TikTok did not start as anything close to a travel guide app, with the videos in its early stages mostly ranging from dance videos to lip syncs. However, as the pandemic came to a close around the world and people started to travel again, travel videos started to yet again appear on TikTok’s ‘for you page’. With that novelty comes the question, whether TikTok can serve as a good travel guide, or whether it is overhyped and just another one of its trends – fun but overall useless.
There is a lot to find on the side of the dubbed ‘traveltok’. There are teasers that show multiple little clips packed into one video accompanied by the most songs that encapsulate all things summer or the inspirational quotes. They really do make you want to pack your bags in an instant. They show the most ethereal of places at times, and views you think are too good to be real, completely out of this world.
There are more 'real' sides of travel on TikTok too. There are solo travellers bringing their followers along on their journeys. There are people constantly jumping off boats, claiming it as your sign to have a ‘Mamma Mia summer’. People giving out advice, vlogging their travel days and even those who give you a tour of their suitcase, or a backpack which is somehow more often.
There really is everything. The TikTok travellers often show every side of what it is to travel. Whether they are travelling with a group of friends or doing it on their own, they show all the highlights and all the lows. A lot of the time they are real with you. Honestly, I find it to be one of the most real sides of TikTok.
In my humble opinion ‘traveltok’ is one of the best things to come out of one of the world's most downloaded apps. I know I venture onto that side pretty often, each time I am planning a new trip. TikTok gives you the most authentic vibe of a place out of all the sources I have tried. Of course, it will never be anything like seeing it all in person, yet this app comes surprisingly close. I have got some killer advice from travellers on TikTok.
You often hear from locals of a place or from travellers talking to you directly from the place they are visiting. It's often said to be the best way to get the best advice about local restaurants, monuments and attractions to visit, and any other useful tips that guidebooks and blogs just haven't picked up on. One of my favourite travellers is @travelingcuervo, who even gives historical details of each place she visits. Shamelessly, I am obsessed with her videos.
I visit #TravelTiktok to get inspired before my trip, to find the best tips on the new city I am visiting, to find the best spots in the new country I will travel to. I go there to get mad excited about the next place.
To put it in the simplest terms possible, TikTok is my personal bible before any trip. And often it is something I visit daily, stalking the profiles of my favourite travellers. So please, do not be put off by the potential overhype and do not be too prejudiced about getting your best next travel tip on TikTok. Trust me, it will spice up your trips in the best way possible.