We are moving right along with our social media travel planning series. I’ve already told you how I use Twitter and Instagram to plan some aspects of travel and now I’m going to hop on over to my newest travel obsession: Facebook. Yes, that’s right. I recently started a Facebook for the blog (shameless plug: like me!) and since then, I have started to like Facebook a LOT more. So today I’m going to share with you four fun steps to Facebook travel planning.
4 Steps for Facebook Travel Planning
1. Use Your Facebook Friends
Let’s start with who you know. Assuming that people on Facebook are actually your friends (I know, that’s a giant and probably inaccurate assumption) we want to start here. Have you picked a place to go already? Check to see if you’ve got friends or family there. Reach out and ask if they have any suggestions for places to go. If you’re really lucky they’ll offer you a place to stay too!
If you do NOT have a place picked out, I’m not against putting out a call to all of the newsfeed out there. Ask your friends for their locations or their friends’ locations who would be willing to host a traveler. I’ve known a few people who actually mapped out longer trips by doing this. Plus it’ll save you a little bit of money on accommodations. But please remember to be a good guest! Try to bring thoughtful gifts for your guests. If you don’t have enough room in your pack, at least remember to send thank you notes.
2. Facebook Destination Pages
Facebook has gotten seriously good at having pages for everything. Including locations. Take one of my summer trips, for example. I’m headed to Nashville down in August. If I pop a quick search into Facebook, I’ve already got tons of stuff to look at.
So why is Facebook so awesome for this, where Google might not be such a superstar? It’s totally up to date. You know all of those Facebook events you get invited to? Well now you can see an entire city’s! If anything happens to catch your eye during your trip, there you go. This also let’s you know where friends checked in, so you can always circle back to number one and ask what they thought. Isn’t Facebook
3. Facebook Travel Groups
This next tip is one of the reasons why my opinion of Facebook has flipped from, “Meh, maybe I’ll get rid of it,” to “GAH how am I STILL on Facebook?? I’ve been on here for an hour!” I spend any time I’m on Facebook and NOT working on my page on Facebook groups. There’s two types of groups that can be helpful for your travel planning needs: ones between your friends and ones with a bunch of (helpful) strangers.
My friends have always been a “text each other until you want to throw your phone away” sort of travel planning group. Some of my friends graduated to Google docs, but I really hate Googledocs/calendar/etc. etc. So I am SO jazzed that everybody is swinging towards Facebook groups now. They seriously make planning a lot less annoying than it was before. You can have separate threads for flights, activities, hotels, etc. My friend just did this for her bridesmaids at the wedding I went to and it was so.much.easier to have it all on Facebook. Questions were easier to get answered and information is easier to access because you can always make the most important stuff “sticky” in the group so it always shows up first.
As for the other type of groups, did you know there are Facebook groups dedicated to absolutely everything you could imagine? Travel blogging, regular blogging, just traveling, minimalism, bullet journaling, yada yada yada. The list will never end! These are FABULOUS places to start if you are looking for a destination or looking for things to do in a certain part of the world. They’re popular enough that usually someone has an answer for you. Sure, you might get people inundating you with blog posts that aren’t 100% on topic, but there’s usually some really good info out there. Tip if you don’t want that: specifically say no blog posts, please! Two of my favorites are Girl vs. Globe and The Budget-Minded Traveler Community (although that was is significantly less populated!
If notifications start to drive you nuts, remember that you can always turn them off and just seek the information that you want, when you want it.
4. Learn Language Skills
Ah, yes. Facebook can even help with the language learning part of travel planning! I’ve already told you how there’s a Facebook group for everything, and that includes practicing your language skills. It’s always nice to practice common phrases before you find yourself in front of a shopkeeper struggling because you’re too nervous to translate in your head. (Just me?)
If you’re looking for a more general immersion into the language of wherever you’ll be traveling, just change the settings of your whole Facebook! Sure it can make figuring things out a little trickier, but worst case you’ll just change it back to your native language and figure it out. See? Facebook languages are more useful than just making your Facebook talk like a pirate. Although that is 100% still an option…
- Where are you headed next? Are there any ways you can implement what you’ve read today to try Facebook travel planning?
- Let me know your secrets! How do you use social media to travel plan?