Social media has become such a big part of our everyday life that we don’t even think about how it influences our thoughts and choices. Do you remember your last trip and what led you to choose that particular destination? Chances are that social media influenced your decision to travel there.

But social media doesn’t just influence, it can also be used to our advantage to enhance our travel planning. Reviews and posts about far off places that you wouldn’t otherwise know about or consider, can turn your next trip into a truly unique experience.

1. Facebook is the new search tool:

Whether it’s a shared photo by a friend on holiday or someone you follow, according to MDG Advertising’s research, that photo will inspire 52% of us to make our own travel plans. We trust our friends and those we admire and believe that if they have a great time somewhere, we will too. Three ways to use Facebook to your advantage are:

Social media for travel

Look for the places your friends have visited and rated. (Facebook profile -> More -> Check in’s)
social media for travel

Ask for recommendations for things to do in a city or country you’re about to visit. (In your status message -> Feeling / Activity -> Looking for -> Travel Recommendations / suggestions)
social media for travel

Update when en route so you can meet with friends already there (In your status message -> Feeling / Activity -> Travelling to -> Type places name)

2. Be #InstagramInspired:

Like Facebook, we use Instagram to inspire and inform our next great adventure. Searching for other user travel experiences generates destination ideas which we may never have considered. Interestingly, and again from MDG Advertising’s research, 40% of Brits born between 1981 and 1996 think about how Instagram-worthy a destination is before making final travel plans. Famous travel writers are increasingly using the power of pictures by writing articles like ‘Most Instagrammable Places In Amsterdam’. These offer an additional way to learn not only about the best places to eat but also the most Instagram-worthy places to visit. Instagram is also a fun way to document your travels. You can use it in the following ways:

social media for travel

Following the city or country’s tourism board
social media for travel

Finding Instagrammers from the destination and location
social media for travel

Clicking on geotags so you can experience that same amazing photo – but in person.

TRAVEL HACK: If you click on recent it gives you posts that were just uploaded, and based on scenery and how people are dressed one can determine the current weather in the place 😉

3. Pinterest helps bucket list those interests:

For those who like to do a bit of visual research when trip planning, Pinterest provides the seed of inspiration. A pin of the most beautiful place you’ve ever seen can lead to finding out everything possible about it – including how soon you can get there! By creating boards into topics, and then pinning photos and blog posts to those boards, you can easily organise and categorise your travel planning and trips.

social media for travel

4. #TTOT (Travel Talk on Twitter):

Would you like the opportunity to ask questions directly to people who have been there? Try joining #TTOT which is the travel community’s largest Twitter chat. The hosts are @TravelDudes and @RoniWeiss. You can join the chat every Tuesday at 9:30 AM/PM GMT. Here is a full list of all the Travel Chats I love on Twitter.

TRAVEL HACK: Try experimenting with polls, ask users their opinions and use the #Travel so the right people see and take it. Voila feedbac! 😉

social media for travel

The next trip you plan, consider the social media platforms you use and how they influence your travel choices. Then try to imagine a world in which we didn’t have phones. Phones that we plan on and are always handy to help us as we travel. Aren’t you grateful you no longer have to rely on magazine articles and travel brochures to make these decisions?

Are there any ways you use social media for travel planning?

8 thoughts on “How to use social media for travel planning.

  1. susanna says:

    That’s interesting about Facebook. I have a love / hate relationship with them. Definitely agree about Pinterest and Instagram! Nice article.

  2. I do all of these things! As a travel blogger I’m occasionally embarrassed that I’m looking at the most incredible photograph taking in a destination I’ve never actually heard of! But social media is a brilliant tool for planning.

  3. fashionandstylepolice says:

    Great tips here. I will try these platforms for some inspiration when planning my next trip.

  4. I love social media for finding more out about a place and finding new places to visit. I would love to travel more 🙂

  5. Talya says:

    This is so interesting I have never used social media to plan my travels but I will definitely try it going forward!

  6. Anne Fraser says:

    I am older and use forums like Silver travel advisor. It is good that you can easily get in touch with locals to ask questions like “what should I pack” or “how much does x cost”

  7. Kara says:

    I love following the instagram feed of places I am going to visit as it gives me lots of travel inspiration

  8. Deborah says:

    This is really interesting. I would never have thought to use social media to plan travel

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