Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) is tapping the power of its user base to help strengthen its travel offerings. Over the weekend, the Internet company said it's adding some new features to its Yahoo! Trip Planner that might help harness some of the Internet's socially connected elements to its advantage.

Forget those "wish you were here" postcards -- now you can get a better idea of other people's travels, on a much wider, more detailed scale. According to Motley Fool Rule Breakers pick CNET, Yahoo! Trip Planner will now let users share their travel journals with others, and view interactive maps of other people's trips. It's also integrating Trip Planner into its main search site. Furthermore, MasterCard's helping out with a sponsorship and a co-branded site of its own.

Back in April, Yahoo! announced other enhancements to its travel search capabilities, including its FareChase service for online comparison-shopping and user reviews to help folks plan their vacations. At the time, I noted that while the new features might be jazzy, Yahoo! faced considerable competition in Internet-enabled travel.

Veterans such as Priceline (NASDAQ:PCLN), Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE), and Sabre Group's (NYSE:TSG) Travelocity may still spring to many people's minds when their plotting their travels. Meanwhile, (NASDAQ:AMZN) has its SideStep comparison-shopping service in the mix as well, and many other Net heavyweights have clearly seen the attractiveness of travel-related services.

Although Yahoo!'s travel features are meant to drive traffic to some of these other travel heavyweights -- and generate ad revenue through ensuing clicks -- Yahoo!'s relying on the idea that folks will make its portal the first destination, rather than going directly to the travel sites.

Despite the competition, entrenched and otherwise, it can't hurt for Yahoo! to try to get as many Web 2.0 elements into its services as possible -- in this case, by harnessing the collective wisdom of its users. Yahoo! has clearly and avidly been pursuing such a strategy lately. The logic for adding more user-boosted elements to its Trip Planner is definitely there. Yahoo! can only hope the users will be, too.

Take a trip down memory lane with the following Foolish articles:

Priceline and are Motley Fool Stock Advisor selections. To find out what other companies David and Tom Gardner have recommended to subscribers, click here for a 30-day free trip through the service.

Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned.