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Using Twitter as a Travel Tool

I confess, I missed the time when plane tickets were booked via travel agent (or even at the airline counter), when travelers cheques were the only way to carry money on the road, and when the only portable resource available to most travelers was a dog-eared copy of a possibly outdated guidebook.

You see, I started traveling in the digital age. I booked my first international plane ticket over the internet. I reserved my first European hostel via email. And I created my own guide to my destination by printing out museum information, maps and restaurant menus that I found online. Those technological advances shaped the way I travel, and now I embrace even newer technology to help me travel better, smarter, and lighter.

One of the newest tools to improve my travels has been Twitter. Thanks to Twitter, I’ve been alerted to cheap international flights that I wouldn’t have otherwise known about. $250 round trip Chicago to Costa Rica, $500 round trip Chicago to Frankfurt, $400 round trip New York to Iceland – these are deals I would never have been aware of if they hadn’t made their way into my Twitter stream.

When I’ve needed first hand recommendations for where to stay or where to eat in a city, I’ve put out the call on Twitter, and my fellow travelers have always come through, suggesting out of the way places I otherwise might have missed.

Using Twitter to travel means not only getting first-hand tips from other travelers, it also means getting them in real time. If you have a smart phone, you can ask for advice on Twitter virtually anywhere, and have a response within a matter of seconds. You can even reach out to travel companies via Twitter when you have a problem. I’ve seen several companies respond to complaints posted on Twitter; it’s one more avenue for reaching a company representative directly.

Via Twitter, you can access the collective travel wisdom of the internet. We recently put out the call for some of our readers’ top travel tips, and compiled the best into a How I Travel: Twitter Edition. With tips on staying safe, staying connected, eating well on a budget, and traveling with kids, the members of the Twitterverse showed off their travel savvy and showed that Twitter is one of the best tools available to the modern-day traveler.

Photo by juicyrai