Sometimes I wonder how technology has dramatically improved the way we plan and how we enjoy our travels. Of course that everybody had fun years ago, when the internet didn’t exist and the resources we had were limited to paper maps, magazines, and travel guides. But it’s undeniable how much easier things are nowadays, right? Blogs, social media, and Google Maps are partners for everything! Because of the blog, I’m always doing research and I also use social media a lot. And I love using social media to help me research and plan things in the city. I decided to share some tips with you – you may not know all of them!
Instagram – although Uncle Mark has changed many things on Instagram, I still love this social media. For me, it is also a working tool, where I share tips, promote my blog, my app, ask for feedback from readers … But speaking about the features, I will highlight some that I find super useful. One of them is the “Places”. I use the geo tag to spy on places I want to know. Do you want some examples? When I search for places on Insta, I get a sense of how the parks are, what the atmosphere is like at that restaurant, how is the blooming at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, or even the outfits people are wearing. With the Stories you see a “collective” video with several mini-videos from the people who passed by, which is also super cool. Another cool feature of Instagram is the “save” button. I guarantee a lot of people still screenshot the screen to save any tips. But with this button, the photos you save are all kept in one place inside Instagram.
Foursquare – I’ve talked a few times here about Foursquare. It’s one of the apps I use most to search for restaurants in New York. You can filter by type of food, by area … Great for when you have no idea where to eat. Users rate the restaurants. We often use the rating as a criterion for decision. But what I wanted to show two features on Foursquare. One is the photo gallery. It’s great to get an idea of the look of each dish and even decide what to order. You can even show the photo to the waiter and ask for more information. I also love to use the “Add to list”. This way, I can create a list of restaurants I want to check out.
Twitter – Twitter is very popular here in the United States. It is the perfect platform to know about the latest news. For example, last year we woke up in the middle of the night with many sirens. We wanted to know what was happening, it was late at night. We opened Twitter and started searching for the name of our region – Upper East Side. Then, we found posts of people reporting that there was a fire on our street. This year, there was an evacuation episode in Times Square and Macy’s – quickly, there were already reports on Twitter. It is the best tool to find out what is happening in such cases. Use keywords in the search and filter by “latest” to see the tweets in real time. It’s useful for when you’re here.
Facebook – Facebook has a lot of information. There are links, videos, photos and posts on your timeline. The content that comes from your friends, the pages you like and the groups you participate. Facebook has two great functions that I always use. One is the Save, which is great for both links and videos, posts, photos, any post. Do you want to “save” that post to read later? Just click on the arrow in the upper right side of the post and save it. All saved posts go to an area that can be accessed from the left side menu. Another thing: you do not need to comment on any post to follow the comments. If you want to follow the post, just click the same button on the top right of the post and click on “Enable notifications for this post”.
Laura Peruchi is a Brazilian blogger, author, and entrepreneur. She has lived in Manhattan with her husband since 2014. Since then, she has shared on her blog varied content about the Big Apple. From travel tips, including unusual things to do, shopping tips, etiquette, restaurants, and a lot more, her blog has become a reference in Portuguese (also available in English) for anyone planning a trip to New York City.