Social Media has changed our perception and outlook towards the whole idea of travelling. A modern day traveler is drastically different to the travelers of the old times. Today we want to “live like a local” and not just reach a place and come back within a few days. The modern day traveler is culture hungry and this need is best satiated by the social media platforms. During a recent trip to Dharamshala (North India) with my friends, I had the opportunity to experience this first hand and it was an enriching experience to say the least.
“We are going to stay as locals, with the locals”- With this agenda in mind, the four of us began our journey from Manali. On the way we decided to rest in a hotel and think of ways to make our agenda work. We had too many options but very little credibility as far as the information was concerned. As luck would have it, I came across a flier which had the name of a page in Facebook which organized local tours within the area. We immediately got ourselves enrolled and it was probably one of the smartest decisions we had made. The page had all the details about the locality and the time table of the next tour. It provided information on where to go, what to expect, what might be the cost and most importantly what we will get in return. It gave us the names of the 5 must see places in Dharamshala.
- Triund Hill.
- Dalai Lama temple complex
- McLeod Ganj
- Namgyal Monastery
We immediately went on Instagram to check them and were amazed at the beauty that was on offer. Thanks to one page, we not only experienced the local culture, but also came across people from different parts of the world. We met an Israeli guy who had been globetrotting for almost 15 months now; we met a Scottish fellow who had come to experience the cultural diversity that India has on offer. We not only exchanged ideas and knowledge, but also exchanged our experiences which were very enlightening and enriching at the same time.
Every time we travel and upload pictures on Facebook or Instagram, we become a tour guide for the world. As much as 1.5 Billion active users are there on Facebook. Every travel brand has created a Facebook brand profile. This means we can get real time information. One fifth of all travel agencies who have a Social Media page agreed that social media enhanced their business prospects by getting trusted reviews from users.
Thinking about the trip now, I can safely conclude that it was the Social Media that totally changed our direction and experience. It altered our path and took us to a new place which we didn’t know even existed. Social Media today has become a very important part of our travel plans. Be it connecting with the airlines or finding out new events that are happening in the vicinity, Social media has an answer to all our questions.