If you know where and how to look, you can use social media to make your travels easier, more convenient and reliable. As travelers, we adore social media because it spreads word of mouth. Family, friends, and others you know personally will always be more believable than travel magazines. In other words, social media gives you access to credible travel information.

More ideas: Best Weekend Getaways, Best Day Trips

But such a powerful tool is still just a tool. It isn’t magic and thus won’t work unless you know how to maximize it. Here are some ways you can take advantage of the benefits of social media for your next exciting trip!

1. Taste the Atmosphere of Your Chosen Destination on Instagram

Instagram is a fantastic spot to take a quick (or why not a slow and good) look at the place you are planning to visit. Thanks to the hash tagging, it’s effortless to find what you are searching for on Instagram. And with that same ease, you can joyfully visualize how the place you are heading to appeals to your personality. For example, you can check out pictures of bars or restaurants to get an idea of which ones you’d like to hit.

Furthermore, you can also take a sneak peek at a particular spot you want to visit and check out whether it looks crowded or not. This way, you can do your best to avoid overcrowded hours. On the other hand, for those who would love a good party – yes, Instagrammers know how to show you around.

2. Check Out Last-minute Discounts or Have Your Issues Resolved through Facebook

Facebook is more of an around-your-friends type of social media gig but still, there are some pretty awesome ways you can utilize Facebook for your journey’s sake. Most big and small traveling-related companies are already Facebook-friendly. For example, flight companies, accommodation rental companies, and car rental companies, among others.

Checking out their profiles will help you stumble across tons of good deals but also lots of useful information. How about a Facebook post, asking your friends for some extra tips about your chosen destination? A post goes a long way, that’s for sure.

In fact, if you don’t mind talking to some strangers, you can easily contact many other people who can help you out with your traveling concerns or curiosity. For instance, you can get in touch with locals in the country you are visiting and of course, they can give you priceless advice.

Meanwhile, if anything goes wrong with your trip because of a particular company (let’s say you’ve encountered flight issues or cancellation or luggage lost) - leave a complaint about what has gone wrong with you on their Facebook page. Some companies can even offer you compensation. Even those which won’t do so are still highly interested in getting to resolve your concerns faster since no company wants angry, dissatisfied clients leaving negative replies.

3. Have a Tweet Destination Investigation

If Facebook is more about connecting you with your friends, well Twitter has a much wider grip. If you happen to have lots of contacts on Twitter, it might be even a better idea leaving a post with some questions regarding your traveling. For sure, tweeting is quick and searches through hashtags are effortless. You might just be lucky to come across some awesome suggestions from other enthusiastic twitterers.

4. Get Some Pinterest Traveling Inspiration

Pinterest is undoubtedly no less of a gemstone for travelers who will appreciate some social media tips. The visual appeal of Pinterest can only be compared to that of Instagram, although any comparison between the two seems somehow irrelevant. In fact, Pinterest is very much A-Z travel-friendly.

You can find tons of tips, top favorites selections, and ultimately, plenty of useful information that will help you from the planning of your trip through having a great time once you have already arrived, and even some post-return pics to help you catch the atmosphere of the place.

5. Going YouTube

The giant video ruler keeps its solid positions ranked in the Top 3 of the most famous social media platforms. And why wouldn’t it? You can find terrific traveling ideas, inspirational personal journeys, and multiple other possible variations of videos, helping you visualize the location where you are going to departure. Some videos are particularly useful for getting acquainted with the local culture as well.

If there’s a list of awards on what makes living in the 21st century so amazing, then social media is surely in the top 3. When it comes to traveling, those who take advantage of the social media can shoot their experience miles ahead.