We asked tech-savvy EF Group Leaders how they post, download, and hashtag their way through the tour planning process with travel social media apps and websites. Here are some favorite ideas that came across our feed.
“Find out who your student influencers are! Invite kids with a flair for social media to do an Instagram takeover while on tour, or while doing any travel club-related activity.”
I have travelers and parents enroll in my tour-specific group on the Remind app. They not only get reminders of upcoming meetings but also about deadlines, passports, paperwork, etc.
I create a unique hashtag for the trip (which I check beforehand to make sure no one is using). At the end of the trip, I make all the Instagram stories a highlight at the top of my page titled with that same hashtag. That way, students and parents can find it later.
We do a travel Facebook page for each trip, and I make all the teachers and chaperones admins so they can post pictures. Students are divided up into color-coded groups and assigned to a chaperone for the duration of the trip. The chaperone is then asked to take pictures of their group and post them for parents.
I send out an Amazon suggested shopping list a month before Christmas with books and movie recommendations tied to the tour destination, as well as travel essentials like suitcases, Nalgene water bottles, and money belts.
We use GroupMe while on tour to share important travel info, have students check in with selfies, and share photos while on tour. It has been a huge help.
My favorite travel social media app is WhatsApp, and I always create two groups: one for parents and travelers, and one for just travelers. Before the tour, I send reminders about meetings, fun memes about our trip, and interesting facts about destinations. During our tour, I use it to send photos to parents and communicate important info to students. After the tour, I use the WhatsApp groups to get feedback from students and parents.
A week before I reveal the tour destination, I use Instagram to post clues to some of the sites we will be seeing. It’s a fun, interactive way to get students (and parents) guessing about where we might be headed. I put anyone who guesses the destination correctly in a raffle for a luggage tag, and the winner is chosen at the recruitment meeting.
Interested in seeing what other travel planning apps Group Leaders and students love? Read on here.
Editor’s note (2021): This piece has been updated for clarity, accuracy, and relevance.