Most of us have had the internet for the better part of our lives and social media for so long we don’t remember life without it. We understand how to use it to pitch brands, find readers and collaborate with fellow bloggers. But I’ve discovered another fabulous use for your blog and social media: Using it to enrich your travel experience anywhere in the world.
This isn’t about traveling for free, though certainly you can research plenty of travel hacker blogs that will help you with just that. Rather it’s about making travel more rewarding and creating relationships anywhere in the world built on common ground. After spending two months in London over the winter, where I am again this spring, here are my tips:
6-12+ Months Before:
- Decide where you’d like to go. Let’s say Spain, Barcelona specifically, but it can be anywhere.
- Do a Bing search for blogs there. These can be fellow style blogs or other types of lifestyle or blogs that are of interest to you. Slowly start to develop friendships there and see if a couple of them truly develop.
- Start a list on Twitter to follow interesting people located there, search on Instgram and see if you can find any private Facebook groups to be a part of either in the fashion industry, entrepreneurs or other hobbies and groups you’re active in.
- Spread the word that you’re looking for contacts there, share it on your Facebook profile, add it to the signature of your email, bring up your plans in social conversations. With study abroad programs, professionals traveling for work, expats all over the world, you likely have more connections through your friends than you realize.
2 Weeks Before You Leave:
- Plan a meet-up. Announce on your blog and social media that you’ll be at a central bar for drinks if anyone wants to swing by and perhaps confirm that a few of your closer contacts will indeed to able to make it.
- Invite yourself to events. When you’re new in town, it doesn’t feel rude, but charmingly cheeky to ask if there might be anything happening that weekend or any meet-ups you might stop by.
When You’re In Town:
- Keep in touch with those contacts and continue to say hello to more on social media. Once people know you’re in town they’re all the more likely to invite you along to something.
- Exchange contact with new friends you meet so your circle continues to grow.
Some of my favorite friends in blogging are the London girls I met leading up to my extended trip in the winter. When we met in person it felt like we’d been friends in real life for years. Running a blog is like an introductory post card to anywhere in the world you’d like to visit and one of the greatest blessings I never expected when I launched mine.
Have you met friends elsewhere in the world through your blog? Where would you like to go and which first step will you take to start seeking new friends there?
[Image source: Shutterstock.com]