people now ask for recommendations I just ping them the link and they have all the information on hand! Simple!

The nice thing is that you can share pearls and guides with your friends via any form of messaging you choose, whether or not they have the app.

Screenshots

Pearlshare is a free app that allows you to easily build and share local travel guides.

Pearlshare

User Experience

Pearlshare is brilliantly simple to use, whether you’re on your iPhone, iPad, or desktop (Android version is on the way). The interface is super user friendly, and creating guides is a straightforward process with no learning curve. As they restrict your word count it’s pretty quick to throw a guide together too.

The app was born to provide a simple way of sharing recommendations with friends. It helps you find recommendations when you need them, and allows you store recommendations if you receive them when you aren’t looking.

It’s fantastic because you can quickly find and save all your favourite places, and those you want to visit, in one place, with all the details only ever a tap away. It provides nuggets of insights into places that would take hours of research to find otherwise.

Travel Advice You Can Trust

It’s not just that our friends know our tastes – swapping recommendations is fun! A big part of our social interaction is around recommending stuff to our friends, listening to their recommendations in return, and discussing our shared experiences. It’s part of the human experience.

On top of being able to forward links to individual guides, Pearlshare allows you to search through the recommendations of your friends. You can search for pearls by friend depending on what kind of experience you want, whether that’s a crazy adventure off the beaten path, or a foodie escape.

Because Pearlshare have established a large base of professional travel writers and other experts, I’ve found that even the guides from from strangers are reliable and consistently well-written (you can explore collections from other users and see what guides they have created).

More Screenshots

Because Pearlshare have established a large base of professional travel writers and other experts, I’ve found that even the guides from from strangers are reliable and consistently well-written

Who Will Love This App

The great thing is that this app has practical use for everyone, whether you’re an intrepid traveler, an Airbnb host, or have family and friends coming to stay.

If you’re traveling and searching for a unique experience, use the app to find local recommendations on what to do. Have a guest coming to stay? Quickly create a beautiful and personalised guide to the area to share your favorite local spots.

Sick of typing up lists and trying to rack your brain for the name of that restaurant someone recommended? Create a guide as a method of collecting recommendations and keeping everything you want to do in one place. It’s a really great way to save all those “finds” for later reference.

Finding, collecting and sharing incredible places with your friends has never been easier. In the future, when we find something great, we won’t just share it, we’ll Pearlshare it!

This is the Part Where You Download the App!

Download Pearlshare here for iOS or jump over to the Desktop version.

Free on iOS Free on Desktop

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Megan is an Australian Journalist who has been travelling and blogging since 2007, with the main aim of inspiring others to embark on their own worldwide adventure. Her husband Mike is an American travel photographer, and together they have made the world their home.

Committed to bringing you the best in adventure travel from all around the globe, there is no mountain too high, and no fete too extreme! They haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on their list.

Follow their journey on Facebook, TwitterYouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.

    22 Comments

  1. This sounds like an amazing app. I hate having to go to all the different sites (yelp, trip advisor, etc.) to get information I need. Downloading it now :)

    • Glad to hear! Let me know when you get some guides up and I’ll see if I can hit you up for some advice :)

  2. I’m going to download the app right now and try it out! It seems like something that could be really useful. I don’t love Yelp (and I’ve seen those ads on cragslist for paid reviews), and TripAdvisor doesn’t always cut it either. I’m happy to get a more personal/local take!

    • Glad to hear that Patricia – I’m sure you’ll love it! The local take is the reason I love the app so much – after-all, locals know best!

  3. This is such a neat app! I love the ‘pearls of wisdom’ idea. I’ve been seeing more and more fake reviews on Tripadvisor reviews lately an it’s really bugging me because I don’t know what’s real or not anymore! Will give this app a shot :)

    • Definitely jump over to iTunes to download Pearlshare then (or desktop if you don’t use apple). I love that someone has finally come up with a way to combat fake reviews!

  4. This sounds like a great idea. Especially as it seems to be harder to trust reviews on major sites like Yelp. I could definitely see this taking off.

    • Definitely jump over to iTunes to download Pearlshare then (or desktop if you don’t use apple). I love that someone has finally come up with a way to combat fake reviews!

  5. This is such a cool idea! My sophistication with trip planning and sharing has stopped at blogging and the occasional (albeit, painstakingly detailed) Google map. I’ll definitely use this for my next trip.

    • Glad to hear that Katie! I’ve found the app to be so useful for trip planning, and it saves so much time having recommendations and reviews in the one spot and presented in such a concise way. Love it!

  6. The interface looks really nice and clean! How many people have downloaded the app? I wonder what it’s like in my neck of the woods here in Korea…

    • Not sure on that one – there’s a pretty large library of pearls and guides uploaded though, so the community is a pretty decent size. When you pull up the app (or desktop version) there’s an option to search by location, which will bring up everything people have uploaded on a specific destination, or you can add your own gems from Korea :)

  7. Looks like another app will be added to my collection. Sounds promising! (Still looking for perfect travel app. )

    • Let me know what you think! :)

  8. I always enjoy seeing what kind of apps are out there travel-wise. Will save your guides on Australia for the future when I make it out there ;) After some few disappointing leads on trip advisor, I am in need of something more honest.

    • Will be creating even more guides to Australia over the next couple of weeks/months – let me know if there’s a specific region you’re most interested in and I’ll try to cover it in a guide :)

  9. This app is perfect because I can’t trust that TripAdvisor is credible anymore. A tour company contacted me and asked me to take down a bad review – not okay!

    • I had Tripadvisor actually take down one of my bad reviews because a company had lodged a complaint against it. So I’ve lost total faith in them too. Pearlshare is a much more reliable option for reviews :)

  10. This sounds like a great idea. I long ago gave up on believing the Trip Advisor and Yelp reviews. I look forward to the Android version, coming soon, I hope!

    • I’m told that Android is only a matter of time :) The desktop version works pretty well for us android users in the meantime :)

  11. The ability to make custom guides for anyone to use is excellent, in particular for sharing with friends or family.

    But I don’t really see how this app solves the problem of questionable reviews, however. In the end you are still stuck for the most part with the recommendations of total strangers unless you happen to have 1000s of true friends all around the world. Am I missing something here? Just because someone claims to be a local doesn’t mean they truly are, and in any case, what is to stop them from recommending all their friends businesses, or businesses that pay them?

    I suppose there would be clues to a useful local guide: ie, lots of recs from around the area, in different categories. Good writing. Good pics. Etc. If someone put the time in to do a decent guide that says a lot, though of course there is still the issue of how much does the person really know the area and as you said at the beginning, is his or her taste my taste.

    Oh well, that’s an issue for all guides. This looks quite cool and I will give it a try. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

    • Hi Robert

      Thanks for stopping by – definitely give Pearlshare a look and see how you like it.

      If you’re relying on strangers reviews to start off, or because you don’t know anyone in an area personally, then yes, there’s always going to be that chance of not knowing if you can trust the review. Though from my experience on the platform you can get a pretty good sense of a whether or not a guide will be useful by assessing the quality of writing, if the author has a lot of local guides from the same area etc.

      All the clues that you mentioned are great indicators of a trustworthy guide, and the nice thing is that on this platform you can get this kind of further info where-as on platforms like Tripadvisor or Yelp you can’t.

      For those who travel and meet a lot of people along the way, this is then when you would be establishing a large network of friends from all over the world where this would then be a handy tool.

      Let me know how you like it :)

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