Jane

Jane Castro is a journalist and media enthusiast. She graduated from the University of Bacolod in the Philippines. She loves skating, scuba diving, and archery on her free time.

Facebook is an amazing social network and can be a great way to meet new friends and connect with old ones. As a traveler, you can use its powerful search tools and social networking features to better plan your trip, better connect with the areas you visit, and maybe even save you some time and money.

As a travel writer and editor, I use it constantly to connect with new businesses and people and to maintain communication with a large social network of my own. If you haven’t already, you will need to join Facebook to really use its features. You can enter as much or as little personal information as you wish, the more information you enter, the more things it will automatically network you with, based on that information.

Here are the key steps to use Facebook to help plan travel:

Search

Search Facebook for things you like to do and see. When you find business pages, click the LIKE button, this will make you part of the network of that page. As part of the network, you learn of new posts and updates to the page. Most businesses now have a Facebook presence, so if you plan a trip to Paris for example, you would search Paris, France and hundreds of related listings show up, from hotels, social groups, restaurants, events. Check each one out and LIKE the ones that interest you. Conduct similar searches for subjects related to your trip and also search for the specific vendors and establishments you will use. Include airlines, hotels, cities, everything. Once you have LIKED the page, you will begin to receive information and updates from them, which can be passive, so you need to check their page, or active to the point where anything they post is sent as a text message to your phone, its all up to you.

You may also do the same for people (who have personal Facebook pages), who may appear in your search. Also you may have mutual friends of friends who live or work in areas you are interested in, these mutual friends are constantly presented on your Facebook profile page for possible Facebook friendship. Instead of clicking a LIKE button, you click ADD TO FRIENDS for people’s pages. They will receive a request with your information and if they approve, you each become part of each others networks.

Read and Contact

Now that you have LIKED various business pages, go and read them. Check out the posts and the notes and you will see all kinds of information. You may also see special Facebook-only discounts or events, not available to the general public.

As you plan your trip, contact and check the providers you may use, ask them about their services, specials and other information for prospective customers. They may provide insight, tips or other key information to make your journey smoother and to attract you as a customer.

Once you have your trip planned, contact the vendors directly, on Facebook. Go to their wall and post a message about your upcoming visit and ask them for any tips, recommendations, discounts, or other helpful information.

During you trip, you can search Facebook for places and subjects, to find things to do and see in real time, or events happening when you are in a certain area.

Post

Before your trip, post some messages on your wall about your trip and plans. Others in your network or searching Facebook may see the posts and respond with interesting information.

If you use the “@” symbol in your post, you can include a link to the page you mention, if you LIKE the page already. This can help others network directly with those pages, increasing the size of the overall social network and also letting vendors and business pages know you are commenting about them publicly.

During your trip, you can always connect with new friends if they are on Facebook. After your trip, be sure to post on your wall and vendor walls, any comments, positive or negative, about your travel experience. Of course you can also use Facebook to share your photos, videos and overall experiences with your network of friends, who can then share it with their own networks, and so on. Now that you are socially ready, go now and pack your things in your kvaliteetsed reisikohvrid