Social Media in the Travel World

Going on a trip? I hope you have your iPad, smart phone or some kind of laptop with your for travel. After traveling last week, I wanted to pay attention to how other travelers and I used social media throughout their trips.

Here are some findings I came away with:

1. We created our trip itinerary on our smart phone so we could have it with us on the go.  We also received confirmation emails from all of our activity bookings, so they were easy to access in our trip folder.

2. An iPad restaurant spotted in the Minneapolis Airport.

iPad Restaurant

3. People used smart phones to check into the airport with their boarding ticket.

4. Actual books were spotted on the airplane for takeoff and landing. (No electronics allowed at this time).

5. iPads, smart phones, iPods and laptops were brought out as soon as the pilot announced electronics could be used. I noticed many people reading or playing games. I saw a couple people paid for WiFi to use their laptop to check and write emails but most were using already downloaded apps.

6. During the trip, we used our smart phones constantly. Whether it was to use it as a GPS and navigate or Yelp to find the best sushi restaurant in town.

7. Lying by the pool, I used my iPad to read and tried to go online although the wifi signal was weak. I love using the iPad to read as it’s easy to highlight and take notes on the device as well.

8. During this trip, I used Facebook to share a couple of my favorite photos each day. I was hesitant to do this at first (normally I upload after the trip) however I found it valuable to share in real time. We found friends commenting on pictures giving us recommendations of things to do or places to eat! It was also an added bonus that I didn’t have to create an album of trip photos when I got home as it was already done! However, when I own a house of my own someday, I will be weary to let my network know I’m on vacation and not home! I used my laptop to edit and upload the photos onto Facebook.

9. I didn’t find myself checking into places on Foursquare or using Twitter to connect with the places I visited. I think this is because it wasn’t my top priority on vacation and I was more in tuned to taking photos.

10. Speaking of photos, I shared a photo a day through Instagram. These pictures were different from the ones shared in the Facebook album. I wanted these photos different so some of my friends didn’t get bombarded with duplicate images. I also wanted to provide a purpose for people to follow me in each network.

Overall, I used photos and imagery to connect back to my networks while on vacation. I could have integrated social media into my personal vacation trip to utilize it to the most of its ability. However, it was also nice to have a little break from the networks for some time off!

I see a trend the majority people upload trip photos onto their networks after their vacation. Many people on vacation don’t have time to spend online and post an entire album; however, I am seeing maybe one or two pictures as tools are allowing you to share directly to your choice of network in real time.  The ease of these apps are allowing people to share more quickly, efficiently and connect with the right people at the right time.

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