Well there’s quite a world out there folks. Tropical beaches in the Caribbean, historic cities in Europe and big lights and fast glamour in the USA…
And when you need inspiration on which bit of it you should see next, luckily you’re no longer limited to asking your cousin where she went last year. Social media means you’re online with a whole world of worldly experts, happy to help you plan your holiday. Whether you want to see exotic shots of Thai islands so you know which ones not to miss, real reviews of family beach resorts, or the location of the latest and greatest brunch spot in your holiday ‘hood.
We asked 11 of our favourite travel bloggers to share their words of wisdom on how they use social media to inspire, to enhance and to share their adventures.
Josh and Erin – Travel with Bender
Josh and Erin say:
“Social media is so much more than Facebook these days. The worlds of Instagram and Pinterest have opened up a whole new visual inspiration source for creating your best vacation. Photos speak louder than 1000 words so use social media to inspire and educate.
On Pinterest follow those who have been where you want to go and use their articles for future reference. On Instagram choose those travellers who inspire you with their destinations and nature shots. And don’t forget YouTube. If you thought a still picture could reveal a destination, checkout video.
On our YouTube channel we share walkthroughs on many of the hotels we visit around the world. This honest and transparent first-person perspective of a hotel is going to give you a better idea of the vacation you are about to take than the glossy showcase you’ll get from the hotel. Be inspired by social media, plan and then complete the circle by becoming someone else’s inspiration!”
Sabrina – Just One Way Ticket
“Pinterest is my favourite social media platform to get inspired. I can create boards with the destinations I want to travel to and start pinning images in each board. Or I can just follow fellow travel bloggers and get inspired by their pins. You can start looking at my board, hopefully it gives you some new ideas where to go on your next vacation! Happy travels!”
Chris – The Aussie Nomad
“One of the joys of social media is that no matter what you do or where you are you can easily find somebody out there seeing the world and sharing the experience online. My favourite tool to find inspiration is with Instagram. Pictures speak volumes for luring you into another place, be it sandy beaches, snowy winter wonderlands or a dazzling sunset over the water. Best of all its free and you get peoples real life experiences, not some hyped up article in a travel magazine.”
Dan and Audrey – Uncornered Market
Dan and Audrey say:
“One of the best ways that travellers can get inspired to travel is by using Instagram. This could be by doing hashtag searches on a particular place of interest or by following a group of travel Instagram accounts to get inspired by new destinations and experiences.
The great thing is that you can start a conversation with the person behind the Instagram account to find out more details about how to get there, what activities to do, recommended food, etc. It’s like having access to many different travel experts at once.”
Sofie – Wonderful Wanderings
“I love using Facebook for travel planning. Whenever I go somewhere I usually just put up a Facebook update asking people if they’ve ever been to my destination and if they have some tips for me. It’s the best way to find out about places that you can’t find in guidebooks or would have to look hard for online, like nice little bards and cheap but decent restaurants.”
Michael – Go See Write
“One thing I love about social media, in regards to travel, is the quick and instructive things you can learn by simply asking on Twitter. Sometimes when I am going to a city for the first time, I’ll just do up a few tweets asking people for suggestions and invariably I’ll get 2-3 great things immediately in reply.”
Jenna and Micah – Wander the Map
Jenna and Micah say:
“One of our favourite ways to get travel inspiration is by using Pinterest as a search engine. We use Pinterest to find new places that we would like to visit someday, and we also use the platform as a tool to research restaurants and activities for our upcoming trips. It has allowed us to find so many new spots that we would have never found otherwise!”
Michael T – Time Travel Turtle
“I am obviously a bit biased here but I think the best way to get some travel inspiration is to follow a bunch of travel bloggers on social media. We are always travelling to different places and sharing photos that go beyond what you would see in brochures or in magazines. Imagine seeing a series of beautiful images from a city you had never heard of before – you could be the first of your friends to travel there and see it for yourself.
But social media is also all about the interactivity. I love it when people tweet me and ask for recommendations of things to do in a particular country or city. I often ask locals or other travellers for advice before I go somewhere too. Fostering a community of travellers through social media is just as inspiring as a stunning photo!”
Laurel – Monkeys and Mountains
“I love using Twitter to get travel inspiration and crowdsourcing part of my trip. I.e. “Need some #travel advice! Should I hike xx mountain or xy mountain instead? Would love to hear from locals in #Greece”. Crowdsourcing is a great way to get the insider scoop either before you go or while you’re on your trip. Ensure that you use 1-2 relevant hashtags to generate the most responses.”
Dennis and Lynn – Bon Voyageurs
Dennis and Lynn say:
“Travellers can discover and be inspired by the beauty of destinations around the world from the photos posted by other travellers.
Travellers can be exposed by social media to the many cultural and social differences in various countries in a way which will make them want to know more. They can learn about the exciting activities and events which other travellers are experiencing and inviting them to experience as well. They can find out the ways by which other travellers the world over are making travel affordable and fun from travel how-to’s, tips, discount offers, etc…
Essentially they can learn the joy of traveling through social media. And from that, they can gain a love for travel which will stay with them their whole life.”
Tom – Spaghetti Traveller
“Social Media is becoming an increasingly important tool for travel bloggers, whether that be to increase visitors to the site, help posts become viral or to spread a message.
Last year I posted an image onto my Twitter account of a dog in Peru with some slightly odd clothing on, while a week later, a journalist asked whether I would be happy to have the image used in the Sun, with a link back to my site and an article written up about my adventures. Since then, I have worked with the journalist on a number of pieces, helping to increase visits to my site and enhance the sites reputation.”