Travel

Social Media Guides Families in Picking Vacation Spots

Four loads of laundry sit in the corner of my living room ready to be folded. Stains on the countertops in my kitchen need a scrubbing. The same goes for the spots in the bathroom, on the carpet, and on the walls. A stack of papers spread out across my desk awaits filing. And with the rain keeping my 4 kids indoors, the mess is amplified and feels like the Blob, slowing taking over all that lays in its way.

Hiking in Montenegro

Okay, that sounds more dire than it is, but the messiness of life can get to me and in those moments I want to escape immediately for a long vacation or shovel everything into the nearest dumpster. Most parents can relate. Neither option is practical, but I get my own little escape by viewing my friend’s vacation pictures on social media. Just today, I looked at a friend’s vacation pictures on his Facebook page and for a moment, I was transported. In each picture, smiles adorned his family’s faces while they surfed, ate, or lounged around on the beach. The pile of laundry and kitchen countertops drifted away in the waves staring back at me from my screen.

Croatian Coast

Each time we see vacation pictures on social media, we have the opportunity to be inspired or jealous. I prefer inspiration to jealousy. I’m happy for each friend or co-worker, while wondering if it is the right vacation for my family. I look at what they are doing and where they are eating. And, as a travel blogger, I have a lot of other travel blogging friends who share some amazing photos and stories. More than once I’ve visited a spot after having seen it pop up on a friend’s feed.

On the streets of Playa del Carmen

And I’m not alone. According to, this survey conducted by Alamo Rental Car, 39% of those polled said photos they have seen on Facebook have guided their vacation plans. And 56% of families use Facebook as their go-to social media vacation inspiration. While on vacation, Facebook is the preferred way to rub it in everyone’s face what a great time you are having. Whether I’m looking at someone’s backpacking trip photos, cruise pics, sightseeing tours, etc., I’m planning my own similar vacation. I wonder if my kids would love to do that or eat there. Of course, I’ll do my research and figure out other possibilities, but the social shares give me a framework to start planning.

And if someone posts a picture of their clean hotel room, I dream of daily housekeeping and that wonderful feeling of returning to a room that someone else has put back in order. Now back to the laundry.

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