Happy hump day! If the weekday slowdown is making your your feet itchy for the great wide world, I may have found the cure…or not, depending on the way you look at it. I’ve recently leaped onto the travel-related Twitter chats bandwagon. (If you don’t know what a Twitter chat is, it’s basically an open forum moderated by a few Twitter users who ask questions on a certain topic. There are chats for beauty, travel…even college admissions!)
For those who have never chatted, the way Twitter chats generally work is this: a series of questions are asked on a chosen theme at approximately 10-12 minute intervals. (If you’re like me and get overwhelmed trying to find the questions in the hashtag muddle, you can also usually find a list of the chat questions on the web, searching using the chat’s hashtag). These are prefaced with Q1, Q2 and so on. You answer each question with the relevant answer (A1, A2 etc.) and interact with others. Always make sure to tag your posts with the chat’s tag to make sure people can read your responses!
I love connecting with other travelers and catching glimpses of everyone’s exciting trips. And it’s not just personal tweets—in some of the chats there is also a strong travel brand/agency presence. So not only do you get the benefits of word-of-mouth, “Believe me, I tried it” from your fellow travelers, you may also get coupons, special deals, and handy travel information from a variety of different sources.
I’ve rallied a few of my favorites below—and feel free to share your favorites in the comments!
#GoGirl — 10 am PST/1 pm EST
This chat for ladies happens every Monday for 30 minutes. It’s is a great place for gals to share their tips and stories about their adventures and connect with fellow female travelers.
#TRLT — 10 am PST/1 pm EST
#TRLT (The Road Less Traveled) discusses destinations overlooked on Twitter travel chats, such as Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia and Central America. As you might expect, it’s a robust community of people who have traveled off the beaten path, meaning you get a much different perspective than, say, the luxury tendencies of Travel + Leisure. Follow @TRLT_Chat and founders @Sihpromatum, @PointChaser, and @TheTravelCamel.
#TL_Chat — 10 am PST/1 pm EST
Travel + Leisure’s weekly Twitter chats give you a chance to discover expert tips on the latest trends, from where to eat in New York to what to do in Barcelona. They’ve posted their topics through March here. Follow @TravlandLeisure.
Not exactly a regulated chat, but a fun way to share ideas, blog posts, photos, and the nostalgia from your last epic trip. I love trawling it on Instagram for wanderlust kindling.
#ExpediaChat — 11 am PST/2 pm EST
#Expediachat is sponsored by @Expedia and co-hosted by @spencerspellman. Every week there’s a new topic, with past topics including technology in travel and giving the gift of travel for the holidays.
#RATW — 9-10 am PST/12-1 pm EST
Blog Reality Abroad’s Talk Wednesday (#RATW) connects travelers, writers, expats, and residents at home and abroad. Everyone shares their comments, tips, and peeks into their experiences to give a renewed sense of the world. Follow @realityabroad.
Run by fellow blogger @nicolette_o, this chat focuses more on the actual experience of living/working/studying abroad. It’s a great source for expat tips and tricks, as well as a nice forum for travel-lovers to share their experiences abroad.
*ProTip: If you can, use Twitter’s Tweetdeck to open separate windows for the chats you are following and their interactions—that way you can keep current with the activity going on.