#TSAcatch on Instagram
Forget that you had a meat cleaver in your carry-on, or that you had stuck your utility knife blades inside of a Scooby-Doo greeting card for safe keeping? The TSA might just put a picture of your contraband items up on their Instagram account and tag it #TSAcatch, in addition to confiscating them.
The TSA is using the account and hashtag as a means of reinforcing what the rules of flying are; knives are allowed if they’re properly packed in a checked bag, and the same rule applies to properly declared and packed firearms, ammunition, and components.
Only 22 posts have been made using #TSAcatch in the last month- the majority of them by the TSA- but they have a combined reach of 70.1k Instagram users.
So just make sure you remember to remove the drugs from your hollowed out book before your next flight. The TSA isn’t looking for narcotics, but they do report them when they find them, as their Instagram account reminds us.
Protect Your Summer Travel… With Apps!
Image via AirHelp
The official start of summer is just days away, and I speak for all of the WIRED Insiders when I wish you best of luck with your summer travel plans. That means no cancelled flights, delays, or bumps. But just in case, we’ve got a couple of apps to keep in your back pocket.
ClaimAir: Ok, so you’re flight’s been delayed due to a maintenance issue and the airline would like to offer you a $20 food voucher for your trouble. Free food! Hoooold on there captain, before you accept, fire up the ClaimAir app (Android now, iOS soon) to see what you’re really entitled to.
AirHelp: Remember that time you sat on the tarmac for two and a half hours, only to get re-sat on a new plane that was also late, forcing you to miss your connection? You never did anything about it, but maybe you still can. AirHelp will search through your past flights and take care of all the paperwork to help you get paid for past airline misbehavior.
— Smarter Upstarter
Perfect additions to your summer travel resources arsenal.
(Want to know what the travel talk on Tumblr looks like? Check out all of our posts covering it.)
Travel on Tumblr: Updated
We’ve talked about travel on Tumblr a couple of different ways before: The size and scope of the travel community, tips for writing about travel on Tumblr, how different travel brands, cruise lines, and publications use Tumblr.
Since we wrote about the size and scope of the travel community on Tumblr last year, there are about 46k more posts made every month, and more than twice as many notes: 3.1 million last year vs. 6.9 million now, all made by a community of 2.7 million Tumblr users. That’s about 20 notes per post, double the notes-per-post of last year.
The Tumblr travel community has a lot of overlap with photography, and a lot of the top posts reflect this: beautiful landscape shots of Greece and other destinations, compilation posts of 'unbelievable' travel photography, and river valley shots of Europe mixed in with some humorous gifs like the one at the top of this post, and some celebrity vacation shots. It’s not all professional travel photography and celebrities though: Candid travel shots also make an appearance in the top posts.
The Tumblr travel community knows how to inspire wanderlust with its stunning photography. Brands and anyone else interesting in joining this conversation will want to look at these popular tags:
"The conversation about your brand is already happening, and you need to be a part of it. Part of your share of voice is what people are saying about you and to you; you only control the messages you put out. Although it’s impossible to make everyone happy all of the time, you should strive to make as many people happy as possible most of the time. If you’re not listening, you can’t address the problems and complaints of your customers– and that will put off any potential customers. But if you fix a bad experience for someone, you could end up with a customer for life, and push someone who’s on the fence about your company into being a customer."
Travel on Tumblr: Travel Publications
We’ve taken a look at how hotels, cruise lines and other travel companies use Tumblr, so what about travel magazines?
Over on the publication side of things, Nat Geo (National Geographic) uses Tumblr exclusively to curate and share images from their archives to showcase moments of the past that have rarely, if ever, been seen by the public. With a 125-year legacy, they have a lot of material to draw from and pull readers back with them into different places and times.
Condé Nast Traveler takes a more decidedly modern approach, showcasing photos from around the world that include everything from food to wildlife and iconic buildings, interspersing these with links to articles on their main site.
BBC Travel’s Tumblr is also photo-based, often with short captions that link back to articles on their main site, driving traffic back there with articles on everything from how to take better travel photos to how to eat your way through France. They’ll also highlight lesser known features of places, such as Norway’s Arctic Coral.
AFAR calls its Tumblr AFAR Highlights and that’s exactly what it is: photos that briefly highlight different destinations around the world, hoping to inspire the viewer to use their digital planning guide services for their next case of wanderlust.
Overwhelmingly, like hotels on Tumblr, publications have also shifted away from exclusive promotion to sharing content that is useful to their readers: articles with information on how to pack, annual events in choice destinations, local food, and more. This approach taps into the aspirational element of Tumblr, with casual readers getting the opportunity to dream about traveling to the destinations showcased. Further, it drives traffic back to their main sites for followers to read full articles that would be lengthy for Tumblr.
Want more? Check out the full list of travel blogs to follow on Tumblr!
Travel on Tumblr: Travel Companies
We’ve looked at how hotels and cruise lines use Tumblr, so what about other travel companies?
- Airbnb is a new approach to traveling in a shared economy, and they want their readers to know the incredible variety of accommodations they have to offer. Their Tumblr is 100% photos of properties available to rent; everything from historical homes to smaller, decked-out trailers. Every photoset links directly back to the property rental listing on their site, making it easy to bring a photo fantasy to reality quickly.
- Another travel company based on shared economy, Couchsurfing is a little more intimate: a built-in social element on their site encourages deeper interaction with your host, and this is reinforced in the approach of their Tumblr. In order to build trust for this arrangement, Couchsurfing’s Tumblr showcases their values along with adventures Couchsurfers have gone on with their hosts. They also share events taking place in cities around the world.
- A more traditional travel booking company, STA approaches Tumblr with the intent to inspire wanderlust in readers— and pass along their branded images, keeping the company’s name in mind when someone thinks of vacation down the line.
- LateRooms.com calls their Tumblr “The Lobby” and they approach it like your average Tumblr user who has a theme to their blog: consistently posting photos of different destinations around the world, inspiring you to book a hotel with them.
New travel companies like Airbnb and Couchsurfing have to prove their model to the economy in a way that established hotels don’t: you’re staying with strangers who are not hospitality professionals, even if they’ve been reviewed. Building trust is key, which is what Couchsurfing focuses on, probably particularly because it is a free service. Since users are paying to rent a room or space to stay in on Airbnb, they’ve chosen to focus on showing the incredible variety of places they have available, differentiating them from paying for a hotel.
STA and LateRooms.com focus more on blending in with Tumblr travel bloggers who post aspirational travel images to their blog, and might be interested in reblogging the content these companies are posting since it’s in the same vein. Since people are completely comfortable booking travel through companies online these days, they have less to prove.
Like this? We’ll be back one last time to look at travel publications on Tumblr. And you can see a full list of travel blogs to follow on Tumblr, broken down by category, here.