Tuesday, December 19, 2017

9 Ways Social Media Can Help You Travel for Less!

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You’ve probably been told by many to lay off your phone and particularly, social media while you’re traveling to make for a more enjoyable trip. But truth be told, social media can actually help you travel for less if you use it diligently right from the initial trip planning stages!
Surprised? You sure are.
Before you go offline to prepare for your next big vacation, spend a few minutes reading these 9 unbelievable ways social media can help you slash travel costs and enjoy the trip of a lifetime!

Scout the Best Places
Imagine spending loads of money on traveling to a holiday destination and being greeted by swarms of people everywhere you go. With social media, you only have to use networks with Geo-targeting to visually snoop around places and check out locations in real-time.

Turn to Instagram where you can take sneak peeks at restaurant foods and drinks, and local attractions by clicking on hashtags or by performing a simple search.

Plan on Your Own
Choosing to book a trip with a travel agent or going DIY largely comes down to your need for control and ability to research. While travel agents are attentive and accommodating, they can only do so much to make your trip truly personalized to your liking.

On the other hand, planning a holiday on your own lets you browse through innumerable options- you can book cheap flights or spend on lavish accommodation according to your budget! Moreover, online reviews help you get an idea of attractions, services, and more, and enable you to take informed decisions.

Rate Attractions Yourself
How many times have you bought expensive tickets to a high-rated attraction only to be disappointed at the end? Never mind! With social media, you can ask people what they thought of the whole experience and decide for yourself!

Use hashtags on Twitter or use Facebook’s Graph Search. The latter lets you find out which of your friends have been to destinations you’re considering traveling to.

Get Personalized Responses
Just post a travel-related query as your Facebook status and your friends are going to give you numerous travel recommendations. What’s the good part? It’s a lot better than relying on algorithms for suggestions! For example, if you’re looking for a good hotel, your friends’ recommendations are going to be personalized and better suited to your preferences.

Do remember to post questions that are specific; if you ask offhanded questions like, “Best place in LA?”, you won’t get the answers you’re looking for. A better question would detail your time of travel, narrowed down geographical area, and interests.

Connect with Locals
Don’t take recommendations only from your friends; post detailed queries on Twitter using relevant hashtags too. This will help you see things in broader perspective and also connect you to locals.
Obviously your friends who have never been to Finland won’t be able to tell you where you’ll get the best Kaalikääryleet and brännvin!

Grab Discounts by Following the Best
Get active on all your social media accounts- Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, to say the least, and start following accounts of hotels, restaurants, airlines, travel websites, and more. Many of the best players in this industry regularly hold contests of all sorts that you can participate in and stand the chance of winning neat discounts. There are giveaways up for grabs too!

Start with following airlines or hotel chains you normally fly or book with. Also search on Twitter using the hashtag “traveldeals”.

Enjoy Deals by Simply Liking Posts
Yes, a ‘Like’ can take you places! Most of the time though, Facebooking is a better way to bag deals only if you’re a loyalty member of hotels and airlines. That being said, you can always try your luck at getting deals and discounts by ‘liking’ official pages of your favorite companies.

Pally up with Customer Service
Several airlines and hotel chains have dedicated staff to handle their social media accounts. This has empowered their customer service departments to respond to queries and complaints in a timely and efficient manner. As such, if you land in trouble, the easiest and cheapest way out could be posting your problem on social media, tagging the concerned team, and letting them help you!

Not all stories have happy endings, but there have been instances where airline representatives re-booked flights and a restaurant chain delivered a full meal at the airport terminal!

Learn from Others’ Experiences
Trial and error can prove to be costly at times, especially when you’re traveling abroad. Don’t put your money (and life) on the line; learn from experiences that others have gained over time.
Twitter can be your go-to social media platform for an abundance of links to articles and videos containing travel tips, tricks, hacks, and more. Search on Pinterest using appropriate keywords and you’ll be drawn into a visual world of travel inspiration and ideas. You can also follow top travel blogs and read up experiences.

There’s no denying this: Social media is part of our reality now. Hashtags, check-ins, likes and follows have shaken us up and in the travel world, this is definitely a good thing. While social media can help us steer ourselves to sights and experiences we yearn for, it also opens up the door for personalized traveling at cheaper costs.

As discussed in this post, you now know how getting active on social media can help slash travel costs. So whip out your phone and start preparing for your next trip already!

Author bio:
Ann Neal (twitter: @Ann_G_Neal) is a writer with a keen interest in career, pets, frugal living, travel and lifestyle topics. She is passionate about music and loves to play guitar in her free time with her cute pooch listening quietly ;)

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