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Use Twitter to Plan Your Vacation

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Twitter and Travel Planning

Twitter is filled with travel information and tips from people who have just been where you want to go. It's fairly easy to connect with them, either through the search methods outlined above or by going to a company's website to look for a Twitter link. Twitter is so popular that most travel providers are members.

Find Travel Information

Many of your favorite travel magazines, guidebook publishers, insurance providers and writers have Twitter accounts, and you can follow them all if you wish. If the information is too overwhelming, consider doing periodic "Find People" searches for these members when you feel like reading about their experiences and latest publications.

If you're looking for travel information about, say, JetBlue Airways, you can find the airline's Twitter account (it's JetBlue) and follow it. You can also ask questions, such as "Any problems flying #jetblue to Long Beach?" and see if you get an answer. Or, you can do a search on "#jetblue" and see what pops up.

Search for Travel Deals

You can also use Twitter to look for discounts and travel deals. The easiest way to do this is to follow people and travel providers with information you find useful. For example, you could follow Airfarewatchdog.com" to get information about airline discounts, travel news and troubleshooting. Following other Twitter users is less stressful than subscribing to email alerts, because you control when you access the information.

For example, if you follow me on Twitter, you'll see links to all my blog posts, reminders and updates. You might also learn about what foods I like or what travel news I think is important enough to pass on (or "retweet", in Twitterspeak, indicated by "RT @" and the original tweet). It may be easier to look up TravelMaven (Yours Truly) once in a while via a search on Twitter if you don't go online very often.

Get Location-Specific Tips

As you narrow down your destinations and dates, you might want to search for specific hotels, attractions or places on Twitter. You might just find some useful information, such as an upcoming festival, weather issues or road construction. For example, I recently noticed a Tweet from a Canadian tourism board I follow that mentioned a music festival. Since I'm planning a trip to Canada, I clicked on the link within this Tweet to make sure that the festival dates did not coincide with the dates I am thinking of traveling. The last thing I want is to arrive in town with 40,000 of my fellow music fans; I'd rather change my travel dates.

Use WeFollow Groups

Another great way to find travel information on Twitter is to use the WeFollow application. You can find travel celebrities and location-specific Twitter members by looking for WeFollow's Travel tag. You'll find all kinds of tags on WeFollow, including city names, "airline" and "hotels" – all of which are quite popular. Again, consider following the members whose Tweets you find helpful.

Next: Twitter Safety and Etiquette

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