How to use Pinterest for Travel Planning and Inspiration

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Are you a big travel planner?

Want to know how to use Pinterest for planning your next trip?

Instead of using Google, Facebook or a guide book, Pinterest is also a great resource for travel information, and of course inspiration!

If you’re like me, in the past you collected travel magazines or brochures from the travel agent and highlighted text and ripped out photos to pin to a cork board. Did you also create vision boards or “bucket lists” on large sheets of cardboard? I did.

Now I use Pinterest.

What I love about Pinterest, and what separates it from say Facebook and Instagram, is that things stay where I put them and are easy to find again, for me and others.

Also, for the most part, photos are linked back to the blog or website that they originated from. These pinned photos can therefore, open up a world of valuable travel information.

By creating my boards into topics, and then pinning photos and blog posts to those boards, I can easily organize and categorize my travel planning and travel tips.

New to Pinterest?

In a nutshell, you create ‘boards’ on a specific topic and you ‘pin’ photos to those boards you’ve found on other websites, your own blog, or uploaded from your computer.

You can follow other users’ boards, browse through their photos and ‘repin’ the ones you like to your own boards. How’s that for organization?

See Join Pinterest and Pinterest Basics for help

Pinterest is such a great platform for dreaming AND travel planning.

“A picture tells a thousand words” as they say, and there is no better way to inspire a trip and stir emotion than through travel photos.

For example, we have built up 4 million followers on our Bucket List board. People are getting inspired to travel one photo and pin at a time.

[ybox_large] There are essentially four phases of travel – Dream, Plan, Experience, Share[/ybox_large]

Pinterest fits perfectly not only with the dream phase, but also with the planning, experiencing and sharing phases. Photos are great for inspiring, but it’s the linked to information that allows us to take action.

How to Use Pinterest for Travel Planning

Before your next trip, you can get educated and inspired about your future destination.

I’m currently on a 1-year road trip around Australia with my wife and kids, and Pinterest has been playing a big role in our travel planning and inspiration.

STEP 1  – Set up your boards: DREAM

As mentioned, boards are where you organize your Pins (photos). Think about your boards carefully before you go pinning like crazy.

What places do you want to visit? What experiences do you want to have? Brainstorm categories specific to you!

For example, you could be planning a trip to New York City. Create boards called:

Or you could create a board for each city or country you plan to visit. Then repin beautiful photos and blog posts to those relevant boards.

See setting up boards for help

STEP 2  – Follow boards of places you want to visit

To use Pinterest as a travel planning tool and to get the best user experience, you have to start following boards and people.

Following a board (or person) means you’ll see that person’s pins in your home feed. Just like you see your friends updates in your Facebook news feed.

Every time you log in to Pinterest you will land on your home feed.

Click on the big red Pinterest word to refresh your screen and scroll through the photos repinning to your own boards and follow those people who share the same interest.

How to Use Pinterest for Travel Planning

Finding Great Photos to PIN

HOT TIP – when you click on a photo you like, two cool things will open up for you:

1. To the right side of the photo you’ll see pins from the same board.

For example, when I clicked on the Yosemite waterfall photo, on the right you see the board “Waterfalls around the World”. Go there to find other great waterfall photos:

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2. Scroll down to the section where it says Related Pins.

This is my FAVOURITE way to find the best photos. I don’t think many people do this. You’ll see other images from the same destination or topic as the original photo you clicked on.

For example, when I clicked on a photo of Hawaii, I scrolled down to see other stunning photos of Hawaii:

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I ALWAYS use this option to find better photos of a destination or topic.

When I’m on the Pinterest homepage and I see a photo from a place I’m interested in, even if it’s not the best photo I can click on it then scroll down to Related Pins. A whole new world opens up!

STEP 3 – Click on the ‘TRAVEL’ category

Not my favourite way to get specific pins as a very broad range opens up. But, good travel related photos none-the-less.

To get to the travel category, go to the top left of the homepage screen and click on the menu button and a drop down will open up:

2013-12-09_2346

STEP 4 – Use the Search Bar

I like this option.

Just like you would use specific keywords to search for things in Google, you can do the same on Pinterest. The search bar can help you find pins, boards, and pinners on Pinterest.

The search bar is also located in the top left of the screen. This is where you type in words of places you are interested in visiting.

As you start typing in your chosen destination or topic, suggested terms will appear below the search bar.

For example, when I typed in the words ‘USA travel‘ these options opened up:

2013-12-07_2311

Narrowing Your Search Results

Once you have clicked on the search term most appropriate, you can toggle between three types of results by clicking the Pins, Boards, and Pinners: 

2013-12-10_2306

For example, say you searched the term “Paris”

  • Clicking Pins will show pins about “Paris”.
  • Clicking Boards will show boards with “Paris” in the title.
  • Clicking Pinners will show people who have “Paris” in their name.

Other examples you could type in the search bar could be:

  • Hotels in Paris
  • London Restaurants
  • Beaches in Sydney

STEP 5 – Pin from Tourism Board Websites and Blogs

You can pin photos from almost any site on the web.

Found a helpful blog post on your destination you want to bookmark? Pin it. Found an inspiring travel photo? Pin it.

  • Going to Sydney? Visit the Sydney website, follow them on Pinterest, then repin photos and articles to your boards.
Simply add the Pin It button to your browser to pin from other websites

STEP 6 – Follow Your Friends

Got friends who travel? Want to find them on Pinterest?

To find friends through Facebook or Twitter click your name in the top right corner then click Find Friends from the drop-down menu. Your friends who use Pinterest will appear.

2013-12-11_0822

Click the Follow button for any friends you have a common interest with.

STEP 7 – Invite People to a Group Board

Going on a trip with other family members? Or a group of friends? Bring a little communal inspiration to a board.

A group board is a board that you, and others you invite, can all pin to.

Say you and some friends are road tripping California. Why not set up a group board on “California” where you can all pin things you discover. Or separate group boards called:

  • Beaches in California
  • Nightlife in California
  • Road trips in California
  • Eating in California
  • Shopping in California
  • Theme Parks in California

Once you’ve been on your road trip, these boards can be a great place to share all your trip photos on together!

See invite people to a group board for help

STEP 8 – Place Pins

Pinterest recently brought out this cool new feature called Place Pins.

Basically, Place Pins enable you to map out the locations of all the photos you share on your boards. This is a new way you can plan your trips.

It’s a visual guide to finding places to go and things to see. These Place Pins depend on Foursquare’s location API.

I see this as a great tool for sharing your trip afterwards, by highlighting points of discovery such as places you eat, where you stayed, things you saw, which your followers can then benefit from.

For example, we are currently pinning our way around Australia, sharing our photos and travel tips on things to see and do on our Australia Travel board:

2013-12-10_2055

We grew up near Sydney, and have experienced the best Sydney has to offer from a travel perspective.

So we’ve created a Sydney Australia Place Pins board sharing our insider tips on things to do, where to eat, places to stay, free stuff and much more:

2013-12-10_2110

 

Other good examples of Place Pin boards are:

Want to start your own Place Pins board?

See Create a Place Board for help

STEP 9 – Experience and Share

Pinterest is not only a great place for dreaming and planning, but for organizing and sharing your memories.

Once you’re on your trip, use your smart phone and upload your photos to your boards and share your journey with friends and family.

Or once you get home, upload your photos from your computer using the upload bar by clicking on the “+” button at the top of Pinterest.

2013-12-11_0023

You could create a new board called “My Trip to New York” for example.

If you have a blog, add your photos and tips to your blog posts and share to your relevant boards.

Are you on Pinterest?

Share a link to your boards in the comments and any tips on how you use it for travel.

Do you want to use Pinterest for your business? Check out our post on how we use tailwind to make our Pinterest marketing efficient. 

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How to Use Pinterest for Travel Planning

75 thoughts on “How to use Pinterest for Travel Planning and Inspiration”

  1. I love Pinterest for travel planning! I used to make a board for each specific trip but after planning a trip through three countries – each of which I want to return to – I’ve found individual destination boards to be more helpful.

    I find that I mostly repin from people or blogs I know – since my goal is to collect not only beautiful images, but useful posts for travel planning. Otherwise I end up pinning directly from blog posts or websites I’ve found through my daily web wandering.

    You can find my travel boards at the top of my page; http://www.pinterest.com/gftravelette/

    1. Hi Adina,

      Yeah definitely niche down to individual boards for each destination. Even one for each city in each country is best.

      As bloggers we also pin a lot from other posts. But hopefully these tips are useful for those who aren’t bloggers but are just Pinterest users or web surfers!

      Followed your boards. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I find Pinterest to be especially useful for discovering new places to I want to visit — as well as adding ideas for places I am already planning to go!

    I also love Pinterest for incorporating travel back into my life once I’ve returned home. I’ll often start a board centered around a city or a country I’ve loved and use it to continue to feel connected to that place.

    I pin mostly sources of travel ‘pinspiration,’ such as images, but I’ve also found helpful tips, other blogs, gear, and even vintage postcard (which I collect) boards. (See my boards at: http://pinterest.com/uclaanne)

    The possibilities for trip-planning and travel inspiration are endless! You guys are definitely some of the best when it comes to using it to its full potential. Great post.

  3. Your boards are awesome and these are some fabulous tips for using Pinterest to its full capacity. I loved your tip about ‘related’ boards – I don’t use that one enough. In fact this post has got me fired up to use Pinterest a bit more than I have been recently 🙂

  4. Thanks for the great tips, Craig. I’m definitely not using Pinterest as best I could. I hadn’t really thought of using Pinterest as a travel planning tool, more just for pinning awesome photos. I’ll have to jump on to the boards set up by the tourism boards and start pinning in anticipation of my next trip!

  5. This is so good! I’ve been meaning to get serious about Pinterest for the past couple of days too, so this is right on time. I have two boards at the moment, a general inspiration board with great pictures from all over the world, and my bucketlist, which you won’t find on my blog and is a Pinterestexclusive I guess 😉

    I’ve been wanting to upload my own photo’s to Pinterest, but feel like I should maybe put my logo on them before I do as it is much easier for the pictures to spread there than it is on my still growing blog 🙂

    http://pinterest.com/explorista/

  6. I am absolutely addicted to Pinterest! I’ve been using it for the past 6 months creating digital pin boards, and dreaming of beautiful travel destinations, I’ve even pinned a few from your Y Travel Bucket List board, so thanks 🙂 Keep the inspiration coming!

  7. Pinterest is how I found out about your blog/email series. loved it ever since. Thanks for all of the great tips :)’

    P.S. loving your ebook so far!!!

  8. Great blog post. I find Pinterest inspiring on a personal level and will endeavour to spend more time making it inspiring on a business level too. It’s a shame there are not as many users as on Facebook, but perhaps in a way that makes it more useful as there is an awful lot of tat on Facebook.

    1. “there is an awful lot of tat on Facebook”

      Yeah, it’s nice Rebecca not having to read constant updates of what people had for breakfast, who they are fighting with, or look at their selfies 🙂

  9. Great post. I hadn’t really thought about using Pintrest for planning, just for bookmarking places for “one day”. I went to the US earlier this year, and because it was a fairly short trip, partly with others and involving tours, I didn’t check my Pintrest boards for inspiration before I left. When I came back, I was pinning something else to by travel board and realised I had actually visited several placed I had pinned! This included “Walters Wiggles”, part of the Angel’s Landing hike in Zion NP. Lesson learned – check Pintrest BEFORE you go, so you don’t miss something!
    http://www.pinterest.com/lucinda032/places-to-go/

  10. This is hands down the best tip I have read on this site in the short time that I have been a regular reader. Thank you so much for sharing!

    I never thought of using pinterest when searching out travel destinations. I have only recently joined pinterest and am still getting my head around the concepts and how to properly use it. As a travel photographer, I can see this being very useful. Oftentimes I search on flickr before travelling somewhere to get an idea of how photogenic a particular area is. The issue often is that I have to trawl through plenty of rubbish before finding something useful. Would I be right is saying that with Pinterest, people generally only pin photos they actully like, thus increasing the likelihood that I’ll come across quality photos quicker?

    1. Glad it was useful Francis.

      I think if you use the ‘search’ box and ‘Related Pins’ option you would cut out a lot of the rubbish. You definitely don’t see the never ending list of ‘selfies’ that you can see from people on Flickr.

  11. I totally feel that Pinterest is a very good option to promote anything and it is one of my favourite social networking site and easy to access.

  12. Of all the popular social media sites, I’ve felt a little left out on Pinterest because I haven’t taken the time to learn it. Thanks for the easy tutorial!

  13. Great post, Craig. Yours were the very first photos I pinned to my Pinterest boards and now sounds like a good time to re-visit how I might use them for my own RTW travel plans in 2014!

  14. Much obliged concerning the extraordinary tips, Craig. I’m clearly not utilizing Pinterest as ideally I could. I hadn’t generally considered utilizing Pinterest as a travel arranging instrument, more just for sticking great photographs. I will need to bounce on to the blocks set by the tourism sheets and begin sticking in expectation of my next. Thanks for sharing precious information.

      1. Thanks for your response. yeah ! you are right but the thing is to find proper information about the stuff what ever it is & the most important thing is time.

  15. Thanks for sharing! Has anyone ever been to Cusco? Im living there, and there is so much to do here, myself, I live the Salkantay trek, but there is a lot more to pinpoint here!

  16. Wow, this is a great article. I never really quite understood how pinterest works and have my hands full managing my facebook & google+ account. This makes it easier to learn the ropes. Thanks!

  17. Hey!

    I love this app, but how to share it on my blog? I’d like to post it on my pages, but the widget proposed by pinterest only shares the images within the board, not the map itself. Do you know how to create this? Is it possible? Thanks!

  18. I only recently got onto Pinterest and the very first board I created was ‘Travel Wishlist’! I love getting travel inspiration from different boards:) I’m at www. pinterest.com/europediaries btw!

  19. I know this is an older post, but I just came across it on Pinterest! I just did a post on my blog about how I planned my trip Oahu, Hawaii using Pinterest! Such a great tool for getting inspiration and getting organized! I have a couple Traveling boards too! http://www.pinterest.com/smags33

  20. Hi! I used to use Pinterest too before we created Tripidee. We wanted something visual like Pinterest but with the ability to plan day by day and get directions. Check it out! You might enjoy it.

  21. I love Pinterest! I create really specific boards and then when I’m on holidays I go back to get the ideas of what I want to do while i’m there, particular places I want to visit or cafes that look like they have good food.
    I also love saving instagram images to Pinterest and this is where a lot of my content comes from. I’m really visual and since there is so much good travel inspo on instagram that just gets buried in you ‘likes list’ I now save the images to my boards on Pinterest!

  22. l use Pinterest and have a travel board called “travel ideas”..as l spot stuff l think will be helpful l save it there then l know it cuts down the search time when l want to access them again..l think l am building up quite a board..

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