How to Use Instagram as a Tool for RVing
This might blow your mind, but did you know that social media can be used for more than looking at photos of babies and cats or funny GIFS and memes? In fact, Instagram has shockingly become one of our favorite "tools" for RV life. It's much more than just an app that our thumbs hit automatically each morning and mindlessly scroll through photos of our friends' kids or what they ate for dinner.
We've been surprised by how much Instagram has helped us with full-time RVing. So, whether you're a social media addicted millennial like us or not, we'll tell you all the great ways it can help.
Instagram is a great place to help you choose which destinations to visit. We all have bucket-list spots that we can't wait to visit, but sometimes it's the unique places you've never even heard of that end up being the best. However, it has been known to cause FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) from looking at photos of incredible locations fellow travelers are in!
Added Grand Teton National Park to our travel route this year after seeing this awesome shot from our friends and fellow GoLife bloggers, Jon and Nadia (@roamingremodelers) from RoamingRemodelers.com.
We aren't always brave enough to go off the beaten path to find the less touristy, remote locations. That's why we let others do that work for us, then copy them later! Many traveling Instagrammers will tag their photos in the locations they were taken in. At the top of the photo, you'll see the location and if you click on it, you can see where it is on a map, as well as other photos taken from that same location.
Finding Spots to Park
There are tons of great resources out there for finding the best places to park your RV. When we first hit the road full-time we mainly relied on sites like Campendium and apps like AllStays. While we still use those tools, we've added Instagram to our repertoire and have found some of our favorite boondocking spots and campgrounds.
Finding great spots to park your rig using Instagram is similar to finding locations to visit. It can happen organically as you scroll through and look at the photos of other RVers you follow. When you see their RV parked in a great waterfront or mountain view site, you can see if they tagged the location or not. If not, comment on the photo or private message them and ask!
Here's an example of how we tagged Tiger Run RV Resort in a photo of our beautiful RV site.
Another way we use Instagram to find RV spots though, is by searching hashtags. For example, you can type #californiacamping into the search bar and get thousands of photos taken from various camping spots in California.
Or, let's say you found a campground or RV park on Campendium, AllStays, or Google, but want to see more photos. Search for that park's Instagram handle and see what photos they have or photos people have tagged them in.
Not all parks will have an Instagram account, but sometimes it comes in handy to get an extra peek at what the park looks like before showing up.
Look at these awesome RV parks' Instagram accounts! Their photos make you want to stay there, right? Lake George Cabins & RV Park wasn't even listed on Campendium! But, look how beautiful it is! And, we've actually stayed at Camp Coeur d'Alene - the managers are always out taking photos of the park and campers for their social media accounts!
Making and Meeting Up with Friends
Social media is absolutely the best way we've been able to meet new friends on the road. Since travelers are always tagging their locations, it's easy to see who is in the same place as you. We send and receive messages all the time from RVers who want to grab coffee and hang out! It's also fun to keep track of where your friends are at and sometimes we've changed our route in order to cross paths with them!
The message thread... which led to the in-person meetup.
Knowing What to Do When We Arrive
We also love when we get messages from people when we are in their favorite locations or their hometown. We get awesome restaurant, hiking, and activity suggestions all over the place without having to do any research. If we see people in Colorado or any other places we are really familiar with, we will offer up the same suggestions.
They recommended... we listened!
So next time you start to feel guilty for spending too much time scrolling through Instagram on your phone, just consider it research for your next awesome home base. It suddenly feels more productive that way. Plus, it's worth the "wasted time" when you arrive in beautiful locations, pull up to a scenic site, and get to connect with amazing people. Sometimes, though, it's perfectly okay to keep some spots to yourself, disconnect for a bit, and relax in nature. After all, that is the best benefit of RVing.
Don't forget to follow @WinnebagoRVs on Instagram for more travel inspiration and tips. And use #winnebagolife for a chance to have your photos featured!