Planning a vacation in 2021 is vastly different than it was 20, or even 10, years ago. While some platforms have remained steadily integral throughout time – such as TripAdvisor – the emergence of social media has dwarfed older methods to make way for easily accessible, and more visually appealing, methods of planning your next vacation.
While some people prefer to use travel agents to plan vacations, many prefer to DIY their own trips. While this does take more time and effort, it can ultimately create a more customized and “you” excursion. And with all of the resources at the touch of your finger, it has never been easier to do so.
Here’s a list of social media platforms that can be a huge asset to your vacation planning needs – no matter whether you’re starting from scratch, need a little inspiration or even want to share your own adventures with the world!
Illustrative & Immersive Instagram
Instagram is one of the best places to go for a look at some of the most exotic and beautiful places on Earth. Everyday travelers to social media influencers will chronicle their trips to every corner of the world, offering you hours and hours of content to sift through to plan your dream vacation.
Utilizing hashtags is a fantastic way of getting the most out of Instagram (and Facebook!). Most people will utilize hashtags to categorize their photos, so you can either search for a specific destination, like #madrid:
Or get some ideas from other influencers and search for something like “best vacation,” which will provide you with a number of hashtags to look through!:
A word of caution: when utilizing social media, and Instagram in particular, keep in mind that the majority of photos have been manipulated in some way. This means filters could be applied that change how the image appears to viewers or something similar to that.
While this shouldn’t discourage you from utilizing social media as a travel resource, understand that you should corroborate your findings with other photos and videos from other creators or on other platforms, too!
Onward Bound Blogs
While some social media platforms will be more image-heavy (like Instagram) and can provide a more visual idea of your desired vacation destination, looking for travel blogs is a fantastic way to get an in-depth, personal experience from someone who has visited that location.
Some travel bloggers will condense their visit into one blog post for easier reading, while others will journal their experiences each day which allows you to get a more detailed look at what a vacation there feels like.
Here’s a list of travel blogs that are popular in 2021 – it’s important to check out a few different blogs to find an author whose “voice” you like and adventures you’re interested in.
Similarly, you can narrow your search to bloggers who travel within a certain area or focus on specific types of trips (rock climbing trips, skiing trips, cottagecore, etc).
It’s a Yes for YouTube
Many bloggers will also post video content (or vlogs) on their YouTube channels to get an even more immersive look into their vacation destinations.
Through videos, you’re able to get an up-close look at the location, its points of interest, and get an idea of what it would be like to take a trip there.
As you can see in the example below, you can simply type any search query into the search bar to get in-depth videos about that particular topic:
You can get very specific about what types of videos you want to see, and there is guaranteed to be a creator who has made a video about that topic.
Similar to blogs and Reddit, this is another platform that can provide you with the most information about your destination of choice!
No matter how old you are, or whether you’re already a current TikTok user, this platform has been a huge asset to the travel community.
Much like YouTube (except with 30 or 60-second videos only), you have access to a wide variety of content – travel included.
You can search influencers if you want to get ideas for a potential vacation or you can search for relevant hashtags to see what videos pop up. One of the reasons to look up specific influencers is to find ones that mirror your travel style.
For example, an influencer who goes on camping/outdoorsy vacations will have vastly different recommendations than a luxury travel influencer.
Perhaps not surprisingly, TikTok is one of the main sources of travel information and recommendations for Gen Z. The #travel hashtag alone has over 34.6 BILLION views, and many variations of similar hashtags and travel buzzwords have millions of views across tons of videos.
Pinterest is still very much relevant in 2021 and can come in handy for not only finding ideas for your perfect vacation but also helping you organize your ideas and plans.
You should always create a board for your upcoming vacation (or your dream vacation) so that you can pin different things you find on Pinterest to that board to look at again later.
What To Pin In Your Pinterest Vacation Board
- Clothing/outfit ideas
- Sightseeing locations
- Restaurants to visit
- Packing tips & lists
Pinterest is a great medium between ultra-visual Instagram and educational blogs, as you are still treated to lots of photos and videos on the platform, but can also choose to find out more information by clicking on pins and going to individual websites.
This is great for someone who may want to go more in-depth on items like sightseeing locations, but want to quickly pin outfit ideas.
Reddit is a community-based forum that has groups for virtually any niche you can think of, and it can be one of the best resources out there for finding lots of information about a particular topic.
For example, you can get broad tips on traveling from a larger “subreddit” like r/travel, or explore more targeted subreddits like r/solotravel or r/india and r/JapanTravel – all of which have at least 1 million members:
While all of the other social media resources listed previously are largely for you to watch or read other peoples’ experiences, Reddit is more interactive. You can create an account and either share your own experiences and travels:
Or pose a question for the community to provide answers:
You will find that many users have lots of information they’re willing to share with you which can help you either choose a vacation destination or make your trip even more unforgettable.
Our Suggestion for a Vacation Spot? Try Santa Fe!
We may be biased, but Santa Fe, New Mexico is one of the most unique vacation destinations out there. See what you can find on social media about #SantaFe and start planning your vacation today!
We’ll also take one more thing off your list: stay at Inn on the Paseo for the best and most comfortable accommodations in town!