When planning a family vacation, there are many factors that go into the decision-making process for where to go, what to eat, what to do, and where to stay. Many of us turn to social media to aid our research, allowing the onslaught of social media posts for location-specific hashtags to persuade us into checking out certain food establishments or booking certain tours based on the simple fact of a “pretty” Instagram photo that’s visually enticing to us.
Looking through the 2018 Alamo Rent A Car Family Vacation Survey results, it’s easy to make this point. Over one third of Millennials (34 percent), and more men (19 percent) than women (14 percent), say they’ve decided where to go or what to do on vacation based on how good their photos would look on social media.
It’s hard to admit it’s true, but take an honest look back at your previous family vacations. If you saw bloggers and influencers sharing pretty photos, gorgeous sunsets, and perfectly poised portraits, you know there was a part of you that screamed, “I want that, too!” I know I’ve done it. Even when friends go on a vacation, I find that my wanderlust kicks in and I’m a bit jealous of them!
Social media is an amazing connector, and the people who use it can have a huge influence on what we do, see, taste, and experience. Simply put, if an influencer gets you to go to a certain vacation spot after they have because you want the same pretty photos, they’ve successfully done their job!
The survey results reveal the truth: Around two in five American families (39 percent) admit photos they’ve seen on social media have influenced their vacation plans.
Don’t be offended by these survey results though – you certainly aren’t alone in your behavior! I can easily raise my hand to agree with many of the points made. I know that when we go on vacation, I do want to show my followers (which includes friends and family) that we’re having a great time, that we’re exploring and learning. It’s rare that I would show a bad point in our trip.
I mean, on our last family vacation, I never shared that the GPS took us on a curvy mountain road and we had a kid throw up all over himself in the van. I also didn’t want photo evidence that this happened; the smell was enough for all us to never forget it!
Because we are all so influenced by social media when planning a vacation, Alamo Rent A Car has put together resources, including travel guides and personal travel stories via The Scenic Route. It’s a one-stop-shop for all things vacation prep and planning, and for families, it makes planning that next trip a little easier.
When using social media to help research your next vacation, be sure to browse location-specific hashtags and geotags. You can also look for photos shared with hashtags like: #familyfun, #familytravel, #familytime, #familyvacation
Help your followers by sharing your honest experiences and opinions when on vacation. If you must use social media during a trip, the least you can do is be honest and share with them what they’ll need to know if they are considering a similar trip! Tell them the best beach spot (and why), share your favorite breakfast place (and why), and show them how you are getting around (did you rent a car? Public transportation?) so they know what to expect and what’s possible!