How To Use Twitter For Deals On Travel
Monday, July 18, 2011
For the truly budget conscious, no ordeal is too tough when looking for deals. Red-eye flights via sketchy local airlines, mile-long treks to cheap hostels, and a penchant for street food (okay, I’d do that one even if I weren’t looking for deals), are techniques budget travelers have learned to save money. And with the advent of social media, the cheapos among us have another tool in our arsenal for finding the best deals on travel.
As Chris Around the World notes in Frommer’s, only about 7% of travelers use Twitter when planning trips, but that number has doubled from this time last year as travelers discover the hundreds they could be saving by following just a few key Tweeters.
Chris recommends in her Frommer’s article that you first add a flight alert tweeter such as @AirFareWatchdog to your follows for updated alerts and deals, then to add some of your favorite airline carriers who often send out special promo codes or frequent flier deals to their followers.
She also recommends searching for and adding in your destination before you go (type in “Spain” for example) and follow the first few results. Chances are you’ll come across the local tourism agency as well as a few key local Twitterers who’ll key you in to deals, alerts and suggestions leading up to your trip.
If you’re looking to save some time, bookmark a site that aggregates the best deals from the Twitterverse (sigh, sorry, I had too), like Twavel.com, a constantly refreshing list of 20 Twitter-exclusive travel deals. A recent search on Twavel came up with links for vacation rentals in New York City as low as $200, and a flight from L.A. to Guadalajara for $298 (r/t).
ASK YOUR FRIENDS
My own suggestion — and one I employed before my recent trip to Barcelona — was to give a shout out to your followers a few times during the weeks before you leave, and ask if they know anyone or have any suggestions. When I did this I was quickly barraged with cheap hostel suggestions, new reasonably-priced restaurants that were yet to be mentioned in the guidebooks, and even the name of a friend of a friend who was staying there for the semester.