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Social Travel: the trend of 2012
Do you remember the time when postcards were the only means of communication when you traveled far away? When you would try to squish one month of travelling in 10 sentences? When you sent 20 postcards to all your friends so none of them would feel left over? Do you remember the time when we entirely depended on the Lonely Planet to find accommodation and food? But times have changed and we now are interconnected no matter where we are in the world. With Facebook, Twitter, Google + and all the other social networks, travelling has become social by connecting us all together and making our travelling experience easier.

So how do you become a social traveler? Well, there are two different elements of social travel: the virtual interaction with others is the first one. It can take place on social medias: status updates, tweets, photos, videos, but also creating your own postcards with Pinterest. We are constantly updated with information we know is relevant because it comes from our friends and not from a guide-book writer who does not know anything about what kind of traveler we are.

However, the "real" social interaction with others is the most important part of social travelling. Interaction in real life is mostly trying to make your stay more authentic and not recreate the western lifestyle meet local people and trying to get off the beaten track. The first step is to avoid impersonal hotels and the constant flow of tourists. Innovative websites like Wimdu offer apartments and bed and breakfasts all over the world, and will make your travelling experience more personal. You will get to meet your hosts, who will provide you with some useful insight about what to visit or where to eat. This infographic shows very well how staying in a local apartment is cheaper than hotels for a better quality of living.

So are you ready to be a social traveler or do you prefer to stick to your lonely planet and your postcards?
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