How To Use Pinterest To Plan a Trip

With the evolution of social media platforms and their ever increasing popularity, it has become easier than ever to use these resources for travel planning. We can now spend endless hours browsing some of our favorite Instagram travel bloggers or following our friends' adventures on Facebook. No doubt you’ve heard of (and most likely used) Pinterest for everything from recipes to home decorating ideas.

For those of you new to the platform, Pinterest has a very simple concept. Consider it a digital bulletin board, where you can ‘pin’ items that you like onto a board. You get complete customization of your boards. Create any categories that interest you, and you can pin anything from the web or download pictures you’ve taken as well. The pin isn’t just an image, it also has a wealth of other information linked to it. For example, if you click on the pin for the perfect travel itinerary to Cancun, it will link to the website with the sample itinerary and tips!

You can follow topics, other users, and their boards too.  In addition to adding your friends, but sure to follow travel bloggers, websites, brands, etc. If you see something you like, you can ‘repin’ their pin onto one of your boards for safe keeping.

You may be lured to Pinterest for the pretty pictures, but there is a lot of depth beyond that. The information behind each image (no matter how pretty) is the real reason people keep coming back for more. Pinterest is a great platform to help you dream, but also make that dream a reality.

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pinterest travel map

Step 1: Plan your boards.

You may already have your heart set on a destination. If you do, great! If not, don’t worry, Pinterest is chock full of inspiration for you. Once you have a destination in mind, you’re going to want to create one or more boards for your trip so you can start pinning!

If you’re headed to Cancun, Mexico, you can create a new board for that destination, or break it down further into categories. You can have a board for where to stay, where to eat, or what to do while visiting the area.

If you’re planning a big trip with multiple destinations, I recommend creating a board for each location you visit to keep things organized.

It won’t take long for you to begin a pinning spiral, but you should know where to start.

Step 2: Search for related boards or topics.

Pinterest Travel Board

You can start by browsing by topic from the main menu and select “travel.” From there you will have a ton of other subcategories to search within like beach travel, romantic travel, family travel, culture travel, foodie travel, etc. These boards are rather broad, so they are great for someone without a set destination in mind. If you see something you like, you can follow boards or even a specific pin.

Pinterest trip planning

Step 3: Get familiar with how to search for pins, pinners, and boards.

Start by using the search bar and typing in your destination. You can toggle between a few options to narrow down your search after you’ve typed in your destination into the search bar. By default, your search includes all pins on Pinterest, but you can also search through your own pins, other pinners, and their boards as well.

Pinterest Search Options Travel

For example, if you type in “Cancun” and hit the search button, it will show you all pins with the word “Cancun” in it. If you search under boards, it will include all boards with the name “Cancun” in the title. If you search by pinners, it will be all users with the word “Cancun” in their name.

You may find that someone already has a board on Cancun that has everything you may need and more about the area. If you want to follow that board, simply click “follow” and you’ll have access to all the pins that the user has pinned to that board. Remember you can’t alter that user’s board, so unless they have everything you need, you’ll want to add other pins to the boards that you’ve created.

Step 4: Use additional keywords to find the best pins.

If you type in keywords like “Cancun” into the search bar, you’ll find a never-ending list of pins about Cancun. Each pin will link to another website promising tips and tricks to help you travel around the area.

Add a few other keywords into the search box to help you find what you’re looking for. From packing lists to what NOT to do while visiting, you can find it all. For example, try typing in “itinerary” or “packing list.”

Pinterest Travel Search

When you see something you like, click the red “pin it” button in the top left corner, and you’ll be prompted to add it to one of your boards. Find the most appropriate board and ta da! You’re already on a roll!

Pinterest Cancun Pack Travel

Step 5: Review and edit what you’ve pinned.

When you select a pin, beneath the image you may see a map. This is especially helpful for travel-related pins. This can come in handy if you’re looking for accommodations or other things to do in the same area. If you’re pinning your own links and photos, be sure to use the map feature which can make it easier to know where these sights, restaurants, and accommodations are.

If you continue to scroll down within the pin, you’ll see related pins that Pinterest thinks may also interest you. This can be a great way to browse what other people in your shoes have also pinned. You may find something you’ve missed!

Step 6: Follow travel influencers and friends.

Do you follow any travel bloggers on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, or Twitter? Chances are high they have a Pinterest account too, so be sure to find them and see if they’ve posted anything about your destination.

Following your friends can actually lead to some surprises too. Your friends may have a few travel boards that have helped them travel the globe. They can give you first-hand accounts of the advice that they used (or didn’t use) on their travels.

pinterest travel tips

Step 7: Expand your search outside of Pinterest.

Pinterest isn’t the end-all be-all method of travel planning. Be sure to go to tourism websites, or other blogs that have travel advice. Pin pages that you find the most helpful. You may be the first person to stumble upon an article that hasn’t been pinned yet! Your fellow pinners will thank you!

travel photo tips

Other tips:

  • Be sure to get the Pinterest browser button so you can pin images from any site. If you stumble across a unique hotel, you can use the button to pin something without actually going to the Pinterest website.
  • If you come across something that a friend may like, you can send it to them through Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Messenger, email, etc.
  • Create a group board if you are traveling with friends or family. Pinning your ideas to a board is a lot more fun than emailing links back and forth.
  • Look beyond the pretty pictures. Some pins may not have an Instagram-worthy photograph, but may have the best advice ever, so don’t dismiss it just for its looks!
  • After your trip, pin your pictures and blog about your experience! Other travelers may find your advice extremely helpful!
  • My last bit of advice is this. You can get carried away using Pinterest, and may not be able to see EVERYTHING on your list. Don’t let FOMO (fear of missing out) get to you. Prioritize what is most important to you. Do what you can, in the time you have, but most importantly...have a blast!
  • Follow Venuelust on Pinterest for all the latest on travel, venues, and destinations!

Your Turn

Have you used Pinterest for travel tips and ideas?

What advice can you share?