You’ve been bitten by the travel bug and the need to travel has set in; you simply can’t satisfy the urge to see the world – every bit of it. Whether you’re travelling near or far; a seasoned traveller or setting off on your first trip outside the country, you can’t deny it: social media has become a huge part of everyday life, including when we travel. This is a great thing for savvy travellers who are looking to get off the beaten path and just enjoy what the world has to offer! It’s easier than ever to research and book amazing holidays all thanks to technology. In this post, I’m going to shed some light on a few of the ways in which you can use social media to take your travel to new heights (plane pun intended).
Aside from the obvious benefits of being able to document your travels by creating Facebook photo albums, instantly instagramming your favourite photos, and staying connected with friends and family, social media can act as your personal travel agent and tour guide!
Don’t be put off by the thought of being connected throughout your holiday if you are a traveller seeking an all-inclusive holiday where a break from your phone is part of the package deal, there are plenty of ways you can use social media BEFORE you travel that can be a huge advantage to planning the trip of a lifetime. Even if you are seeking a total break from technology on your holiday, sneaking a peak at social media doesn’t necessarily mean answering work emails, spoilers to your favourite TV shows you’re missing at home, or getting involved in the latest Facebook drama: it can mean hugely benefiting your travels!
If you’re anything like me, even the smallest things can inspire you to get out there and see the world! Travel inspiration is everywhere and social media can be one of the best, fastest, and cheapest ways to find it!
One of my favourite ways to get ideas is to follow and interact with travel bloggers. Travel bloggers write tips and experiences from their own travels, accompanied by beautiful photos, to tell you the ins and outs of your dream destination.
Some of my favourite blogs to check out:
No Destinations – This blog is a luxury travel blog that can be great for garnering inspiration. The blog is run by nomadic couple, Chris and Danika, who quit their job and sold their belongings in March 2014 to pursue travelling full time. They have detailed posts with gorgeous pictures and are a totally swoon-inducing couple. This blog is great if you are looking to treat yo’ self and indulge in a luxury vacation… but for the backpacker or the diva on a dime, a few switches in accommodation can mean experiencing basically the same things for a fraction of the price. Check out their blog: http://www.nodestinations.com/
Nomadic Matt – At the opposite end of the spectrum, there’s Nomadic Matt. Matt is so passionate about saving money when travelling that he even wrote a book about it (How to Travel the World on $50 a day) so you KNOW he knows
what he’s talking about. This is a great blog to check out if you want to see amazing travel destinations that you know you will be able to afford, even on a shoestring budget. Check out Matt’s blog: https://www.nomadicmatt.com/
My favourite social media platform of all time is Instagram and it can be a really helpful tool when planning a holiday, especially if you are a visual person. Maybe you’ve seen a friend, acquaintance, or even a celebrity post a photo on Instagram featuring the whitest sand you’ve ever seen, the coolest looking hotel, or the most mouth-watering spread of food you’ve ever laid eyes on. There’s a really easy way to find out where they were when they took the photo and that is geotagging. Geotagging means that a person can label a photo with the exact location of the restaurant, beach, shop, wherever it is that they may be! You can click the little blue link above the photo to find out where in the world they were when they snapped the photo and add it to your ever growing travel bucket list.
You can also use geotags if you already know where you’re going on holiday. Pop over to the explore menu on the Instagram app and type in the location you are planning to go to (i.e. Disneyland or San Antonio, Texas). You’ll be able to scroll through thousands of photos tagged in that location to get the low down on the must do’s before setting off! You can also use geotags while on holiday to find cool places to check out and the best places to eat.
Pinterest for Travel
Using Pinterest for travel is basically a combination of reading blogs and using geotags with the added benefit of being able to keep it all organised in one location. Simply type your destination into the search bar and get pinning! You can even create secret boards that no one else can see unless you invite them to contribute. This can be really useful for friends travelling together because everyone can pin things that they are interested in and share them with the group without you having to receive 500 messages an hour from your group chat!
Using Pinterest for travel can also be great because you can compile the amazing things you find from many sites onto one convenient board by copying and pasting a link to a really useful blog post into Pinterest and creating the pin yourself.
One of the greatest ways to use social media before and during your travels is by connecting with fellow travellers and locals alike on Facebook groups that connect you by similar interests. This tip was super helpful to me when I moved abroad. A quick search on Facebook will uncover the perfect group for you. I joined Sydney Au pairs, Australia backpackers, and Backpackers in Sydney before making the move down under to get some tips. Once I arrived, I was able to use these groups to connect with other expats living in Sydney and made heaps of friends this way!
Some of my other favourite groups for networking:
Girls LOVE Travel (GLT) – This Facebook group is a “global community of active and aspiring female travellers providing resources and empowerment to one another through safety, socialising, and support” and, with over 300,000 members, is a great place to find inspiration and ask your most burning travel related questions. It’s also a good way to connect and perhaps meet up with other people travelling in the place you are in and even with locals. The group also boasts many subgroups for finding people with more specific shared interests!
Fat Girls Traveling – FGT is similar to GLT but catered to a more specific group of travellers. This group aims to “be a voice for the curvy, plus size, FAT female traveller leaving shame and stigma behind” and is a great place for travel tips as well as encouraging words.
Dating Apps- Hear me out: with proper safety and discretion in place, apps like Tinder and Bumble can be great places to get chatting with locals to get to know the city you’re in! Bumble has the added benefit of a “BFF” tool which allows you to bypass the awkward “soo… what are you looking for on here?” questions and find other people seeking out just friends. No one knows the city or country like a local does, so this is an ideal tool for people who want to take in the real culture of a place, not just the ramped up, sugar coated, tourist version!
There you have it, a few of my favourite ways to make the most of my travel by using social media. Social media and technology has been an awesome upgrade on old fashioned travel and I encourage you to try a few of these tips out to maximize your vacation!