10 Ways Travelers Use Social Media to Plan a Vacation

By Sherry Heyl Founder & Consultant, Amplified Concepts | September 28, 2014

Today, when we need an escape, we turn to the mobile apps on our smart phones and the Internet. When we need a mental break from work, we turn to our social networks. When we need to escape boredom we turn to our news feeds. When we need to avoid an awkward moment we face one of our many digital screens.

So it should be no surprise that when we need a break, an escape, a getaway we turn to our social networks, news feeds and various digital screens to plan a vacation.

A recent survey from Leadsift showed that 52% of the participants used social media to plan their Summer vacations. People are using social media and review sites throughout all the stages of vacation planning which includes:

  1. Dreaming
  2. Researching
  3. Planning
  4. Confirming
  5. Comparing
  6. Booking
  7. Experiencing
  8. Sharing
  9. Recommending
  10. Reflecting


The dreaming stage is a collecting stage. This is a time where people are collecting ideas of places they would like to go. During this stage people are creating their bucket lists. Last year Pinterest revealed that there are 660 million pins posted to the travel category on their website. Seeing all those travel pins might have been what inspired Pinterest to launch their place pins feature that allows pinners to place their images onto an interactive world map.

Our client, Airstream2Go, tapped into vacation planners that were dreaming about a get-away with their recent multi-platform #HitchMeUp campaign.

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Hotel Spa: Oasis Unplugged

The driving force in current hotel spa trends is the effort to manage unprecedented levels of stress experienced by their clients. Feeling increasingly overwhelmed by demanding careers and technology overload, people are craving places where they can go to momentarily escape the rigors of their daily lives. As a result, spas are positioning themselves as oases of unplugged human connection, where mindfulness and contemplation activities are becoming increasingly important. One leading hotel spa offers their clients the option to experience their treatments in total silence - no music, no talking, and no advice from the therapist - just pure unadulterated silence. Another leading hotel spa is working with a reputable medical clinic to develop a “digital detox” initiative, in which clients will be encouraged to unplug from their devices and engage in mindfulness activities to alleviate the stresses of excessive technology use. Similarly, other spas are counseling clients to resist allowing technology to monopolize their lives, and to engage in meditation and gratitude exercises in its place. The goal is to provide clients with a warm, inviting and tranquil sanctuary from the outside world, in addition to also providing genuine solutions for better sleep, proper nutrition, stress management and natural self-care. To accomplish this, some spas are incorporating a variety of new approaches - cryotherapy, Himalayan salt therapy and ayurveda treatments are becoming increasingly popular. Other spas are growing their own herbs and performing their treatments in lush outdoor gardens. Some spa therapists are being trained to assess a client's individual movement patterns to determine the most beneficial treatment specifically for them. The July issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these trends and developments and examine how some hotel spas are integrating them into their operations.