Hi Frugalistas! Do you use Pinterest? I love browsing around Pinterest and finding interesting things to read. Yes, there are beautiful dresses, and homes to die for. Yes, there are even plenty of cute and crazy cats on Pinterest. But I particularly love Pinterest to find things to read and inspire me when I’m planning a vacation. If you’ve never tried, it’s very easy to use Pinterest to plan your vacation. My beginner’s guide to using Pinterest to plan your next vacation will have you pinning with the best of them in no time!
A beginner’s guide to Pinterest basics
For those of you who are already active on Pinterest, you might like to skip to the next section. But if you are a beginner, here’s what you need to know about Pinterest.
Before you say you hate social media and don’t use it, let me tell you that Pinterest is not social media.
Instead I like to think of Pinterest as a giant notice board.
It’s more like Google or Bing than Twitter, Facebook or Snapchat. You don’t need to “like” anyone or anything, you don’t need to talk to people and you don’t even need to follow anyone if you don’t want to. Pinterest is also completely free to use.
The first thing you need to do is set up your account.
You can sign up using your Facebook account if you have one, or alternatively with an email address and password. The choice is yours.
Once you’ve signed up you can create a profile if you wish – but you don’t have to. The default setting on Pinterest is for your account to be visible. If you want to keep your account private so it cannot be seen it’s easy. Just go into the settings for your account and mark it as private.
Use Pinterest to plan your vacation
Now you have an account you can start pinning, and start planning your vacation with Pinterest.
Your Pinterest account works just like a notice board or a scrap book. You use Pinterest to find online articles that are going to be helpful in planning your trip. Just like a scrap book or notice board, it’s good to put all the articles (in the form of pins) that are on the same topic all in the same place. On Pinterest you do this by creating boards.
Creating a board in your Pinterest account is easy. You simply click on the Create Board icon, and give the new board a name. You can give it a description if you like, but it’s not essential. If you don’t want anyone to see your board, just mark it as private before you click “Save”.
What boards should you create on your Pinterest account? Well, it’s entirely up to you. You can create 400 boards on your account, so you don’t need to worry about “running out” of boards. I think a good way to think about your Pinterest boards is like the chapters in a guide book. Because in a way you are creating your own personalised guidebook about your own vacation. Create boards for Things to Do in XXX, Places to Stay in XXX, Eating & Drinking in XXX, History & Culture of XXX. If you are just going to one country, say Italy, you might want to make one of these boards for each place you are thinking of going to. If you are going to multiple countries you should do a board for each place – so you would have Things to Do in Italy, Things to Do in France, Things to do in Germany etc.
Then I believe it’s handy to have some other boards for more general planning topics – packing tips, using trains, budget travel tips, luxury travel tips (depending on how you like to travel). If you have any special interests, such as hiking, or are looking for specific travel planning topics such as traveling with children, solo travel, add in boards for those.
If you aren’t sure where you are going, or if you are looking to the future, you could also have boards for anything else you are potentially interested in.
Finding Pins to plan your vacation with Pinterest
Now you are ready to find some content to plan your trip. The little tiles you see on Pinterest are called pins.
You can use the Pinterest search function to find pins related to your topic. First search your topic. In these screen shots I’ve searched “travel to Paris”. The search result will bring up screens and screens of pins related to your topic (yes, the pin on the far right is mine!)
The search will also allow you to look for Pinterest boards specialising in the topic you have searched for. For example, in my “travel to Paris” search result you can also click on boards with a similar title to “travel to Paris”. This allows you to find curated content related to your search.
You can, of course, also follow people or boards who are pinning content related to your destination. This is an easy way to find even more relevant content. You can either follow people, in which case you can see everything that person is pinning, or you can follow individual boards. The content of people or boards you are following will show up in your feed when you first open your account.
To save the pins you are interested in just hover over the pin with your curser and click save. Your list of boards will then come up and you can just save your pin to the board you want it on.
If you aren’t sure the pin has the information you are looking for, just click on the pin to bring it up to full size, then click through to the article so you can read it. The best pins have the article title in large letters and will have a good description of the article, making it easy to see if it is the right information you are looking for.
Using Pinterest to save content from websites
But you don’t just need to rely on pins on Pinterest to plan your vacation using Pinterest. Many bloggers and websites WANT you to use Pinterest to save their content. If you find a blog, article or website you like, check at the top or bottom of the article. If you see the Pinterest logo, simply click on it, and save the article to the board you are looking for.
If there are particular pictures you want to save from the article just hover your curser over the top left hand corner of the picture. Many online services (include many, many blogs) will have the ability to save specific pictures – including a link to the article, on Pinterest.
Whether you are a dedicated pinner, or a Pinterest newbie, it’s easy to use Pinterest to plan your vacation. I say open an account, and let the pinning and vacation planning begin!
If you think you can’t use Pinterest to plan your vacation, or if you prefer a more traditional travel guide, do check out the travel guides featured here. This is an affiliate link, so I do earn a small commission if you make a purchase (but I promise you won’t pay a penny extra).