How Social Media Has Changed the Way I Travel


Social media has changed my life. That’s a bold statement but I really mean it. The latest impact has been on how I travel. It has created an entire new dynamic experiencing that has enhanced the joys of discovering new places, meeting new people and eating well.

How social media changed the way I travel Prague

Recently I was planning a trip to eastern Europe which I’m currently on, and tweeted that I was going to visit Prague. One of my tweeter followers Jennifer Lyn King, saw the post and reached out to me. She’s a Texan living in Prague with her family. Since she has followed me for a while she knows my love of good food and recommended several great local restaurants most tourists would never find, and where reservations a week ahead are a must. She also took time to meet us face-to-face and give us a tour of the city. What a great way to discover a new town!

Prague Monastery View

I’m glad I had reservations to La Terasa last night, because I had a great meal with an incredible view of the city. I posted a couple of pictures of the view and food on Tweeter and Foodspotting and had several friends stateside share in that experience with me.

Prague bridge view

During our first night night I didn’t know where to eat so around dinner time as we walked around historic Old Town Prague, I checked my Trip Advisor app and found recommendations for a highly rated restaurant with reasonable prices. Right from the app I mapped the walking route, less than a kilometer (I’m in Europe, so metric rules), and called the place by tapping on the phone number already on my map to see if they could accommodate us. Less than 15 minutes later, we were welcomed at The Phoenix restaurant with a beautiful view of the river.

Prague square at night

None of that would be possible just a few years ago. Social media continue to change the way we create community. Several people have tried to tell me my virtual friends are not “real” friends. Try telling that to Jennifer or the several great people whom I’ve not met face to face who are a constant part of my life.

How are you using social media?

  • There is a dangerous downside to tweeting about travels. I was in Indonesia and tweeted about the city I happened to be visiting. A “friend” responded with a compelling restaurant recommendation. We visited and everyone in my party became rather ill from the experience.nnLater my friend confessed that he had simply Googled for the weirdest restaurant idea he could find in the city and passed it off as his own. My group never forgave me!

  • I’m not much of a jet-setter these days, so I haven’t had the chance to crowdsource travel eating or anything like that. But, I have made a lot of friend online, and connected with some local people as well. nnOne huge thing has been sharing pictures with family, as far away as India, not to mention Alaska. Facebook has revolutionized the concept of photo albums and “yearly update” letters. nnAt the same time, I have to be careful about announcing plans to the world in general. It’s fairly common to hear about people being robbed because their out-of-town schedule was known to the hour based on their Facebook and twitter usage.

    • I have seen people who has posted who’s house sitting for them so everyone knows that their house is not vacant.

  • I’m glad you enjoyed your time in Prague! I’ll be there for two days in July, at the end of a two week mission trip on the other side of Czech. I’ve been to Czech each year (sometimes twice a year) since 2006. I love Czech and Prague!nnAs for your question – Social Media has allowed me to stay in contact with my friends in Europe and has facilitated me being able to speak at different churches there – some that I only met their leaders on FB. Not to mention it has landed me some graphic design jobs.

    • That’s a great use of social media, Jason. Now you need to tap your contacts and get me an invitation to get back to the Czech Republic!

  • I have similar stories about the two weeks I was in Ukraine earlier this year. My apps even told me where there were traffic issues in Kiev. I could take pictures with my phone and post them immediately to Facebook, Twitter and my wordpress blog. nI wish my Dad were alive today. He would love all this. nHope you have a great rest of your time in Eastern Europe Maurilio. nBlessings,nDave

  • Now I want to go to Prague and meet Jennifer King. nnThe power of Social Media….

  • Its stories like these that inspired me to engage in SM in the first place. As a later adopter

    • I’m glad you have joined the community. In my experience, it’s worth the risk.

  • Hello Maurilio, the Foodspotting team and I are so happy to see we played a part in your trip. Thank you so much for using us, and I agree – social media has changed the way we experience the world at home and abroad completely. Here’s to more discoveries and shared experiences 🙂 – Amy (Foodspotting)

    • Amy, I love the Foodspotting app. I’ve been taking pictures of my meals for years, now I have a “legitimate” reason to do so. 🙂 nnThanks for stopping by and commenting.

  • Hi Maurilio!nnThanks for the shout-out and the kind words. I, too, have marveled that through Twitter, I was able to show off this gorgeous Prague to some great fellow Americans. Lots of fun! Also, I’m so glad the whole Prague restaurant tour worked out well. Truly, the European food and wine experience is one of the best parts of European travel. And, most of all, I have to say again how impressed I am with your iPhone photos. Wow! (We don’t have that great technology here in Prague yet … kidding.) Look forward to when you bring your wife over to Prague, Maurilio! (That’ll be soon, right? :o) )nnEnjoy your travels and the ever-radiant Slovak Republic,nnJennifer

    • I can’t wait to get back there with Gwen. Slovakia is a nice place but after Prague, every other place would be a let down. Again, thank you for the recommendation and the fun tour.

  • Social media has definitely changed my life. From restaurants, movies and connecting w/ fellow bloggers it’s been a lifeline.

  • I rely on social media heavily for traveling within the states as well. Keith & I share your love for food, so Yelp is our best friend. Haven’t been steered wrong yet [will check into Foodspotter… heard they teamed up with Zagat, which is awesome, but haven’t used it yet]nnFoursquare’s tips have also been a huge help at airports. Everything from where working outlets are to quick spots to grab a bite. nnSafe travels!

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