With summer travel season up ahead, Tripology.com, a new travel website, has put a new wrinkle in the Internet, matching consumers with specialized travel agents - a well-timed twist for travelers whose vacation dreams go beyond the usual online air/hotel packages that make travel seem like just another commodity. Many travelers don't have the time or specialized knowledge to plan the more complicated yet more rewarding trips they envision. They sometimes need help from a travel professional, but don't have a readymade list of great agents to work with. For these experientially minded travelers, Tripology.com takes the hassle out of finding travel agents with expert knowledge in specific destinations and particular types of trips.

On the site, consumers fill out a trip request describing the geographic location, purpose of the trip, number of people traveling, activities from outdoor pursuits to sports, leisure and cultural diversions, plus approximate dates that suit them, and Tripology.com's sophisticated algorithm finds agents with matching expertise. Consumers are contacted by no more than three agents, and choose which one to work with after discussions by email or telephone. From trips around the world, family reunions and group retreats to romantic getaways, Tripology.com has more than 4,500 agents who can help, with more signing on every day. Whether it's rock climbing in Wyoming, spiritual questing in Tibet or learning Italian cookery at a chateau in Tuscany, Tripology's agents offer inside access, expertise and a high degree of personalization.

Tripology.com is free to consumers, and agents are charged a small fee for each lead they select. Travelers are under no obligation to work with any of the three agents referred to them. Neither a brick-and-mortar nor online travel agency, Tripology simply brings together travelers who need help planning trips with agents who have the right expertise - and even helps travel agents find potential clients who actually want to talk to them.

Tripology's quality control assures travelers they can have confidence in agent referrals. Travel agents who register with Tripology.com must provide valid contact information including telephone number and email address. They complete a profile indicating their regions, cities or countries of specialization, the budget level they serve best from economy to luxury, and the types of travel they plan and book, including flights, cruises, hotels, rental cars, activities and tours. They can also write a personal statement that goes deeper in explaining their areas of expertise and indicates accreditations. In addition, agents know that consumers will be encouraged to provide feedback to enable future travelers to see consumer ratings and comments about specific agents. Finally, agents pay a fee to contact consumers, another assurance of their ability to plan specific trips and deal with traveler inquiries.

Related Link: Tripology.com