Don’t get us wrong. The benevolent folks at IgoUgo believe that service — particularly to your fellow travelers — is indeed its own reward. But they also reckon there’s nothing wrong with a little cold, hard cash.
So while IgoUgo encourages members to selflessly serve their fellow travelers by sharing their wisdom and experience, they throw in a little added incentive: the chance to earn GO Points ( http://www.igougo.com/rewards/ ), which translate into frequent-flyer miles and gift certificates at leading retailers.
IgoUgo offers something other guidebooks can’t: hundreds of thousands of opinions on destinations across the globe, plus suggestions and vacation pictures for everything from local hangouts and luxury accommodations to must-see attractions and worthwhile day trips.
For each of these travel reviews, U.S. members are awarded GO Points they can put toward purchases at outlets including Amazon, Target, Barnes & Noble, Sports Authority, Spa Finder, iTunes, and American Airlines.
In the spirit of “just showing up,” IgoUgo offers an initial cache of points just for registering, and another for filling out a brief personal profile and posting a picture of yourself.
After that, quality counts. Entries are reviewed by IgoUgo’s expert editors and given ratings based on the depth and utility of the information provided. The same system is in play for vacation pictures. A gorgeous photo of swaying palms at sunset will earn you extra points. That snapshot of you dancing on the bar after one too many banana daiquiris? Probably not.
IgoUgo’s editors aren’t the only ones judging the work of its contributors. Fellow members can express their opinions as well — and a review earns extra points every time another member reads it.
Still more bonus points are available for every high-quality entry about accommodations, restaurants, or attractions located in one of IgoUgo’s official “Hot Destinations.”
Of course, you could decide that the best things in life are free. That traveling and sharing your experience with a like-minded community is its own reward, and that you’d rather not use those points at all. But somehow … we doubt it.