Vacations come in many different styles and one person's getaway can be completely different than the next person's. No matter what type of vacation you're taking, social media can really come in handy. Below are some ways you can use it to your advantage on your next trip.
There are 901 million active users on Facebook (newsroom.fb.com), which means there's a big chance that wherever you go, you'll likely meet someone who uses it. This also means that there's a big chance that the restaurants, hotels, and stores you visit use it as well. You can use this to your advantage to not only get more information about the area, but to possibly score some deals as well. If you can, do some research before your vacation and "Like" some pages of places you know you will be going to. Many companies have giveaways, and some have deals just for people who Like their page. This will be a lot more useful if you have a smartphone to pull up websites, but even if you don't, they might accept a print-out of their coupon or giveaway.
In 2012, over 465 million Twitter accounts have been created so far, and one million more are created every day(infographiclabs.com). Like Facebook, Twitter is a great way to get information and connect with businesses on vacation. However, Twitter is the way to go if you want information now. Many companies update their tweets multiple times a day with relevant information. This is a huge benefit to you because you can access any deals or giveaways at any time, wherever you are (as long as you have a smartphone or device to use Twitter). Before you get to your destination, try to follow as many businesses as you can that you're interested in. An easy way to find these businesses is to hashtag the city name (i.e. #SanDiego). Chances are you'll find a few companies in the area that will use that hashtag, and once you start following them, Twitter will start giving you suggestions under "Who to Follow". This really comes in handy! I've personally seen some restaurants offering a free meal for new followers. It really is a great way to get to know the area, and possibly get some free stuff along the way.
For restaurant reviews while on the go, Yelp is a great App to download. Foursquare is also really helpful while on vacation. You can share your own experiences and get personalized recommendations. What's also neat is that you can "Check-In" to certain places, and sometimes there will be a check-in special, like a free drink or appetizer. Score!
As you can see, there are many ways to use social media to your advantage while on vacation. While some people may enjoy leaving their phone in their hotel room and checking out of the hi-tech world, there is no doubt that using social media is advantageous and can get you some cool stuff along the way. There are many more social media websites and apps that I did not list, so go explore the online social world and see what you find!
What's your favorite social media application?