Social media has become part of our everyday lives, and it’s something we can’t let go of even while we’re on vacation. In fact, 55% of travelers spend around 30 to 120 minutes daily on social media. One can post updates, and find many tourist hotspots, restaurant recommendations, and even hidden gems on social media. However, social media is a double-edged sword that can also negatively affect you – especially your finances. Here are the seven main reasons why you might want to keep your distance on your next trip.
1. You’ll fall victim to targeted ads
When you make an account on social media sites, your basic information such as your age, gender, location, and preferences are gathered. Your shopping behavior reflects these traits, which marketers utilize for targeted advertising. So if you’ve ever wondered why your ads are showing items that are right up your alley, this is the explanation.
No matter where you are, you’ll always feel like you need the products presented to you. Of course, this can be harmful to travelers working with a set budget.
2. More screen time can lead to more spending
The more you scroll, the more you spend. Much like popular short-form videos that provide a brief sense of fun and entertainment, the happiness felt with social media-driven purchases is often also short-lived. You can also slowly feel addicted to the feeling of ordering, anticipating, and opening up your packages.
In the long run, this can be harmful to your wallet and become a bad habit that’s hard to break. Lessening your screen time will help you spend less and spend more time being in the moment.
3. Influencers encourage spending
In an in-depth article on how social media impacts our spending habits, influencers are highlighted as individuals with the power to convince their followers to buy, or not buy, a product or service. Travel influencers in particular are the ones in charge of making ‘must-see’, ‘must-try’, and ‘must-eat’ posts.
But it’s hard to determine how genuine these recommendations are, especially with all the sponsored posts that they do. We recommend travelers do their own research to get them the most bang for their buck.
4. Most luxuries are too expensive
It’s very tempting to live a glamorous life when you’re traveling, especially with a happy-go-lucky mindset. But you should find a balance for this because you don’t want to be in debt after the festivities end. Luxury hotel stays can cost hundreds and thousands of dollars per night.
On the flip side, you can opt to enjoy free accommodation in exchange for work, and use the money saved for something like tickets to a show. You don’t have to blow all your money off on everything.
5. Purchasing is made much easier
Most sponsored posts online have a direct link to the shopping website. This feature has made it easier to just click and input your card details. Some influencers and companies even have a discount code ready for you.
All this is done to help encourage viewers to spend on frivolous items. If any online shopping is to be done, we highly encourage readers to choose travel-related items or backpacking gear that can prove to be more useful in the long run.
6. Social media gives you FOMO
FOMO, or the fear of missing out, is the phenomenon that involves the perception of missing out, followed by compulsive behavior to maintain social connections. It’s a normal human desire to want to experience any and everything.
In fact, research has shown that social media FOMO drives bad spending habits and that a third of people admit to overspending in order to keep up with the fun they see their peers are having on social media. This can lead us to overspend if we’re not careful.
7. You’ll see the world through rose-tinted glasses
Finally, you have to realize that in most cases, people only post about the good stuff. You don’t see exhausting trips, dingy hotel rooms, or overpriced airfare. It’s the reality of the nature of social media. Because you’re not seeing the negatives of other people’s travel experiences, you’re tempted to think that there must be something wrong with the amount you’re spending.
The truth is that no matter your budget, there will be misses amidst the hits – but these moments make the good ones much sweeter.