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The 10 Best Travel Resources on Social Media and Beyond

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Image courtesy NYPL.

Friday was expected to be the biggest travel day of the year, but a lot of you are still headed home for the holidays and maybe still scrambling to book last minute New Year’s plans. Whether it’s something fairly local, or that big trip abroad you’ve always wanted to take that you’re finally booking as a New Year’s resolution, we’ve got some tips and resources to help make traveling easier on you:

  1. Your network: Get information about experiences from those who have been there that you trust by talking to your network on Twitter, Tumblr, and more to see what you should splurge on, what you should skip, and what to expect in different cities and countries. A Twitter friend might even offer to show you around, or point you to someone who can help with local recommendations. (Want to grow that network? Check out our list of Twitter travel resources.)

  2. Check out the social accounts of locals: Headed to Paris, or Perth? Check out the accounts of some locals to get an idea of the kinds of non-touristy activities and places to eat and drink around around your destination. Strike up a conversation and ask questions if they seem open to it; a lot of people love to share hidden gems of their own town so visitors enjoy themselves.

  3. Connect with companies: Is the place you’re staying on Instagram? Is the rental company you’re getting a car from on Twitter? Does the airline you’re flying on have a Tumblr? Get familiar with their services through these channels– and you might even stumble onto a social-media-only deal or two!

  4. Utilize Pinterest for Planning: Start a Pinterest board for ideas for your trip: sites you want to see, things you don’t want to forget to pack, places you want to eat. Search the site to see if anyone has made such a board already, and you might pick up some unexpected and handy tips. Same goes for boards from locals; their fashion board might tell you more about what to pack than any weather report could.

  5. Catalog: Instagram is a great way to share snapshots of your trip as you’re on it. Limit yourself to one to two photos a day so you’ve got a little something to let friends and family know what you’re up to without distracting yourself from enjoying the moment.

  6. Save some pennies: Couchsurfing and Airbnb have both become popular alternatives to hotels. Couchsurfing in particular is a free service, where hosts give travelers a place to stay out of the kindness of their hearts in the spirit of travel. Airbnb lets you choose from a variety of accommodation options that give you a more local feel than a hotel. If you decide to use either service, be sure you check out the reviews of the host and/or space to make sure you know what you’re getting into

  7. YouTube Travel Channels: If you like your travel advice in video form with the possibility of inappropriate jokes, then YouTube travel channels are just for you. The channel Maila AuParis has a series on CouchSurfing in addition to a lot of other travel videos. The Expert Vagabond and Mashable both have roundups of YouTube travel channels to inspire, instruct, and more. And don’t forget about the big guys: Lonely Planet and The Travel Channel both have YouTube channels of their own.

  8. Traveling with pets: BlogPaws has a travel category with safety tips and more for traveling with pets. Keep track of pet-friendly hotels at PetsWelcome, and be sure to check the TSA guidelines for flying with pets if that’s in your plan. You’ll want to see specifically what your airline says about traveling with pets as well.

  9. Traveling with children: Last year the New York Times covered innovative travel products to ease the burden of packing for and hauling around quick-to-tire small children.  The CDC has health and safety tips while the TSA goes over what is expected of your child in airline security lines. If you’re sending a minor unaccompanied on a flight, check with your particular airline to see what the procedures and expectations are.

  10. Apps to check out: CNN has a whole category on their site covering travel apps of all descriptions. If you’re a lover of travel guides, check to see if they offer apps to go along with them. That way you’ll have information on the ground without carrying around the guide itself, and many also have a social component. Also consider downloading a few language apps if you’re traveling to a foreign country, so you can practice common words and phrases.

Got any tips we missed? Leave ‘em in the comments, or tell us about them on Twitter. Safe travels, and happy holidays!

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Written by Sarah

December 23rd, 2013 at 7:45 am

Posted in Guides

Tagged with , ,

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