Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock (or playing games on Facebook), you no doubt have heard a little bit about Pinterest, the hot new social media network. Words like “hot new social media network” make me want to throw the toys out of the pram, but rest assured despite it’s new media “glow,” I think Pinterest is kind of cool.

Here’s the gist: how many times have you picked a travel destination or set out on a specific itinerary just based on a photo alone? I know I’ve seen shots of castles that decided a daytrip, a mountain view that helped me decide on a hike, or any number of picture-postcard photos that swayed travel decisions.

And that’s where Pinterest comes in – as a photo sharing site.  I’ll break rank with Pinterest Addicts to say that many of Pinterest’s features are rather primitive – the search and sorting tools, finding and following friends are all a little, well, amateurish.  But the stuff that counts – creating boards and pinning travel ideas to them – works great.

pinterest screenshot

Screenshot from one of my travel pinterest boards.

Pinterest Basics

Ok, so here’s how Pinterest works. You have your profile and you can follow your friends on pinterest, but also you can follow individual boards. Boards are what you create to group your pictures by topic. So, for example, if you want to follow my travel boards, you can just follow those, and skip my coffee shots. Or maybe you want to add in a fashion designer’s board into your stream, but you don’t really want to follow all of their stuff. Easy – just follow the boards you want.

Now, on the boards you can add what’s called a pin. That’s just the pictures you’re posting. You can post a URL link and have Pinterest look up the images for you, or you can actually upload an image right onto Pinterest. Be careful here on uploading any copyrighted images – the Pinterest terms of service clearly state that you are liable for anything that you upload.

If you see other photos already on Pinterest that you’d like on your own board, you can hit re-pin and add it to your board.

Individual photos also have a “like” and “comment” features. You can start to see why Pinterest is so addictive!

5 Steps to Pinterest Travel Planning

Ok, so you want to use Pinterest to plan a trip? Superb! Here’s 5 steps to get you started:

  1. Setup your account if you haven’t already.  Choose at least 5 friends, magazines, or other sites you know of and follow them, for a little visual stimulation!
  2. Create a board for each of your upcoming trips. Maybe the board is “Mysterious Destination for Bank Holiday” or maybe it’s “Things To Do While We’re in Mallorca”
  3. Start pinning!  You might share the link on your Facebook page or email some friends to see who has ideas.
  4. Extra Credit: setup “collaborators” who you can share access to your board and they can also pin items to your board. This means that your friend/partner/family member needs their own Pinterest account too.
  5. Book your trip:  The most important step. 🙂

Coming Soon: Pinterest has indicated that private boards are coming soon, which will be great if you want to use the site for a little bit of travel wanderlust but don’t necessarily want anyone else nosing around.

Do you use Pinterest for your travel planning? Share one of your favourite boards in the comments.

Andy Hayes

Andy Hayes is a travel journalist currently based in Seattle, Washington. When not soaking up the Pacific Northwest lifestyle or enjoying life on the road, he is spending time hanging out on his own travel lifestyle magazine, Sharing Travel Experiences.

Posted : Friday, May 4th, 2012 at 10:00
Category : How To...
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4 Responses to “Using Pinterest to Plan Your Next Trip”

  1. […] Try starting a Pinterest board to get you going. Get at least one solid plan booked. And I always like to plan the next trip while that feeling of freedom is still fresh from the previous trip. […]

  2. […] already talked about Pinterest for trip planning, but I have to bring it up again because for those of us visual learners, it is a great way to take […]

  3. […] year I wrote about using Pinterest to plan your holiday, and I am still a big advocate – even more-so now that I’ve really gotten into it. […]

  4. […] Do you use Tumblr?  Lots of reports are saying that our teenage generation is turning to Tumblr as opposed to Facebook or Pinterest (my thoughts on the latter here). […]

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