Knoxville, Tenn. – Summer vacation is usually a time to relax, unwind and maybe even unplug from those digital devices that have become extra appendages to many. But social media is increasingly becoming intertwined with family vacations.
Whether you find yourself mobile uploading photos of your adventures to Facebook or “checking-in” at various stops along your drive down I-75, you may have an excuse the next time your spouse politely asks you to put down your iPhone and join in the family fun. Social media tools can actually enhance your vacation, but finding a balance is key.
Ackermann’s Digital Strategies Manager, Shane Rhyne says, “Living Social and Groupon, for example, can save your family money when you take advantage of special offers on restaurants, shopping and lodging.” The social media community on FourSquare offers valuable tips about tourist attractions. “We’re seeing that with the Titanic Museum Attraction in Pigeon Forge,” says Rick Laney, Ackermann PR Vice-President. More than 300 people checked-in to the attraction in the first year since the grand opening.
One vacationer, Bri-Anne S. enjoyed her experience at the Titanic Museum Attraction and was particularly impressed with the iceburg exhibit that allows visitors to feel the temperature on that fateful night. Bri-Anne S. checked-in to the museum on FourSquare and offered this tip, “Make sure you don’t go in flipflops and shorts! It’s cold in there anyway, but when you get to the 30 something degree room and then stick your hand in the 28 degree water, it’s really cold!” Dollywood and Wilderness at the Smokies are also popular “check-in” destinations on FourSquare.
Popular travel websites like TripAdvisor.com are now teaming up with Facebook to further connect users to their friends. “Soliciting travel advice from friends in your online networks can be extremely helpful,” says Rhyne. Even government agencies are using social networks to provide information on road conditions and detours via Twitter.
Rhyne warns that the “always on, always connected” mentality may contradict with your family’s vacation. “Finding the balance between the two, especially when you’re on vacation, will make for a happier experience,” says Rhyne. “Or at least that’s what my wife Ruth tells me between my Twitpic uploads of our beach trip.”
For a full recap of Shane’s social media tips to use for your summer vacation, visit the Ackermann Experience.