It’s been a little while since we talked about using social media for travel planning, hasn’t it? Just to review, we’ve already covered Twitter (my fave!), Instagram, and Facebook. Today I’m here to talk about travel planning with my newest addiction: Snapchat. But is Snapchat travel planning possible? Alright, I hear you protesting already. How the heck can I use Snapchat to help plan my travels? I knew you were going to protest. In fact, I was a little skeptical of how useful it would be. That’s why I gave it a try when I went up to New York City. And I am confident that you actually CAN use Snapchat for travel planning.
Snapchat Travel Planning: How is it Possible?
Pay Attention to Geofilters
These geofilters are more than just pretty pictures (sometimes). Think about it. When you take snaps aren’t you super excited when a new neighborhood filter pops up? Pay attention to those filters when you are watching other peoples’ snaps. Even if you don’t want to go to the particular coffee shop or restaurant they’re snapping, this might give you a good idea of places to look for AirBnBs or do some exploring. Neighborhood adventuring is one of my favorite things to do when I travel, so I love doing this!
I don’t know if Snapchat has ever highlighted your city for a discover story, but when they came to Philadelphia we went NUTS. In the best way possible. Keep an eye out for different city stories highlighted by Snapchat. Even if you don’t think you’ll ever travel to that place, check out the story. It might give you inspiration for your next road trip or plane ticket. Plus this is one of the best ways to explore a city like a local, because a large majority of these stories are comprised of locals being goofs and having fun on Snapchat. It’s perfect!
Screenshot, Screenshot, Screenshot
How do you keep track of all of this? Learn how to screenshot on your phone in the fastest way possible. Fellow Samsung users, I know we’ve got it a little tougher - but look into it! You can screenshot both snaps and chats. It’s very easy to compile these screenshots to make a rough travel guide for yourself! My favorite thing to do is use Evernote for this. I have a note with a list of places I’m thinking of traveling. Every time a snap catches my fancy, I screenshot it and add it to the Evernote! Super easy to organize and it makes a time-sensitive snap more accessible for your travel planning.
This is a recurring theme in these posts, but sometimes you have to actually reach out to people. This is where my New York City trip comes in. On your way there (or while you’re still planning), send out a snap into your snap story talking about where you’re going and what you’re looking to do. Also send this snap to anybody you know who has visited there or lives there.
Here’s a tip for you though: make sure your settings are set to receive snaps from everybody. Snapchat also struggles to be exactly clear on who is following you or not. If you send a snap out into the universe and they respond, you actually want to receive it! You can change all of this under your settings in Snapchat.
Alright, I will be honest with you. Snapchat travel planning does depend a lot on who you actually follow on Snapchat. And Snapchat is just awful for following people when you don’t know who exactly you’re looking for. Recently, though, I’ve heard of Ghost Codes - something that might change this for the better. People have to pick categories that they fall under and so hopefully it’ll be much easier to track down travel snappers! If not, there are plenty of round-up posts that might give you a good idea of who to follow.
If you’re looking for a particular location, do a quick search of travel bloggers that live in that location. Many of us travel bloggers seem to be jumping on board the Snapchat train, so your chances of finding an expat or blogger in the place you want to visit is getting much higher!
I don’t usually finish off one of these posts with a “who to follow” list, but because it might be tricky to find good Snappers if you’re starting from scratch…I’ll give. Here are five Snapchatters that I think are incredibly helpful for planning your travels. Their snap usernames are in parentheses for your adding pleasure.
Amy @ The Wayfarer’s Book (wayfarersbook)
Amy is a rockstar and has actually inspired me to get to Eastern Europe this year. She’s super responsive too! I shot her some questions about teaching over there and she gave me all the information I needed.
Expat Edna (expatedna)
Edna is my Snapchat hero! She’s also a spectacular resource for travel planning because she is so diligent about putting addresses and names of places in her snaps as well. She’s in Paris right now and her snap story is a total dream. Everywhere she’s gone, though, she snaps particularly well.
Katie Boue (kboue)
This girl is KILLER for making your outdoor dreams come true. She’s living the van life this summer and I’m about ready to get myself a van and take over the United States. Awesome snapper alert.
Kendal//Buttons & Blossoms (kendallblossoms)
For my Philly area peeps, Kendall is a winner for your snapchat feed. I love when she highlights coffee shops and breweries all around Philadelphia and New Jersey. She was also the one who gave me the Pies & Thighs recommendation in NYC.
Krista Simmons (krista_simmons)
Make all of your food dreams come true by following Krista. Not only is she a joy to watch, but she’s got some super suggestions and she really knows her food stuff.
And don’t forget to follow me on Snapchat, ladies and gents. You’ll see me attempt to balance home life and travel life. Often times I fail and hilarity ensues. The best part? My 7th grade-style user name - manderz219.
If that’s not enough, you could always follow accounts like Lonely Planet, TripIt, or AirBnB. They’re more general but they’ve been getting people to take over their snap accounts lately to appeal to a larger audience. These accounts are always good for some information!
- What are your feelings on Snapchat? Do I have you convinced that it’s more than just for sending silly pictures of yourself? Although I definitely use it for that too...
- Any favorite snappers I need to check out?