It’s a big, wide world. And with so many places to tempt us, it can be difficult to narrow down exactly what you want to do for your next trip. So let’s say a warm welcome to Pinterest. Although we sometimes know Pinterest as that alternative continuum of time and space where it’s possible to lose an afternoon, it can also be a fine and focused search engine. It’s in that role that I find Pinterest a great place to do my travel planning. Let’s grab some vacation inspiration and get planning with Pinterest.
Starting a Pinterest search
Whatever you might be interested in, you can bet your bottom dollar that someone’s got a pin for it. So Pinterest is a lovely way to get searching. And it can be far less overwhelming than a search engine. Type Belgium into Google and I get 193 million results. Erm, see you sometime… Do the same in Pinterest, and I get a nice long page of pictures, all offering me places, food, accommodation and advice about my potential visit. That’s more my thing. Absolutely masses of vacation inspiration to be had there.
One of the lovely things about Pinterest is that most pictures are linked to personal recommendations, normally blogs. So you are getting someone’s own thoughts on a destination. It may be easier to find niche content, and specific advice. Pinterest makes life simpler for you by adding a series of extra suggestions that follow on from your search. These are shown at the top of the page. So when I search for Belgium, I get a whole host of supplementary suggestions in little coloured boxes at the top of the page:
Here I’ve moved the search on to Brussels. Things to do in is always a great button to press, giving you ideas you might not have thought of in each destination. I’m also always keen to explore travel and food. Bars and nightlife might be on your radar too. The suggestions bar keeps on giving and there are plenty more to be had by following the arrow to the right.
Next I moved on to Antwerp.
You can already see here the wow that is the Central Station, somewhere to stop off for a fine coffee break, and plenty of suggestions for what to do in a day there. That’s another day of my fantasy trip sorted!
Then I checked out Leuven.
Looks as though there’s at least another day of things to do. (There’s a pin of mine there, top right, which made me happy.) My top tip for destinations I’ve not visited before is to look at the number of things people suggest you could do there. Anywhere with 7 or more is definitely a day’s worth of fun, and probably more. Leuven really needed at least three days to explore properly without rushing, I’d say. The exception would be beach destinations or hiking, when it’s about either the chill factor, or the length of the trail.
Pick your favourite suggestions for Vacation Inspiration
If I was in doubt about whether I’d find enough to do in Belgium, it’s fair to say that the number of pins with lots of suggestions should keep me busy. So the next thing to do is to save the pins I want to investigate further. The best way to do that is to set up a new Pinterest board, specifically for your trip. Then start saving!
When it comes to choosing what to save to your board, it pays to be picky with your pins. After all, there is so much out there, you could end up with so many suggestions that you can’t possibly read and filter them all to create a plan. I try to:
- Only save pins that specifically relate to what I want to do. My balance is pants, so I’m not going to be renting a bike (and I’d need great travel insurance if I did!)
- Choose pins that have some care taken in their creation – good quality photos and informative text. When you click through, that same care should be visible in the blog content you reach
- Save anything that grabs my heart – whether it’s a beautiful view, natural features, or a specific place to visit. Those places will go on my list of things to see and do.
- Think beyond the destination for what else I might need to know and capture that too.
When you save pins to your newly created board, don’t forget that you can add your own description to help you remember why you wanted to save the pin. Was there something specific mentioned about Antwerp? Did you resolve to find the best waffles in Bruges? Did you mean to ask a mate about their favourite Belgian beer? Note it down.
It’s not just where but how you travel
Going solo this trip? There’s advice on Pinterest. Going with your family? Likewise. Need to travel carry-on? Pinterest has you covered. As some of these scenarios will be trip specific, don’t forget to add pins that will remind you to check visas, manage your luggage, consider any safety issues, and maybe even give you your travel photography tips.
More Travel Planning Advice and Vacation Inspiration
If you’d like more advice to help plan your next trip, we’ve got suggestions on how to get under the skin of your destination here, and how to plan your road trip. Saving for your trip? Plenty of ideas here. I’ve also written about the 50 things I’ve learned in 50 years of travel (just 6 years to go before I can add another 10 travel hacks to that list!).
If you enjoyed this, why not pin it for later!