Social media platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram have changed the way we travel significantly, from the way we discover and research new destinations to the ways in which we communicate with friends and family back home. Not only can you use social media anywhere in the world via your smartphone, many airlines are rolling out Wi-Fi services to passengers to help them stay connected even at 30,000 feet. To determine the positive impact that social media can have on your travel experience, we asked travellers how they use their smart phones abroad and how this had a positive effect on their overall experience. It is no surprise that our survey revealed that 40% of travellers check their phones 3 to 4 times per day while abroad. With this in mind, let’s take a look at the many benefits of using social media while on holiday.
A Source of Inspiration
Gone are the days when our travel inspiration came solely from the pages of a glossy brochure in a high-street travel agent.
Today, we get inspiration in the palm of our hands and at the touch of a button.
Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest are visual mediums for sharing information and many holidaymakers turn to these platforms when researching hotels, restaurants and attractions.
In some cases, social media can put a previously unknown destination on the map. Often these places have visual attributes that are particularly “instagrammable”. The Blue Lagoon in Iceland, Göreme in Turkey and Plitviče Lakes National Park, Croatia are just a few locations that have peaked in popularity after being featured by travellers and influencers alike. Twitter is also a place customers head to when in search for money-saving deals from their preferred travel brands. However, according to social media expert Charlotte Gill, while Instagram has influenced the way we choose where to travel, it is Facebook that takes the top spot for travellers over the age of 55. In fact, people over the age of 55 made up the second largest demographic of Facebook users this year. The main reason for this is that older generations frequent this platform to keep up to date with updates posted by their children or grandchildren, so it makes sense that this is where they would ask for travel advice or contact friends and family while abroad. Our survey confirms this observation with 49.3% choosing to use Facebook over other platforms while abroad.
Stay Connected with Family and Friends
A holiday is meant to be a break from the daily stresses of your commitments but being so far away from home without daily communication can be a source of anxiety for some. Many people find it hard to relax when they are cut off from those they care about and may spend a huge portion of their time worrying about what may be happening in their absence.
88% of people we surveyed responded positively to the idea of being able to use your phone abroad via free Wi-Fi. Social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram allow you to stay in contact with loved ones without having to worry about expensive phone calls home. We know our own customers are very active on Facebook, with 19k users in our Facebook community.
68.4% of people surveyed said they use their phone for family communication. So, what does this constant need to check your phone reveal? Social media not only helps you ensure that all is well at home, it also allows those back at home to keep updated with your travels and in turn, feel reassurance that you are safe and well.
For Peace of Mind
Worried you’ve left the iron on? Forgot to set your house alarm? Recent research shows that questioning whether you have locked the car or secured the house are just a couple of the things that can cause travellers to worry while they are away. In fact, 26.7% of people we surveyed confessed to worrying about forgetting to lock their doors.
Andrew Bridgewater, Chartered Psychologist & Author states: “We tend to forget these things because we do them subconsciously and often while thinking about something else in they rush to get everything done. Consequently, we can’t recall whether we did them or not.” He suggests to “Add them to your packing list and mark each one (and any others you’d like to add) and complete as you leave the house or when you arrive at the airport.”
Social media can have a positive impact by putting our minds at ease and allowing us to alert a friend and family member back home to visit your property and provide reassurance when needed. So, there you have it, the many benefits of using social media abroad.
Not only does it allow you to stay connected like never before, you can be inspired and inspire others by sharing your holiday snaps with the masses in seconds.
Will you be logging on while you’re away?
For ultimate peace of mind, when you join us on a Riviera Travel river cruise of your choice, you will benefit from free Wi-Fi on board for the duration of your travel experience with us*. This means that you can be in constant contact with friends, family and work associates back at home should you require it.
*speeds may vary
To browse and book a sensational river cruise experience with us, click here. We have a plethora of 2019 dates on sale available to book now.