Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a specific question not listed here, please check out the Help forum.
  1. How do I change my profile picture?
  2. How do I create a travel blog?
  3. How do I print out a travel blog?
  4. How do I create a journal entry?
  5. Why are TravBuddy reviews more trustworthy than other websites?
  6. How do I write a review?
  7. How do I upload pictures?
  8. How do I create a group?
  9. How do I add a friend?
  10. How do I send messages to other TravBuddies?
  11. How do I contact TravBuddies going to the same places as me?
  12. Do I have to pay to use TravBuddy?
  13. What are smiles?
  14. What are the "nicknames" that appear under my name on the forum posts?
  15. Where do your icons come from?
  16. What are awards? How do I earn them?
  17. How do I use TravBuddy to plan my future travels?
  18. How are the featured reviews and featured travel blogs determined?
  19. What is vouching?
  20. What does it mean if a photo is "travel related" and representative of a location? What effect does my vote have?
  21. What does "average price" for a hotel mean? Why doesn't it match the price I search for?
  22. What does the activity feed on my profile show?
  23. Why can't I see new members or birthdays? Why can't I search for TravBuddies?
  24. I really like TravBuddy! How can I show my suppport?

How do I change my profile picture?

Welcome to the site, one of the first things you want to do is edit your profile. When you make a post or message another user, your profile picture appears next to your name. To change your picture from the default blank picture click on "Profile" at the top left in the header of the page. It is located under the TravBuddy icon. After clicking on it you will be directed to your profile page, this is what users see when they click on your name or profile picture. But since this is you, you get some special privileges.

On the left hand side are some buttons, click on Edit Profile, you will be directed to your "Edit Profile" page. Again on the left hand of the page are some buttons, click on "Edit Profile Pics". Now on the right side appears a form where if you click on "browse" you can then browse your computer and select the file that you want uploaded to be one of your profile pictures. You can have up to three profile pictures.

Return to questions ↵

How do I create a travel blog?

When viewing your "Updates" or "Profile" page there is a bar that spans across the top of the content with a few links to other areas of the site. One of the links is "Create a Travel Blog". Click on "Create a Travel Blog", this will direct you to a new page. Here you are presented with a form where you enter in basic information about your travel blog, a title, summary, an optional photo. In addition, you may set a privacy setting for the travel blog.

After you have filled out the form click on "Create Travel Blog" button. This will direct you to the main portal page for your travel blog. From this page you can blog about your trip in journal form, add photos, and write reviews.

Return to questions ↵

How do I print out a travel blog?

At the top of the travel blog page, in the top right, next to "View All Photos", there is a printer icon—click on that. After clicking on the button you should be directed to a page that contains the text entries of the travel blog, from here you can print out the travel blog in a printable format.

Return to questions ↵

How do I create a journal entry?

Click on "Add New Entry" then click on "Add Journal Entry". Enter in the location of where you are writing about. Below the location bar is the form where you can write your journal. After you are done click on the button labeled "Publish Entry".

Return to questions ↵

Why are TravBuddy reviews more trustworthy than other websites?

  • Reviews are written by real travelers. Lots of other websites say that, but on TravBuddy you can actually view users' profiles, see their travel photos, read their travel blogs, see where they've been and send them messages.
  • Many TravBuddy members have even met in real life.
  • Many members have written multiple reviews and upload photos for each review. Tens of thousands of TravBuddies login every week.
  • Members can vote on the trustworthiness of each review, forming a self-policing community. This works because we have such an active and tight-knit community.
  • TravBuddy is independently owned and operated.
  • In the end, it's the incredibly vibrant, active, and friendly community that you can trust.
  • Create a TravBuddy account, fill out your profile, and you'll quickly see what we mean! The best proof is your participation.

Return to questions ↵

How do I write a review?

Simply click on the "Write Review" tab at the top of any page. You must have a TravBuddy account to participate.

Return to questions ↵

How do I upload pictures?

Click on "Add Photos". You can upload up to four pictures at a time. Click on "Browse" and select the photo that you want to be uploaded. After you have selected all the photos you want uploaded, click on "Upload Photos!". Now that your photos have been uploaded, you have the option to add a caption or change the date for a specific photo. After you are done click "Publish Photos".

Return to questions ↵

How do I create a group?

Now that you're a member, and you've met some other members, perhaps you want to form a group. A group is a great way to keep in touch with other users and friends and keep each other informed of travel tips and experiences. To create a group, login and click on the "Groups" button at the top of your screen. Then click on the "Create a Group" button on the left side. You will be asked to give your group a title and brief description. Optionally, you may upload a photo to associate with your group. Hit "Create" and you're done!

Return to questions ↵

How do I add a friend?

To add another user as a friend go to their profile page and click on "Add Friend". After clicking on "Add Friend" you will be asked to confirm your request to add the user as a friend. If you click on "Ok", then the user will be notified of your friend request. Then that user can approve your friend request, if the user does so, then you and the user are connected as friends and appear under each other's friend list.

Return to questions ↵

How do I send messages to other TravBuddies?

To send a message to another user go to their profile page. A user's profile page can be accessed by clicking on the user's name. Under the user's profile picture is a link to "Send Message", click on it. You will be directed to a form where you can enter a subject and message. After typing in your message click on "Send" and it will send the message. A copy of the message is also stored in your Outbox. You can read your old messages by click on the "Outbox" button.

Return to questions ↵

How do I contact TravBuddies going to the same places as me?

You can find people traveling to the same places as you by using the Find a Travel Buddy search feature. Please note that using this feature requires upgrading your account to a TravBuddy Supporter account, which is a one-time, $9.99 fee. Learn more.

Return to questions ↵

Do I have to pay to use TravBuddy?

The only feature that requires payment (one-time, $9.99 fee) is if you want to contact other members using the Find a Travel Buddy search feature. Learn more. Everything else, including sharing travel plans, writing blogs, uploading photos, sharing reviews, posting to the forums, and participating in the community - is free.

Return to questions ↵

What are smiles?

While viewing the TravBuddy Website, you might come across an option to "Smile" at someone's photo, review, journal, or profile. When you click on the "Smile" link, you send a smile to that person. The smile shows up in the smiles box under Messages. In addition, you can select one of your profile pictures as the "Smile Picture", this is the picture they see in the smile message. If you see something you like, smile at it and spread the cheer!

Smiles are also used on profile pages as a greeting, hello, or a way to say thanks.

Return to questions ↵

What are the "nicknames" that appear under my name on the forum posts?

The "nicknames" are automatic "titles" that appear under your photo based on how many forum posts you've made.

  • < 50 posts — Couch Potato
  • 50–100 posts — Sightseer
  • 100–250 posts — Tourist
  • 250–500 posts — Wanderer
  • 500–1000 posts — Nomad
  • 1000+ posts — Explorer

Return to questions ↵

Where do your icons come from?

All icons with the prefix "silk_" are provided by FamFamFam under the CCL 2.5.

Return to questions ↵

What are awards? How do I earn them?

Awards are a fun way to spice up your profile page. They are also our way of saying thanks. Some awards may take longer than others to obtain. There are currently 11 different types of awards:

Return to questions ↵

How do I use TravBuddy to plan my future travels?

TravBuddy makes it easy to share your future travel plans, meet other travelers and get advice from locals. Simply click on Profile->Edit Profile on the top right of any page, then click on "Travel Plans". Add your future travel plans and dream destinations to get advice from others.

Return to questions ↵

How are the featured reviews and featured travel blogs determined?

Featured reviews and featured travel blogs, which appear on the front page of TravBuddy, are automatically determined every night based upon the feedback of the TravBuddy community and a super secret formula that we have devised. This super secret formula is based on smiles, "freshness", relevance for travelers and a variety of other factors. We constantly change this formula to find the right balance between determining how blogs are automatically featured.

The best way to help influence the featured blog or review is to smile. So, if you think a travel blog or travel review is particularly well done, be sure to smile at it and let your voice be heard ;)

Return to questions ↵

What is vouching?

If you vouch for someone, that means you have met that person in real life and would feel comfortable meeting them again. It is a way of showing trust in someone. While TravBuddy is great for meeting new people, it is no substitute for meeting people in person. The vouching system attempts to tie these connections back into real life.

Just like in real life, different people are more trustworthy than others, and the system is not infallible. It is up to you to determine whether or not you trust someone, and the vouching system is no substitute for common sense and safety.

You can see how many people have vouched for someone by visiting their TravBuddy member page and scrolling to the bottom of their profile.

Return to questions ↵

What does it mean if a photo is "travel related" and representative of a location? What effect does my vote have?

A photo is travel related and representative of a location if you think it might be of interest to someone researching or planning a trip to that location. Could this photo be used in a travel guidebook or in an article for a travel magazine? If the answer is yes, then it is probably travel related.

Your vote has a direct effect on highly we "rank" a photo for a location. Photos that are travel related and representative of a location will appear higher up in the photo results. Photos that are not travel related will be pushed down. People who abuse this system (i.e. by voting "yes" for photos that are clearly not relevant for a location or travel related) will lose the ability to vote for photos. Continued abuse may result in the deletion of the offending user's TravBuddy account.

Please note that it may take up to 24 hours for your vote to process in the rankings. If you've voted a photo up or down, but haven't noticed it change in the positions, please check back again in a day. Your votes are being counted, but it just takes a while to process all the rankings with over 1 million photos.

Return to questions ↵

What does "average price" for a hotel mean? Why doesn't it match the price I search for?

TravBuddy searches 30+ partner sites to find the best hotel deal for you. The average price is just a rough estimate based on previous searches for the hotel. However, since prices vary quite frequently based on hotel room availability, dates entered, and seasonality, the actual rate may be different.

To get the most accurate prices, enter in the dates of your desired stay and click "Check Rates". This will search hotel prices in real time, giving you the latest deals possible.

Return to questions ↵

What does the activity feed on my profile show?

The activity feed on your profile shows your 3 most recent updates to your blogs or reviews. These updates are only visible to friends. This feature is enabled to make it easier for TravBuddies to keep up-to-date with friends. If you like, you can turn it off in your privacy manager.

Only updates from the last 14 days are displayed.

Return to questions ↵

Why can't I see new members or birthdays? Why can't I search for TravBuddies?

Some features may restricted or only be available to community members who have earned an award (excluding Happy Happy Happy, Ambassador, and Travelpedian). We also have an algorithm in place that uses a variety of signals and user feedback that detects suspicious behavior. If you engage in spammy behavior, have a new account, or are using the site for dating purposes, then your use of the site may be restricted.

Unfortunately, these strict measures are necessary to help prevent a small number of people from abusing the site and using it for non-travel related purposes.

If you are affected, please carefully read the community guidelines and follow them closely. This system automatically recalculates every few weeks, so it may be a while before you notice any changes.

The best way to earn the trust of the community and system is to contribute travel related content to the site (by earning one of the awards listed above) and to follow the community guidelines.

We understand that some people may not like these measures, but our goal is to ensure that we have a high quality community of members, focused on sharing travel information first and foremost.

If you are here to share your travel tips and meet other people passionate about travel, we welcome your contributions.

Note: In rare cases, if somebody accidentally reports your profile as spam, you may not be able to see new members for a period of 24 hours. Waiting 24 hours will typically fix this problem.

Return to questions ↵

I really like TravBuddy! How can I show my support?

Thanks! The best way to show your support of TravBuddy is to tell your friends to join! Also, if you are booking a trip make sure to use our hotel search functionality and write reviews of hotels you've stayed in. Thanks!

Return to questions ↵