Everyone else is planning their vacations and travel online – are you? Here’s how to get started:

Online Travel Tips for Booking and ResearchingGone are the days when you would pop into the nearby travel agency and have them plan and book your vacation. Often, people would walk in merely ‘wanting a vacation’ and their agent would guide them in their choice, too. Sure, many still use a travel agency; however, nobody can contest the immense popularity of travel online.  Popularity of Travel Online: Internet Travel Statistics:
  •  65% of leisure travellers begin researching online before they have decided where or how to travel (Source: Ipsos MediaCT). This number continues to increase. 
  •  A typical travel shopper will visit 22 websites in multiple shopping sessions before booking a trip
  • 44% of travellers use their smartphone to research travel while they’re traveling
  • Tablet is the preferred device for booking future travel and smartphones are the preferred device for on-the-go
Travel Planning is Dominated by Online Resources:
  • Travel review websites have the most influence (69%)
  • Online travel agencies (56%)
  • Friends and relatives (43%) 
70% of travellers update their Facebook page while on vacation. Add in Pinterest, Instagram and other Social Media and it is clear to see travel is a highly ‘social’ activity. Tips For Future travellers:
  • Begin your research online. A simple Google Search will uncover destination message boards, blogs, reviews and deals. TripAdvisor, Expedia, HotWire, Travelzoo and Groupon are some popular favorites.
  • Utilize social media. Where have your friends and family been and what would they recommend. Ask a simple question and you will get many answers. It seems everyone loves to talk travel, or at least has an opinion they are eager to share.
  • Search destinations by hashtags. For example #backpackeurope or #disneyland and you may come across a wealth of information to help you begin the planning process
  • Pinterest is ideal when it comes to planning a trip. Start a dedicated board for your destination, search pins and create a visual bucket list. You will find everything from places to say, places to see to lists of what to take pictures of and souvenirs you might want to buy.
  • Turn on the map feature in Pinterest for even more planning function.
How to Turn On The Map Feature In Pinterest. Travel Junkies Beware – This Feature is Awesome for Roadtrip Planning: First, turn on your map: 1. Edit your board and switch Add to map? from No to Yes 2. Save Changes to see a new map on your board Then add places to your Pins: 1. Click Add a place on the Pin you want to map 2. Enter the name and location to see a list of options 3. Pick the right name and we’ll add it to your map You can use place Pins to plan each stop on your big summer trip. Or make a handy guide of the best spots in your hometown. Want more than just the basics when searching for travel online? Here are 24 Travel websites worthy of awe.

Whether you are planning a real trip, or simply dreaming, harness the Internet for the best in where to go, where to stay, what to eat, what to see, what to do and what to buy. I guarantee you will uncover a gem or two.

By Michelle Collie Internet Marketing & Social Media Consultant GetOn.com – Kelowna Web Design & Internet Marketing  Serving Kelowna, Vancouver, Canada, USA and beyond [email protected]