Where I have met the most fellow travelers? Turkey? England? Alaska? Greece? Nope. I tend to travel with my husband or in a group with other writers/bloggers, which makes it harder to meet people, although I always try because it’s an important part of traveling. I’ve actually met the most travelers right at home, sitting in front of my computer and logging onto Twitter. Yes, I’m following nearly 5,000 travel enthusiasts, a mix of travel bloggers, writers, PR professionals, hotels, marketers and those who simply love travel.
If you’re new-ish to Twitter, how to find and interact with travel tweeps may not be readily apparent. Sure, you can follow a bunch of big travel names, but how do you break into the travel community and join in the conversation?
One easy way to do this is through hashtags. People using hashtags want their tweets to be easily searchable and are typically looking to interact with like-minded tweeps — or at the very least, they want them click on the links they’re posting and hopefully pass them along.
The most obvious hashtag, of course, is #travel. And, you can always put a # symbol in front of any destination (i.e #NYC, #Japan, etc.) or key words like #hotel and #luxury. But if you want to really be in-the-know, then here are some less obvious, but still very popular hashtags to look for and use yourself.
Hashtags According to the Days of the Week
#MexMonday On Mondays, tweet something about Mexico using this hashtag. A lot of Mexican hotels/resorts use this one, as do American expats and those who just love our neighbor to the south.
#TMOM Every Monday from 9-10pm EST, @TravelingMoms (the Twitter account behind TravelingMom) hosts a Twitter party. So if you’re mom who loves to travel, join in the fun! You can also use the #TMOM hashtag for any tweet that deals with family travel.
#TravelTuesday If you only use one hashtag, make it this one. Fairly self explanatory, this uber-popular hashtag started by Katy Lynch of WhereIveBeen is used for travel-oriented tweets on Tuesdays. Travel tweeps also use it as sort of a #FollowFriday, in which they list travel types to follow. You can also use the shortened version #TT.
#TNI This stands for Travelers Night In, which is very confusing to those of us on Eastern Standard Time because it’s a 90-minute chat that takes place every Thursday from 3:30-5 pm EST. Launched and hosted by ZipSetGo, there are always 10 questions along a weeklt-changing theme. There’s a lot of RT-ing and interacting here. It’s a great place to “meet” people.
#Tourismchat This chat, which takes place every other Thursday from 1-2pm, is more industry-oriented than #TNI, so it’s excellent place to connect with professionals. Check out the schedule and topics at the #Tourism Chat Facebook page.
#BeachThursday Tweet something about a beach-y destination on Thursdays and use this hashtag. You should get a response from a fellow beach lover.
#FriFotos Many travel lovers are also photographers, and vice versa. Share links to your best travel pictures with this hashtag on Fridays.
#SunsetSunday Like #FriFotos, this one hashtag not exclusively for the travel community but you’ll see a lot of sunset photos from exotic destinations.
#AVGeek Enjoy talking airline strategy, flight routes and new planes? Find like-minded tweeps through this hashtag.
#BKKFatty This popular foodie hashtag started in Bangkok but has gone global. You don’t have to be tweeting about Thai food or food in Bangkok — any great grub will do. But you better not use it to tweet about some lame frozen dinner you ate at home!
#LP @LonelyPlanet has almost 200,000 followers, and it’s the goal of many travel bloggers, writers and editors to have them retweet their links to drive traffic. To that end, they’ll tweet out their best stuff and put a #LP at the end. Of course, they’ll be thrilled if you retweet them too. At the very least, it’s a good way to find interesting travel stories.
#MatadorN Similar to #LP, people who use this hashtag are hoping that @MatadorNetwork will retweet them. While they might not have as many followers as Lonely Planet, theirs is a very loyal group.
#PwP or #PassportsWithPurpose A group of travel bloggers have come together through PassportsWithPurpose to raise money for good causes — their current goal is to build a village in India for “untouchables”. If you see these hashtags, be sure to give an RT so you can pass along the good will. If only doing good was always so easy…
#RTWSoon and #RTWNow These hashtags are used by intrepid travelers who are either planning round-the-world trips or whose round-the-world trips are already underway. And if you’re using these hashtags, then chances are that #careerbreak may be of interest too. If you’re still in the planning stage, search for #MeetPlanGo, a hashtag that corresponds with MeetPlanGo events, as well as content from its website.
Happy tweeting! Don’t forget to look for me @Travelogged.