Travel is inherently a social activity, and startups today are tapping into pre-existing social networks or creating new communities to help travelers before they even step onto a plane or train. It is a game in which the have and have nots of information, land, or couches work together to the benefit of all.

This week’s SkiftSeedlings looks at five very different travel problems which are all getting solved with a platform where locals and travelers exchange services or space for money, connections, or just good karma.

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Photo Credit: Pica Pica is an iOS app that allows travelers to create and publish their own travel guides. Pica Pica