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:

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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:

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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: 

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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.

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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:

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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:

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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.

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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