Looking to take a vacation?
Planning has come a long way from the last generation of calling to request a brochure and making reservations by phone. Now you can scope out the perfect spot all in the cozy comfort of your own home, ask questions via email or social media, and see exactly what you’re getting before you even get there.
Out of all the material one can find now on the perfect dream vacation, social media may be your best tool in making it just right, and turn into that actual dream instead of a nightmare.
Hotels Getting Social
When you click on Hilton.com, one of the first things you see is widgets to their Facebook and Twitter pages.
Go ahead and click, and not only will you be teased with beautiful destination photos, but also with customer comments and maybe even a giveaway or two if your timing is right.
The same goes for Westin.com and many of the other big chain hotel brands.
People rarely do anything without checking out social media, whether it’s a restaurant they’re trying for the first time, a first date’s profile or a vacation destination/resort/hotel they are considering.
Facebook and Twitter are major players in all of this, and for a vacation destination not to have social media, well; it kind of makes you wonder.
Why should Vacation Destinations have Social Media?
People vacationed for years without using social media. Why is it such a necessity now? Everyone loves social media now; it’s become part of life for many of us. And it makes sense.
With social media:
- You can see real life pictures, videos, and comments from the resort itself and from vacationers who have stayed there, happy or unhappy.
- The destinations can post specials and discounts, packages and promotions on social media.
- Many of your questions can be answered via social media without taking the time to call the resort and speak to someone, especially important when time zones are an issue.
- If nothing else, a Facebook page adds a little current credibility to the resort, and a customer will want to see a good page and profile. If it’s lacking, hmmm, a red flag may go up.
What can Vacationers do with Social Media?
For many vacation planners, once the destination itself is narrowed down, the big question becomes how to manage your budget while on vacation?
By using social media, you can converse with other travelers who have the same goals and budget as you.
Read tweets and Facebook posts related to your destinations for good ideas on budget friendly vacations. It’s not only the hotels or other accommodations you can find ways to save on, but also other aspects of your trip, like:
- Car rentals
- Recreational excursions, like boat or bike rentals, climbing guides or bus passes.
- Museum and attraction savings – you can learn which days are discounted or certain hours that may afford more savings.
One of the best ways to plan a trip is to talk to someone who has done it already. And if you don’t know someone personally, turn to social media. You will find lots of answers to your questions, plus probably more information than you ever intended on knowing.
Beyond Facebook and Twitter
Of course, we all think of Facebook and Twitter when we think of social media. But just like everything, social media has its niches. When searching social media for travel and vacation planning, check out these apps and sites:
- Gogobot.com – Connect on Facebook or go it alone, Gogobot connects you with other travelers for advice and recommendations, while helping you plan an itinerary and log your own travels.
- Igougo.com – with tagline of Explore. Travel. Share., you know you’ll get good advice here. You’ll find reviews, blogs, recommendations and more from travelers who have been there, done that.
- WAYN.com – Where are you now lets you ask questions, leave tips, post photos and make friends on this travel social network.
Don’t let the stress of planning a trip get to you.
Travel has become more accessible to more people over the past few years, and not just because it’s easier to physically get where you want to go, but also because the planning is easier.
You can know what you’re getting into before you get there. No worries of checking into a 50-year-old dump that had its hay day long ago; you have recent photos at your fingertips with social media. You can avoid some of the scams and con-artists by reading current reviews and tips.
You can find all you need to know – just get out there and be a little social!