Summer is here, which (for the most of us) means that vacation time is near. To get the most out of my spare time I turn to social media and online services, which are great resources in planning and executing traveling plans. Here are a couple of ways I use these resources before, after and on vacation:
I always ask for activity suggestions on Twitter, and have received some pretty sweet tips of places I might have missed otherwise. Following the local tourist office, you can pick up tips and stay on top of events happening during your stay. Some of the local must-do/see/buy might have their own Twitter account too, like the amazing Creeme Brulee Cart(!) in San Francisco.
For the best deals and a complete overview I always book my flights and hotels online (I almost can’t believe “offline” travel agencies still exists, is anyone still using those?). Seat Guru and similar services makes sure you get the best seat possible. Even though I’m in a love-hate relationship with Trip Advisor, I always have to check out my hotel options here before booking anything. Bad service, dirty bathrooms, nasty breakfast buffet? Trip Advisor has made me change hotel plans more than once.
On location, Foursquare (in addition to gaining neat scores and badges) is great for picking up recommendations – when checking-in somewhere I always read the tips other visitors has left. Menu recommendations are a great way to discover hidden treasures on the menu.
As an eager hobby photographer and Instagram-Addict, I spend a lot of my vacation time taking pictures. To me, the best part of going somewhere new is exploring all the hidden gems and unique locations – every place has them, it is just a matter of finding them! Once I find them, and “shoot them, I upload them to Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest – Who knows, maybe my pins from Milan can inspire someone else going there, or give advises on where to go and what to see? Never the less, it is a great way to save vacation memories and share them with friends and family.
What is your best tip for vacation preparations, online or offline?