5 Ways Social Media Has Transformed The Way We Travel

By: Lauren Gordon | @MissLaurenG

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Photo Courtesy of securitybaron.com

It’s no surprise that social media has dramatically changed many aspects of one’s life. According to Statista.com, it’s estimated that by 2018, 2.44 billion people will be using social media, up from 970,000 in 2010. Similarly, a recent trip inspired this blog post about how much technology and social media, in particular, has changed the way we travel. Throughout the trip, it seemed everything that needed to be done could be clicked off my list with a smartphone.

Planning the Trip

There is no shortage of social media sites to plan a trip. Sites like Pinterest, TripAdvisor and Yelp! include vast amounts of information for those looking to plan a trip. It’s easily possible to choose a place to eat, download the menu, view a virtual tour of the location and find what you want to order without ever stepping foot in a restaurant.

Transportation

No need for a taxi anymore! Uber, Lyft and other transportation service apps are a click away. Even when taxies are in sight it is easier to know an upfront price with a car that comes straight to you with a clear destination.

Sharing The Experience

When returning from a trip it isn’t even necessary for a friend to ask what you did for your adventures. With social media apps like Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook friends have already seen pictures and locations of your travel before you ever come home. No need for a postcard!

Split the Check

Cash and money transfer apps like Venmo let you split a bill with friends without ever visiting a bank. Physical cash is no longer necessary as long as friends agree on downloading the same app. Venmo publicly displays which friends you pay or who is paying you unless you change the settings to private. Therefore, it’s a money version of who owes whom in social media.

Contacting Loved Ones Back Home

Free call and texting apps like WhatsApp let travelers phone home to their loved ones (domestic or international) for free. Just a few short years ago this would require a foreign pay phone with a hefty price if the conversation went on for more than five minutes. With a solid wi-fi connection or strong data plan, you could even Facetime someone from back home of the views all around you.

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Photo Courtesy of www.fatbit.com

Returning from the trip, I realized I am more dependent on social media with my smartphone during travel than any other time. It shouldn’t be surprising that 18 percent of consumers use social networking sites before even getting out of bed, according to an Ericsson ConsumerLab study. However, there are no intentions to go back to the old crinkly maps or pay phones. It is just impressive how much travel has changed due to social media in such a short amount of time.

Published by

UNT Eagle Strategies

Class members of the social media class in the Mayborn School of Journalism