Secrets of Using Social Media to Land the Best Travel Deals
Social media can be extremely effective when planning a trip. If you were thinking of taking a trip and had friends who had been to that particular destination before, you would probably ask them lots of questions about what places you should see and what types of things you should do.
Social media gives you the opportunity to ask those questions of virtual friends across the globe. In addition to asking questions, you can research reviews online and find out a great deal of information on places you might want to visit as well as current promotional offers.
One easy way to get valuable information about planning a trip is to follow your favorite travel companies on twitter. You will be notified instantaneously whenever a company has announced deals on flights, a hotel room or vacation packages. If you use Twitter services like HootSuite, take advantage of their list feature to make a list of airline, hotel and vacation companies and destinations that you follow. New travel deals are often announced first on Twitter.
You can also friend/like travel companies on Facebook for updates as well. Search for Facebook pages that have been created for a particular city or destination you would like to visit. Many companies offer exclusive promotions on their Twitter and Facebook pages. Probably the most well known is JetBlue who offers special deals on Facebook and Twitter every Tuesday that last for that day only. Hotels and vacation companies also offer a steady stream of sweepstakes, contest and giveaways on their Twitter and Facebook pages.
But They’re Not the Only Games in Town
There are many media sites on the internet that gather great travel information. You can visit sites like Quora or Reddit and find lots of articles and information about travel tips.
Visit YouTube and search for videos about the destination and hotel you would like to visit. In addition to videos that review hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions in a particular area, the comments on the videos can provide additional information from people who have visited certain places.
You can also visit a site like Yahoo Answers and forums on major travel sites like Frommers, Fodors, and Lonely Planet to ask specific questions about a particular destination and get information from people who have traveled there before. The quality of travel information and recommendations on these forums is remarkable.
Pinterest is a newer social media site that has quickly become very popular and is also a great place to get travel tips and information. Many people will post photos of the architecture, landscapes, and tourist attractions that they have visited and may offer useful information and ideas in the linking site.
Travel Specific Social Media Platforms
In addition to all of the major social media platforms there are a number of social media sites that are designed specifically for the travel niche. Tripsay is a site that will show you a map of places to visit and users can leave their comments about any of the destinations. IGoUGo and VirtualTourist are popular social media travel sites as well.
Tripwolf is a social media site that has information on over 50,000 destinations. All of the information is created by users that have traveled to these places. It is an active site that is a great place to get information from.
Dopplr is a social media platform that was designed to allow people to share their personal travel plans. If you have a trip that overlaps with a trip that a friend is taking, the site will let you know, and you may be able to connect with one of your friends while you are both on vacation.
Using Social Media for Travel Planning Can Provide a Wealth of Information
Many travel aggregater sites allow you to quickly compare prices on flights, hotel rooms, rental cars etc. In addition to being able to compare prices, these sites also provide user reviews for various services and tourist destinations. Not only can you get reviews on airlines, hotels and rental car companies, you can also get reviews for places to shop, restaurants, museums, zoos, amusement parks and other tourist attractions. Popular aggregators include Kayak, Hipmunk, Momondo, Skyscanner and Airfarewatchdog. Sites like Viator gather touring information and it’s easy to pick excursion by group size and price.
With all the new tools and apps available we sometimes forget about the power of search engines. Enter some creative searches in Google, Bing and Yahoo to dig out the information you’re looking for. For instance search for your destination + trip report, best pubs in ‘destination’, best hotels under $150 in ‘destination’, best restaurants with a view in ‘destination’, etc. Get creative and find some terrific info.
Having all these online resources is like having your own personal team of travel critics visiting destinations and reporting their findings back to you.
About The Author: Dillon Michaelson, the author of this article works for InsanelyCheapFlights.com. If you’re looking to fly JetBlue Airlines, do check out his website for some exclusive last minute deals and discounts on airline tickets.
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