How Does the Travel Industry Flourish Using Social Media?

Social media has been able to spell its magic over all the industries. A single industry has not escaped and will not escape from its strong grip. Having an account in Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumbler, Pinterest and Google+ is indispensable in these days to connect the audiences, generate more inbound traffic and leads. The best part of the social media is that industries never lose anything through this campaign. Also, the travel industry enjoys all these benefits.

The travel industry is flourishing taking advantages of the social media campaigns and using its various tools. It has turned to be a stepping stone for the travel industry. Here is how the travel industry flourishes using it.

Facilities provided by the for status updates, posting of photos and videos have helped the travel industry a lot, in the long run, to create more revenue opportunities and raise traffic on the site. Posting of news, photos and videos help to receive comments and likes. Its popularity on the active fan page converts visitors into consumers.

Social networking sites provide grounds for the brand credibility of the industry. Whenever anyone visits a place, he shares his photos, videos and gives comments about the service of the company. Other people also see that video and post their positive or negative views about the company. They share it with their friends and others. Sometimes, the videos posted on the sites go viral. It helps to give a good mileage to the industry and brings brand credibility for the travel industry.

Customers get an opportunity to share their good or bad experiences that they encounter during their travel. A great many visitors place their opinions about it. Participating in it and keeping their own opinions on the social media sites travel agencies can clear the misconceptions and console the customers representing their views on behalf of the companies. It helps to enhance the brand reputation of the industry.

According to the Social Media Travel Marketing Report, 86% of the marketers have experienced a sustainable growth in their travel businesses spending less than six- hour of a week on it. Almost 64% of the marketers opined that they had generated good leads using it. Whereas 36% had told that they had witnessed an upsurge in their businesses after using social media for over three years. More than 89% of the markets had adopted it as a strategy for their marketing.

2012 Travel Tips for the Social Activist

Is the daily work grind or the continual schoolwork bringing you down? Is your wanderlust inner voice telling you you’re ready for a travel vacation? Yet this year you want a different travel objective, not the typical vacation, designed around personal pleasure and leisure. This year you also feel a desire to get involved with some worthy cause, to challenge the power elite status quo and make the world a better place to live. Well, if travel AND social activism are your interests, I have the 2012 travel tip solutions that will please both your traveling and social activist desires.

1. My first recommended travel destination for 2012 is Chantilly, Virginia, USA host to this year’s annual Bilderberg meeting May 31st – June 3rd. Chantilly, Virginia, at the Westfield Marriot Hotel, was the host for the 2008 Bilderberg meeting.

Chantilly, Virginia is within close proximity to Washington, D.C.; the nation’s capitol offers a unique historical, cultural experience as well as a great place to voice dissent! Fortunately too, for the budget traveler, Chantilly has a youth hostel on the outskirts of the Washington, D.C. area. Why not book your reservations now, and enjoy the beautiful Virginia countryside and Washington, D.C. cultural activities while also vocalizing your displeasure to a passing banker, politician, or corporate CEO? Your opinions and discussions may plant the inception seed activating a pang of conscience that will eventually lead to less harmful world policies. If you discover the overt sidewalk protests are less successful, may I suggest an alternative, stealth approach: position yourself as a well-dressed hotel patron in the lobby where the Bilderberg members are staying. Act as an unassuming gadfly, listening for telling conversations from Bilderberg meeting attendees.

Granted, such intimate access may prove to be difficult; however, for the determined spirited social activist, the challenge enhances the adventure and the success sweetens the reward.

Are you ready for summer outdoor fun, a freelance journalist’s dream, and a proud sense of moral accomplishment? That’s what I experienced when I planned my fall 2000 vacation in Europe to coincide with the scheduled IMF / World Bank meeting in Prague. A well-organized anti-globalization protest was waiting for the banking attendees, similar to the successful anti-WTO protest in Seattle, November ’99, which I attended. I wanted to continue being a part of this proud movement.

I’m certain at the Washington, D.C. youth hostel, and around town, you will meet kindred spirits who are also knowledgeable of this Bilderberg meeting event (global citizen individuals and various NGO members). As I had experienced during the Seattle ’99 and Prague 2000 protests, you will form lasting friendships with these fellow travelers / activists.

2. To start your summer season, I recommend planning a visit to Los Cabos, Baja California, Mexico for the annual G-20 meeting, June 18-19. What fun you will have mixing summer outdoor fun with social activism. Cabo San Lucas offers scuba diving, fishing, nightlife, and so much more. Even though the rich elite will be staying at expensive resorts, there are ample inexpensive lodging options at Los Cabos, including youth hostels. You can even pitch your tent near the beach!

3. To start your fall season, I recommend a trip to Switzerland for the WTO public forum meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, September 24 – 26. A good central location for fine nearby skiing, autumn color hiking, and a piping hot cappuccino next to a roaring fireplace as you listen in to some powerful banker’s insidious plan.

4. Continuing your fall season travels, I recommend visiting Tokyo, Japan for the IMF / World Bank meeting, Oct. 12-14. Enjoy social activism by day and exotic bustling Tokyo nightlife by night.

For budget accommodations, Los Cabos, Geneva, and Tokyo, all have several hostels in the city and nearby vicinities.

Last, for those planning on traveling through California, I recommend an outdoor excursion north of San Francisco. Besides marvelous vineyards, inspiring redwoods and dramatic coastline, there’s also an elite power broker retreat called Bohemian Grove nestled in the redwoods near the town of Guerneville and the Russian River.
The retreat of course has security ( as I discovered many years ago) so an undercover role as a naive hiker is a good start. While peering through the redwoods, you may find an influential politician or CEO performing some decadent, hedonistic ritual in a yellow chiffon dress! Don’t forget to bring your camera!

I hope you find these travel tips useful for your future 2012 travel plans. You may even come across yours truly, the author. Happy travels!

Travel Essentials No Matter What the Trip

Bottom line, my favorite thing to do in this world (outside of spending time with my family) is traveling; and while I usually boast in my blog about using only a carry-on bag…..there is a list of items I will never leave home without, no matter what the trip, and they include:

  • Walking Shoes – The absolutely best way to see any city, ancient ruin, museum, tourist attraction etc….is on foot and in order to do this you have to be comfortable!!
  • Sunscreen – My white freckly Irish skin makes sunscreen an essential, however no matter what your ethnicity, protecting your skin from the harmful rays of the sun is imperative!!
  • Lip Balm and Moisturizer – Whatever the season, but particularly in colder climates, keeping your body lubricated is crucial for comfortable travel.
  • Compact Toiletry Bag – A small compact toiletry bag that you can carry in your purse or in a small carry-on tote, just in case you or your luggage ventures off course.
  • Ear Plugs and Eye Mask – Another essential for successful travel is sleep and depending on how smoothly everything goes, you never know where you might have to catch your zzzzz’s!
  • A bottle of Ibuprofen – As I get older, a sign of a great trip is the need for Ibuprofen; sore feet, headache, aches and pains, all signs that you are taking advantage of every opportunity and a small toll on your body!
  • 3 ounce Bottle of Hand Sanitizer – Never knowing if hand washing is an option, having a small bottle ( 3 oz. or less can be carried on an airplane) of a hand sanitizer helps ensure the foreign bugs you encounter do not reek havoc on your stomach or general health.
  • Resealable Baggies – The uses for these simple large and small plastic bags are endless; packing, waterproofing, dirty or wet clothes, medications and vitamins, day trips, food, etc……………..
  • Hat – Once again for sun protection or for warmth. There are a wide variety of choices depending on the type of travel but a hat is always a must (a scarf for colder climate works as well)!
  • A Travel Light – Whether doing “1st Class” travel or heading out on a camping trip, having a small portable light/headlamp to help navigate your way through dark corners is not only convenient it is far more safe.
  • Portable Alarm Clock – Finally whether part of your wrist watch or tucked away in a carry-on bag, having a device to help get you moving each morning will ensure you do not sleep your vacation away!

I consider my list to be right on; but with the vast assortment of people out there, I am sure opinions will vary. So let me hear from you, what do you consider essential while traveling?

Travel Tips – Reducing Stress and Enjoying Yourself When Traveling

“He who would travel happily must travel light.”
Antoine de Saint-Exupery
French writer (1900 – 1944)

What does this quote mean to you? In my opinion, there would be several meanings, let me give you some suggestions and see if you agree.

* MAKE A SPREADSHEET or use graph paper listing the items you plan to take for your trip. After you pack each item, check it off knowing nothing will be forgotten. This creates a sense of control knowing you have everything you need. You will feel less stressed as well. Keeping a master list works as a template for future trips making a few adjustments with each trip. When you travel, keep this list with you to make sure you re-pack your belonging so nothing is left behind. The list comes in handy for lost luggage.

* PACK with the idea of mixing and matching outfits. Using the same clothes, with a few variations, and having a toiletries bag all ready to go at a moments notice, makes it easier to remember the important things. There are lots of ways to use your master list.

* REMEMBER TO HAVE FUN. Airline travel can be fun, however, if you want your trip to be more stress free, you must prepare. One of the tips I have used for years is to count backwards; start by knowing the time of the flight, account for travel time to the airport, anticipating possible traffic issues, add extra time to get through security, now you have your starting time to leave for the airport. Arriving at the airport without enough time creates stress that can be avoided if you arrive early.

* ADD MORE TIME if you are checking in a bag for a flight. Remember not everyone does a carry-on bag, so prepare to wait in line, or do Sky Cap. If it is a popular flight, even 45 minutes before departure time may not be enough time to check baggage in. Checking in at least 90 minutes before your scheduled flight, is probably the best advice to follow or you will find yourself very anxious and stressed wondering if you will make your flight.

* CHECK BAGGAGE FEES with the airline beforehand, this eliminates surprises when you check in your overweight bag. Carry-on luggage is restricted to two bags that will fit under your seat or in the overhead bins. In doing my research I found that most airlines charge $15 for one checked bag and $40 or more for two bags. The size of your bag is also restricted to no more than 62 to 115 inches and weight is generally restricted to fifty pounds. The fee for overweight or oversize baggage can be as much or more than $125 per bag. Fees for International baggage can vary depending on your final destination.

* KEEP A TRAVEL JOURNAL. This can be one of the most exciting things. Writing down what you did, and where you went, will help to keep the memories and experiences alive, it will also help relieve stress. In your journal, describe the sights and places you visited, the people you met, describe the feelings you felt about that place. Get small keepsakes from each experience, a napkin from a restaurant, a receipt from a souvenir shop, keep the bus or subway ticket. This will keep the magic of your travels alive.