May 18 How to Use Social Media to Plan Your Next Vacation
Everyone loves to go on vacation but who wants to actually spend time planning one? Don’t you wish you could just snap your fingers and be in a tropical destination where all of your worries just melt away? Well since that isn’t possible yet the travel industry is trying it’s best to make it faster, easier and worry free to plan your next vacation. And now social media platforms are catching on as well. With new features from Pinterest and Google, knowing how to use social media to plan your next trip can make the process easy breezy; check out these features and see for yourself.
Pinterest Guided Search
My favorite way to start researching a vacation is to go to Pinterest and see where the inspiration might lead me. Pinterest has their Guided Search feature that helps lead you into different directions based on what you’re looking for. Say you want to go to California; type in “California Vacation” into Pinterest and the descriptive guides will help categorize ideas for you; like Outfits, Packing, Itinerary, Tips, Budget, Bucket Lists, etc. Using these categories can help you to start building out what you want to do on your vacation, how to pack for it, even tips on how to budget for it. Plus, by creating a travel board for each destination, it helps you keep in mind all of the things you want to do, see and eat on your vacation.
Using Pinterest Guided Search can help you narrow down your search from a vague idea, like “California Vacation,” to a specific plan, like “Family Vacation to Disneyland.”
With so many possibilities you’ll have a Pinterest board for every destination in the world! (Kind of like me.)
Destinations on Google
In March of this year, Google Search added a new feature specifically designed to help people plan vacations. It’s called Destinations on Google and it’ll help you plan where to go and when to go there. It’ll also give you cost efficient ways to travel to your dream destination. Sounds easy right? It is! Just watch this video to see how it works.
My two favorite things about this new feature are the Points of Interest and the Itineraries. One of the most difficult things when traveling is trying to figure out when to see everything and how much time you’ll need at each place. Destinations on Google takes all of the hassle out of planning by featuring travel guides that take the most popular Points of Interest in a destination and puts them into a nifty itinerary for you.
This feature is only available on mobile for now but you can find it by typing in a search term like “European Destinations” into your search engine. Using the word “destinations” in your search will trigger this feature and it’ll aggregate and present information on your destination in order of its popularity. In addition to Points of Interest it also provides a destination card that allows you to filter by specific travel dates or your allocated budget. This will show you the most affordable week to travel within your time frame and budget.
Once you’ve picked a specific place to visit you can choose to “Explore” the destination further or you can proceed with “Plan your trip”. In the Explore mode it compiles the best itineraries available based on where you want to visit and when.
In the “Plan Your Trip” tab, Destinations will “calculate your total trip cost, adjusting the dollar amount instantly as you toggle through calendar options. It also adjusts flight options seamlessly, and it sorts hotel choices based on your star preferences, showing you what’s bookable for your desired travel dates.” However, the option to book your hotel and flight through Destinations isn’t available yet, so you’ll still have to do that the old fashioned way.
As of now, 201 cities have been curated with Destinations on Google. If you haven’t decided on a city it also offers itineraries for countries as well. While I love this new feature for the simplicity and convenience of it, those looking to go off the beaten path will need to dig a little deeper. This feature only pulls information based on search volume, so it’ll only suggest the most popular places and not the local unknown favorites.
So wherever your wanderlust may take you, near or far, using Destinations on Google and Pinterest’s Guided Search can make planning your next vacation as easy as taking one.