How To Plan Amazing Travel With Pinterest

During this time of Coronavirus pandemic it is hard to imagine we will ever be able to travel again. But we will. After 9/11 it seemed as though international travel was over forever, but it wasn’t. We just had new restrictions that in no time at all became our new normal. SARS 1 back in 2002-2003 looked like it would stop travel forever too, but it didn’t.

There is no knowing when we will be able to travel again, whether it will be months or years from now, but when that window opens we need to be prepped and planned and ready to go. It may only be a matter of time before another epidemic / pandemic /major world event occurs, so we may only have a short time to see the world and experience the magic of international travel before it all closes back down again. Or maybe once this is over the world will adjust to the new normal, and we will be back to traveling freely. Regardless, there will be a time when we can travel again. So let’s get ready.

Most people think of Pinterest as a social media place for recipes and DIY/Craft ideas. Although both are prevalent they make up only a tiny fraction of what is on Pinterest. Pinterest is not a social media platform, it is one of the largest search engines in the world. And it has pictures. So whatever it is you want to know you can pretty much find it on Pinterest, the difference is that when you enter your search terms you don’t get a typed list of options to click on, you get a series of pictures with text. These are called pins.

This is a pin that links to a blog post about Civita di Bagnoregio near Orvieto

When you click on one of these pictures or pins it will take you into a website, magazine article or blog, the same way as clicking on an item on a google list does.

This is an example of a pinterest travel board.
I can keep adding as many pins as I want to each board,
keeping all the pertinent information in one place,
with pictures for quick reference.

When you set up a Pinterest account (they are free) you create a series of boards which function like a cork board. When you find a pin that has information relevant to your search and that you want to keep for later reference you then pin it to the board it goes with.

If you eat a paleo diet you might create a board for Paleo Recipes, search them and then pin the recipes you like or want to try to your Paleo Recipes board.

The same works with travel and planning travel. You create boards for things that apply to your future travel plans and dreams, and then wherever you might be on the internet, whatever article you may read in any publication, you can save to its appropriate board. Almost every article will have either the pinterest symbol at the bottom of it, or if you hover over one of the pictures in the article will offer you an option to save it to your pinterest. If you take that option it will bring up your Pinterest boards and ask you which one to save it to, so all your pins are saved to their corresponding boards.

My Morocco travel board

I use this for all travel I am planning or just dreaming about. For example, I have a board for Morocco Travel and another for Jordan Travel Tips. I may never end up going to either, but both places are fascinating to me. These boards have a collection of pins with all kinds of interesting things to see and do and eat and drink in these countries, as well as information about unusual things to do there, random little towns and villages I otherwise wouldn’t know to visit.

My Jordan Travel board

You can check out my Pinterest boards here and click around to see what I have saved.

If you want a travel experience beyond the big bus tours, or if you want to get information on things to do when your cruise ship comes into port, Pinterest is a phenomenal resource.

Even better, although the regular travel agencies have a presence on Pinterest you will find vastly more incredible information from professional travel bloggers. This can save you a small fortune by giving you better and much more affordable excursion options from your cruise. This is also where you find great information about towns you had never heard of, great places you can reach easily and not be overwhelmed with tourists.

The mass travel organizations like cruise lines and big bus tours are not in the business of showing you random, interesting things. They are about whipping you round the main sites and then getting you back on the bus or the boat. This isn’t always a bad thing, but maybe you want more, or maybe you want more information about the options they are offering. You can find all of this on Pinterest.

Chances are after the coronavirus pandemic mass tourism will disappear or take a long time to come back. This will mean smaller, more sustainable travel will take the lead. There will be more small tour providers like me with my Glam Italia Tours, as well as travelers wanting to just go it alone and have the big experience but without the crowds.

If you are thinking about planning some travel on your own or doing some small tour travel, this list of The 30 Best Travel Bloggers gives you lots of great reading. It’s fun to read the stories of really interesting people heading out there in the world, discovering fantastic places to travel and telling you all the ins and outs of how to get there, where to stay and what you mustn’t miss!

Pinterest is a genius tool for planning your own travel. If you want to go to Paris but aren’t sure what to do there you can ask the Pinterest search bar What to do in Paris or Things to do in Paris and hundreds of pins will populate for you to scroll through and look at. There will be some dingbats telling you to visit the Eiffel Tower, eat a croissant and walk the Champs Elysees. But there will also be lots of travel bloggers who tell you about unusual things to do in Paris or cool things to do in Paris that take you away from the tourist crowds and show you something really special.

There are always pins linking to blog posts that tell you how to do things in any city, from which events you need to book in advance to how to use public transport. You can find out how to use the metro to get around (it’s super easy) and how to see some of the famous sites without booking a tour. Why pay extra to do a package tour of Versailles when you can buzz out there on the train, pick up an audio guide and make your own way around the palace and its gardens?

If planning a trip to Italy (my specialty) set up a variety of boards for different regions and/or cities you are interested in seeing. You may also what to set up a travel packing board. Just type What To Wear in Italy in April into the search bar and endless pins will pop up with outfit ideas and packing tips.

This is my travel packing board.
I’m pretty much set for what to pack for any country ant any time of year!

One of my favorites is to search Unusual Things To Do In (add city or country). This will vary from simple things to do that are not on the mass tourist radar, to really offbeat and unusual things.

Type in What To Do In Rome and you will see endless pins about the Colosseum, the Vatican, the Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon. Type in Unusual Things To Do In Rome and you will discover fascinating things to see such as Domus Transitoria, the Porticus of Octavia and the Pyramid of Cestius. Even better, when you actually go to these places you will not only find them amazing, but there will be very few tourists there so you won’t be squashed in with crowds and will actually be able to see and experience these amazing places. For more fabulous things to do in Rome check out my international best seller Glam Italia! 101 Fabulous Things To Do In Rome, available world wide on Amazon

It is always good to be planning your next trip, even if it doesn’t happen for years. It gives you something interesting to do (especially while on quarantine!) and gives you something new to dream about and look forward to. Pinterest makes it much easier.

You can get really specific too, so maybe you want information on camping in national parks in the US, or travel with small children, youth hostels in Europe or 5 star hotels in Singapore, hiking tips in Peru or ski trips in New Zealand – it’s all there. No matter what your travel style or travel dream is, there is something here for you, with pictures.

So even if it feels like a fantasy right now, and you can’t see how you could ever pull it off, have some fun exploring the world on Pinterest.

Happy pinning!

Not sure where to start with planning travel either for now or for the future? Download my Free Resources pdfs to help you get started building your perfect trip. You are welcome to print off as many copies as you need. Get your Free Resources HERE

Want more help planning a trip to Italy? My book Glam Italia! How To Travel Italy (Secrets To Glamorous Travel On A Not So Glamorous Budget) is an international best seller, available world wide on Amazon.com

Paris Travel Tips ~ Books Set In Paris

Lately I’ve been saving paper, hopefully saving trees, and reading books on my iPad.

But can I even tell you how much I miss wandering around bookstores finding my next great read?? While I was in Paris a few weeks ago I made the pilgrimage to the Shakespeare and Company bookstore and spent ages doing just that – wandering around, browsing, buying books.

I really miss the tactile experience of reading a book too. I miss the smell, and I miss the feeling, the sensation of turning a page. So I’ve just been clicking away on Amazon, buying books.

Paris books

The current situation on my desk…

Before I head overseas on a trip I like to read books set in the cities I’m traveling to. It gives you a familiarity with the place, gets you dreaming of the place you are going, lets you make lists of places to see that aren’t in the guide books, gives you things to recognize while you’re there, plus adds another texture to your travel experience.

When I get home I bury myself in books set in the places I’ve just been, trying to keep the experience alive for a little while longer. Right now I’m caught somewhere in the middle, not willing to let go of this most recent trip to Paris just a few weeks ago, and getting ready to go back again in the next few weeks.

If you’ve never been to Paris but want to daydream, if you are heading to Paris soon and want to get in the mood, or if you are holding on to the memories of a wonderful time spent in the City of Light, here is a list of 8 books set in Paris. I have either read or just ordered all of them, and have put affiliate links with each.

 

A Town Like Paris: Falling in Love in the City of Light, by Bryce Corbett

 

books set in paris

Bryce is a 28 year old Australian who after suffering a break up (and a horrendously boring job) decides to move to Paris. He rents an apartment in the Marais, in the heart of the city’s gay district, which could limit his opportunities to meet single french females, and begins a new life in the city of light. Along the way he meets a Parisian showgirl and falls in love.

This book is absolutely hilarious. It will have you in tears laughing all the while acquainting you with one of the most magnificent cities in the world. A MUST read! A Town Like Paris is available at Amazon.com

books set in paris

 

Almost French: Love and a New Life in Paris, by Sarah Turnbull

I bought this book years ago because I knew a Sarah Turnbull when I was growing up in New Zealand, and was sure this Australian journalist had to be the same girl. Afterall how many Sarah Turnbull’s could there be in Australasia?? Apparently at least 2…

Anyway, this is another true story featuring an Aussie in Paris. Sarah meets a Frenchman who persuades her to move to Paris, the most romantic city in the world. Her clothes, her laughter, her conversation, her very non-french-ness make her an outsider from the beginning. As she navigates her way through this new culture she becomes seduced by Paris, sharing it’s magic with her along the way. At times you will cringe and at others you will laugh out loud as she shares her journey with you.

One time with a trip to Paris on the horizon I actually wrote down the places she talks about in the book, and then wandered around Paris visiting as many of them as I could. It was wonderful. Almost French is available on Amazon.com

books set in paris

Paris to the Moon, by Adam Gopnik

In 1995 Gopnik, a writer for The New Yorker, moved to Paris for 5 years with his wife and baby son. The plan was to enjoy the culture and the glamour of this exquisite city, living the dreamy life of an American in Paris. Enjoying the bistro life, partaking in philosophical discussions all the while raising his son playing in the Luxembourg Gardens and running around Paris. Perfect, non?

The readers of Gopnik’s award winning and very much loved “Paris Journals” already know the reality of it was at times exasperating and not always glamorous. Paris To the Moon is hilarious and endearing and completely brilliant. Just as with Sarah Turnbull’s book you will find yourself jotting down places and experiences to try out for yourself.

Paris to the Moon is available here on Amazon.com

books set in paris

 

The Most Beautiful Walk in the World: A Pedestrian in Paris, by John Baxter

I haven’t read this one myself yet, but with a title like that, and the fact that it is about walks in the most fabulous walking city in the world, I just ordered it on Amazon. The synopsis below is from Amazon.com

From the author of Immoveable Feast: A Paris Christmas (P.S.) and We’ll Always Have Paris comes a guided tour of the most beautiful walks through the City of Light, including the favorite walking routes of the many of the acclaimed artists and writers who have called Paris their home. Baxter highlights hidden treasures along the Seine, treasured markets at Place d’Aligre, the favorite ambles of Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, and Sylvia Beach, and more, in a series of intimate vignettes that evoke the best parts of Paris’s many charms. Baxter’s unforgettable chronicle reveals how walking is the bestway to experience romance, history, and pleasures off the beaten path . . . not only of La Ville-Lumière, but also, perhaps, of life itself. The Most Beautiful Walk in the World is available here on Amazon.com

books set in paris

Confessions of a Paris Party Girl, by Vicky Lesage

This Amazon #1 bestseller popped up on my recommended list, and I’m going to order it so therefore I figure I might as well share it with you!

When newly-single party girl Vicki moved to Paris, she was hoping to indulge in wine, stuff her face with croissants, and fall in love. It proved to be much more difficile than she’d imagined. In this laugh-out-loud memoir, this cheeky storyteller recounts the highs and lows of her life in the City of Light. Sassy and shamefully honest, Vicki makes you feel as if you’re right there in Paris stumbling along the cobblestones with her.

Will she find love? Will she learn to consume reasonable amounts of alcohol? Will French bureaucracy ever cut her a break?

Confessions of a Paris Party Girl is a delicious cocktail of the humor of Tina Fey, the candor of Amy Poehler, and the self-deprecating charm of Mindy Kaling. You’ll feel as if you’re chatting over a bottle of wine with your new best friend, one who drinks as much as Chelsea Handler and makes you laugh as much as Sophie Kinsella. Confessions of a Paris Party Girl is available here on Amazon.com

books set in paris

 

A Paris Apartment: A Novel, by Michelle Gable

April Vogt, a Sotheby’s continental furniture specialist gets sent to Paris to curate the hoarded belongings found in an apartment that has been shuttered up for 70 years. The furniture will fetch millions, but more interestingly April discovers the diaries of the woman who lived there, a Belle Epoque courtesan with an intriguing story.

Set both during the Bell Epoque and present day, A Paris Apartment became an international bestseller, and will fuel any dream you’ve ever had of owning an apartment in Paris or maybe just running away there for a while. Available online at Amazon.com

books set in paris

C’est La Vie: An American Woman Begins a New Life in Paris and–Voila!–Becomes Almost French, by Suzy Gershman

This one is on my to be read pile, so the synopsis is lifted from Amazon:

Bestselling writer Suzy Gershman (dubbed “Super Shopper Suzy” by Oprah) is our answer to Peter Mayle in this heartfelt, breezy, and funny story of starting over in Paris. Suzy had always fantasized about moving to Paris with her husband, but when he dies unexpectedly, she decides to fulfill their dream alone. Here she gives a deliciously conversational chronicle of her first year in Paris and of the dizzying delights and maddening frustrations of learning to be a Parisian. Filled with Gershman’s insider’s tips on everything from cooking the perfect clafoutis to—naturally—shopping, C’est la Vie is delightfully entertaining and captures the exhilarating experience of beginning a new adventure. C’est La Vie is available here on Amazon.com

books set in paris

‘BOOKS, BAGUETTES AND BEDBUGS’ by Jeremy Mercer
I’ve written before about my favorite bookshop, perhaps anywhere in the world, Shakespeare and Company in Paris. I haven’t yet read Jeremy Mercer’s Book, Baguettes and Bedbugs, which is about Shakespeare and Co, but I read the review below and have now added it to my must read list.

 If you’re interested in Paris, whether or not you’ve traveled there and visited Shakespeare & Co., you will learn a lot about literary Paris and enjoy reading this book. If you have been to Paris, visited the bookshop, and have met George Whitman you’ll love this book. And if you have stumbled a bit in your life and are broke, you absolutely must read this book to know that life can be great while living without much money, and be encouraged for a better tomorrow.

Doesn’t it make you want to read it?? Available at Amazon.com

Related: Read about Shakespeare and Company here