• Kay Jones Davis

The Good, The Bad, And The Fun Of Using Social Media During Travel

Let’s face it. When you go to an amazing location, eat an unbelievable meal, or experience something you know will stay with you for years, you want to share it with friends and family. Heck, maybe you want to brag a little too, especially to your followers on social media.


However, using social media during travel can expose you to some dangers that you may not even be aware of. So how do you effectively post your adventures while keeping yourself safe?


While I don’t claim to know every safety tip around, there are a few things I’ve learned in my years of travel for both business and fun.


Turn off the location tracker for your posts, no matter the platform.

It sounds brash since we all want to post about a great place we’ve stayed, somewhere great we’ve eaten, and more. You can certainly tag the place you are at in your post, especially if you want to do whatever you can to bring more business there. But having the location on your post can open you up to someone following you and put you in an uncomfortable position.

Instagram screen-grab
Instagram screen-grab

Create a group of close friends and family for your stories posts.

It’s fairly easy to do, especially on Instagram and Facebook. On Facebook, I create a custom list for my stories while I travel. It typically is about 30 or 40 people, which is all family and really close friends who I know are interested in what I’m up to.


Same with Instagram. On Snapchat, I only have close friends and family so I don’t worry as much about that platform with posting stories. My Twitter feed is public so I am a bit more cautious about posting travel stories there, especially during my travels. But for my close friends and family, I normally am a bit more open with sharing my adventures.

Facebook Screen-grab
Facebook Screen-grab

Never share your full itinerary on social media. Ever.

Keep photos of your plane, train, or bus ticket as well as your booking information for where you are staying between you and whomever you are traveling with. For safety, you absolutely need to keep those details off social media, including boarding passes that may contain sensitive information like mileage program numbers and your full name.


Also, never ever, ever (infinity) show details from your passport. Ever. If you want to post a picture with your passport, the cover is at most what you should show. Identity thieves can use any of that information from your post.

A photo I took to post in my after-trip photos of my 2013 trip to Rome
A photo I took to post in my after-trip photos of my 2013 trip to Rome

Don’t “check-in” online

There are several social media apps that allow you to “check-in” at a location. Don’t. When you travel, it’s best to just give your itinerary to a family member or close friend for safety reasons. The general public doesn’t need to know where you are any second of the day.


Be aware that when you post you are out of town, you’re letting people know you aren’t at home.

I’m bad about this, admittedly, because I live in a pretty secure building and have neighbors who keep an eye out on my place. But overall, you need to be sure to protect your home while you are away.


That may mean holding on to your photos until you are back from your trip. Nothing says you have to post in real-time. If you aren’t sure about the safety of your home while you are away, no one will fault you for posting your great photos and recollections once you get back.

Be sure everyone traveling with you is aware of your desires on posting before you leave.

Friends can harmlessly tag you in photos and posts across many platforms. However, if you have an agreement before traveling, it will help avoid letting the public know where you are, especially if you don’t want anyone to know.


Also, turn on security settings to review any tags from friends. It’s ok to ask them to delete or untag you in any photos, especially while you are still on your trip. Trust me, I’ve done it a ton of times and my friends often are appreciative of it.


Consider posting your photos and highlights of your adventures after your trip is over.

I love doing a gallery or photo collage of a trip once I return. That way I can pick out the best photos and also showcase the highlights of my trip once I take a bit to look back on it.


It’s fun to show what I’ve been up to, and I’ve gotten really good at smaller group chats on What’s App to text photos and videos to my close circle of what I’m doing. They always ask for more. Plus, that’s why we blog, right? To share our adventures and photos!


The bottom line, you can never be too safe when you travel. Posting on social a detailed account of where you are on your travels opens up a world of possibilities for those who don’t have good intentions. I love to see great photos from my friends who travel and they give me ideas of where I want to explore next. But it’s perfectly ok to wait a few days to see the best photos.

Any other tips you have for social media posting while traveling?

 

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