Top Tips To Use Social Media During Your Family Vacation
We all have that one family member that just can’t detach himself from technology. On that hypothetical beach vacation, this chap couldn’t be bothered to peel his eyes off his Twitterfeed and heaven forbid if you ask him to turn off his iPhone. Then again, maybe that über-connected social mediaite is you.
If you or someone you know tends to spend an entire vacation typing away and staring at backlit screens, it may be time for an intervention. Being “constantly connected” can take a toll on your health — we recommend cutting back on social media and tech usage when you’re on vacation. Everyone needs a break.
If you can’t completely disconnect, your social media proficiency might come in handy when your family is trying to coordinate the trip. There’s a ton of mobile apps that can help improve your vacation, and you’re probably just the person to sharpen up your family’s social media game (Toshiba pa3534u-1brs Battery). Here are our tips for utilizing your connected time for improving your family’s vacation. The next time you’re staring at your smartphone in Tahiti, you’ll at least have a vacation-related excuse.
Find Nearby Recommendations & Deals with Location Apps
Foursquare Explore tab
Use location-based apps, such as Foursquare and Gowalla, to find nearby attractions to visit while you’re strolling around new cities. Or, while your family is getting ready for the day, why not take an extra 15 minutes to peruse nearby tips left by other users?
We recommend using Foursquare’s Explore tab, where users can query for recommendations or dive into food, coffee, nightlife, shops and arts and entertainment recommendations served up by Foursquare and ranked by what’s most interesting to the user. For example, if you’re interesting in taking in a few museums, simply search for “museum” within the Explore tab. You can narrow down locations based on distance or whether your friends (or you) have left recommendations. If your friends have checked in at the location or if you have marked a “to-do” at the location, these details will be noted.
As an added bonus, it’s likely that local venues listed on Foursquare or other location-based apps offer specials. The Roger Smith Hotel in New York City, for instance, offers “free coffee, tea, or #bacon any time of day” if you check in with Foursquare or Facebook Places. You’ll probably get kudos with your caffeine-obsessed cousin for finding free coffee, props from that weird friend who wears bacon-scented perfume, and Aunt Frugal will love you for passing on shopping discounts.
Keep Track of Your Family with Group Messaging
Group messaging services really took off earlier this year. Some of the most popular group messaging apps include GroupMe, Beluga, Fast Society and Kik. They all include the same basic features and are based on the ability to message a group of people simultaneously.
Group messaging apps let you communicate instantly with your entire travel group, instead of texting, calling and tweeting your travel mates individually. This is particularly useful for organizing trips with multiple people, especially when their interests differ.
It isn’t always possible — or ideal — for your entire family to stick together during the full length of a vacation. From time to time, smaller groups will split off and enjoy varying activities (Hp pavilion dv5 battery). It’s nice to have a bit of space, but when you want to reconvene, group messaging is a great way to figure out a meeting spot and time.
Get Advice from Your Hotel’s Concierge
Hotel Gansevoort’s Social Media Manager Joshua Pelz manages the hotel’s Twitter account
The hotel industry is experimenting with social media, from offering last-minute deals via social outlets to showcasing properties on YouTube. One of the more interesting offerings in development, though, is concierge service via Twitter.
Hotel Gansevoort, The Roger Smith Hotel, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, and Hyatt all offer concierge service via Twitter. Response times and services vary, but for the most part, each of these hotels is quite responsive and eager to assist guests.
While on vacation, hotel guests should take advantage of these quick-to-respond tweeters by following their hotel’s Twitter account and asking for advice about hotel offerings and local attractions when necessary.
Hotel Gansevoort’s Social Media Manager Joshua Pelz monitors chatter on Twitter, Facebook and message boards for guest requests. “Hospitality is about serving the guest needs, however they may come in,” he says. “The ability to ‘anticipate’ a guest’s needs before the traditional request is made is highly beneficial to all departments.”
Hotel concierge service via Twitter is rare at this point. Many hotel groups haven’t adopted social media strategies, while others have found different digital outlets. The Chatwal New York and the Vikram Chatwal Hotels properties, for example, uses Twitter to communicate with guests, but don’t officially offer concierge services via the microblogging service. “All the new hotels have such high-tech in-room services (digital) that it would take away from the efficiency,” says Brian Simpson, director of digital media and social hospitality at Vikram Chatwal Hotels.
Charles Yap, director of global brand communications and social media at InterContinental Hotels Group noted that its hotel group is taking concierge services to the next level by enabling guests to chat with its conciergesusing Apple’s video chat feature, FaceTime. The hotel also launched the “Concierge Insider Guides” iPad app in 2010 to offer expert advice on 120 destinations.
Post Occasional Photo Updates for Friends & Family
Vacation photos on Instagram
Social media is a great way to stay in contact with your friends and family who weren’t lucky enough to join you on vacation. You can keep them apprised of your whereabouts or make them jealous with awesome scenic shots, if that’s your cup of tea.
Status updates are lovely, but photos are where it’s at. We recommend trying photo sharing apps such asInstagram and PicPlz to take, edit and share photos. Most photo sharing apps on the market enable users to instantly share to Facebook, Twitter and other social networks, where friends and family members usually congregate.
Mashable recently took a family vacation of sorts to host the Mashable Connect conference at Walt Disney World. Many of my friends and co-workers were sharing photos and generating conversations across a number of social channels. It was a great way to not only let my family and friends know what I was up to, but to see what other conference attendees were doing in other areas of the conference and park.
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