It seems that everyone, from my journalist friends to my elderly neighbor, is raving about Pinterest these days. Visually appealing and surprisingly intuitive to use, its vast array of user-generated “pinboards” make it a natural travel and trip planner. Best of all, Pinterest meets multiple travel planning needs, taking your next adventure from conception to logistics (and even post-trip bragging rights).
How to Use Pinterest as a Trip Planner
Use Pinterest to Stay Current on Travel News and Reviews
You can explore the entire Pinterest community, of course, but as you realize the site’s potential, you’ll probably decide to narrow down the “pins” you see by interest.
If you have favorite travel bloggers you read, check to see if they’re on Pinterest (like Go Green Travel Green!). “Following” will limit the pins you see on your homepage to those “pinned” and “repinned” by the users or boards you’ve subscribed to.
Find new boards that interest you by searching by board rather than category, and bear in mind that some are more active than others. Several of my favorites include The Longest Way Home, Adventure Travel, and Family Travel Inspiration (created by yours truly). While searching for great content to follow, don’t forget about travel industry brands and magazines.
While their pins may be more self-promoting than average, Pinterest’s creative and communal vibe tends to rub off on even the most corporate of travel brands. A few I enjoy following: HomeAway (vacation rentals), the Travel Channel, and Budget Travel.
Pinterest pin on Green Travel Tips board
Use Pinterest to Brainstorm Potential Destinations
While the sky’s still the limit, get inspired by browsing Pinterest’s millions of travel images, all pinned by fellow travelers. Search by general category (such as “travel” or “outdoors”), where you’ll see all travel-related pins streaming in real time, or use specific key phrases, such as “B.C. eco-tours” or “vegetarian restaurants in Brighton.”
All pins link back to the original web article or post that inspired them, ensuring you have detailed information on each destination at your fingertips. If you like what you see, create your own boards to visually file all your favorites. Categorize them by destination, wish list of locales you’d like to visit, or specific trip.
Use Pinterest to Organize Your Itinerary and Save Logistical Details
Once you’ve narrowed your search to a destination or formed an itinerary, Pinterest is an easy place to store all the websites and articles you accumulate in your research stage. Since each pin on your board is represented by a photo, you’re instantly reminded of what each link features (say goodbye to bookmarking URLs just to forget what each one contains!).
Create a board for each trip in which you can store all your planned activities, restaurant picks, lodging choices, and maps, such as this one I’ve created for an upcoming vacation to San Francisco and the California coast. As you find more articles, pin them in one click. Bear in mind: you’re not limited to pinning Pinterest images; pin any article or website on the web by clicking an available Pin It button or downloading the Pinterest tool bar for your browser.
For instance, if you’ll be flying to your destination, and want to remember how to bid successfully on Priceline, pin it to a Travel Tips or Money-saving Tips board you create! And since boards can be opened up to additional users, you can always seek collaboration: invite acquaintances from Paris to pin their favorite cafes to your Going to Paris board, or friends from Australia to pin less touristy beaches to your Gold Coast board for direct, local information.
Use Pinterest to Share the Love
Post-travel, create boards showcasing your photos, offering tips, or promoting your reviews in order to foster awareness of travel, inspire others, and educate. Just be aware of intellectual property pit falls: as you pin or repin, be sure to credit the original poster. If the pin originated from you, consider adding a specific description and category for your pin to make it easier for others as it travels the web. After all, sharing and collaboration is at the heart of what Pinterest is all about! Check out Go Green Travel Green on Pinterest.
Do you use Pinterest as a travel planning tool? What travel-related boards have you created? Which do you follow?