Trip Planning with Pinterest
Pinterest is a fabulous search engine, especially for those of us who are visual people. With the added benefit of being able to store what we find in designated spaces, it’s the perfect tool for trip planning.
If you don’t already have an account, it’s time to open one. Once that’s done, go ahead and start a board for your trip. If it makes you more comfortable, keep it secret, but either way, turn on mapping.
Now, where are you going? Pick a place, any place! Good. Now, whenever I write (location) you’ll use your destination. Alright, lets get started with the actual trip planning.
Getting Pics Off the Beaten Path
We all want to know the places where locals go, the places that only those in the know, know. Only when you first arrive in a place you’re not usually in the know. Our first searches will help with that. Try: “unknown (location)”, “hidden (location)”, “underground (location)”and “secret (location)”. Now, none of these places will be unknown or secret, though some may be hidden and underground, even literally. Either way, they will usually be off the beaten path.
Of course, you’re going to want some amazing pics of your vacation. Start by looking for “instagrammable (location)” and “best views (location)”. Also look for “rooftop bars (location)” and “observation deck (location)” Tip: Pick one of the tallest and most central places and start there. It will give you an overview of the city, to help you navigate later on.
Also, Google shows Popular Times for business with both posted hours and enough available data to give an average. Though I wouldn’t worry too much if a chart isn’t available for your choice of destinations, it’s almost always a bell curve, with the fewest people at opening and closing hours and the most in the middle of the day. I like to use this info to book a breakfast appointment and skip the worst of the crowds. Though if the location is open after supper, those may be lower traffic times too. It’s worth checking into.When you first arrive in a place you're not usually in the know. Our first searches will help with that. Click To Tweet
All about You and Your Destination
Next up, what do you love? Anything goes here. This is your trip, planning it should be about you. Bakeries, fishing, tai chi, tea, skydiving, sewer tours… Really, make your list. With this one, looking for “(thing you love) (location)” may be enough, but it may not. A few words to consider adding: classes, tour, (neighborhood), best ← trite but still useful
What is your location known for? Horchata and churros in Barcelona, cinnamon buns in Scandinavia, cheesesteaks in Philly… If you don’t already know then search for “can’t miss (location)” and “must do (location)”. If you do know, then be sure to look for the “best philly cheesesteaks”, because neither of us would want you to miss that.
If you’re at all interested in walking tours, formal or self lead, give that a search too. You’ll probably find at least one post with a ton of pictures, so you can see what you’re in for.
Extras to Think About
Even if money is not part of the equation, try “free things (location)”, you may discover something you would have missed.
If you’re looking for quiet spaces in a big city, “gardens (location)” and of course “quiet (location)” will be helpful. If you’re looking for places to party, you can guess the search by now, and should probably find another blogger to follow.
I also strongly recommend looking for local supper clubs a few weeks before your trip. They’re a great way to meet locals and have an experience few visitors do. This should still be a Pinterest search first, but if you can’t find anything, then dig deeper. It will be worth it.
Following the Rabbit Hole that is Pinterest
While you’re looking at all these pins, keep an eye on the boards too. You may find one that has other things you’re interested in, even if you weren’t aware of it yet, making your trip planning that much easier.
If this seems overwhelming, you can always flip through my boards, since these are the same searches I use for my own research. You can even send me a location you’d love to see added. If I get enough requests, I’ll add one.
If you have any tips on trip planning with Pinterest, please share them in the comments!