Millennials are today the most likely demographic to spend money on travel when compared to Baby Boomers and Generation Xers. And given that they are at their peak physical condition, earning an attractive income, and have little to no family responsibilities, it is understandable why many choose to spend money exploring the world. However, the millennials face a big problem that the earlier generations did not — unrealistic travel expectations borne from the exposure to social media.
Fake photographic accounts of the journey
The problem with today’s social media travel bloggers is that many of them post doctored pictures of the destinations they have visited. Heavy image editing may also be involved. Ultimately, the millennials are exposed to a series of fake photos of the destinations.
As such, the average millennial already books his ticket having an unreal expectation of what their destination will look like. And when they reach their destination and find out that it is nothing like how the photos had depicted, the only feeling that sets in is disappointment and anger.
“Almost everyone edits photos and there is nothing wrong with that; however, when you try to pass off a photo as a genuine representation of a location, scene, or experience and it’s edited beyond a reasonable standard, you fall into a grey area of shady manipulation,” a travel photographer says in an interview with Oversixty.
Millennial travelers also have to deal with a very unpleasant truth about the top tourist spots they have always wanted to visit — large crowds. Duped by carefully staged photographs that make it look like the destination is nearly crowd-free, many millennials travel to their dream destinations only to find themselves in a sea of tourists, unable to mimic the photograph they have come to love.
So, while your favorite Instagram travel blogger may have posted a pic of themselves standing in front of the pristine white Taj Mahal and beautiful surroundings, you will be left shocked to see how crowded the Taj Mahal actually is and how impossible it is to take a picture that is even close to the dreamy quality of the image the Instagrammer had posted.
This mostly happens because such travel bloggers usually have deals with locals tourist agencies. As such, they are able to get a “VIP pass” that gives them exclusive access to the location, and are able to take photos with little to no crowd in the background. But since you are just a regular traveler, you will have to contend with making the best of what you can and be satisfied with a substandard selfie marred by hordes of people.
How to better use social media for travel
However, not everything is doom and gloom when it comes to using social media as a guide for travel. You can use social media to find out more information about a place, look for hotels to stay at your destination, find out the contact details of good tourist managers, and so on.
In addition, you can also get in touch with similar-minded locals and have a great experience while visiting the destination. Just try not to overindulge yourself in the travel photographs posted on social media pages and you should be able to visit your dream destination with a realistic expectation and enjoy it to the fullest.