Using Pinterest for Travel Inspiration

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Courtesy Pinterest travel page of Julie Gallaher
Pinterest for travel inspiration

The scrapbooking sitePinterest is a sudden sensation. In the past few months, the site has quadrupled in membership, with about 7 million visitors a month, most of them women.

Pinterest is "a visual social network that organizes images by topic and lets you reshare with just one click," in the words today of tech celeb Pete Cashmore.

The surprisingly addictive free site allows users to upload visually appealing pictures and content (such as advertisements or images of magazine covers) to "boards." Any time you see an image you like anywhere on the web, click a bookmarklet on your Web browser (Chrome, Explorer, Firefox, or Safari). Next time you visit Pinterest, the photo will be on your page. Meanwhile, friends who follow your streams will see what you discovered.

The site is used for a lot of purposes, but travel inspiration is a growing category. Budget Travel has a pinboard, in which editors post items that inspire them, such as our readers' best travel photos.

To use Pinterest for travel inspiration, search for the category "Travel and Places." (Other categories include "Photography," "Print and Posters," and "DIY & Crafts"—among other topics.)

Find images you like and the site will suggest related ones. Say you're fond of the images another Pinterest user tends to find. It's easy to pick and choose which topics that interest you, too, skipping images of hobbies you consider boring.

Search for friends and family who are also Pinterest members by tapping your Web-based e-mail, Facebook or Twitter accounts. Or discover people by name by using the site's search box. Some major travelers that use the site include Jodi Ettenberg (the blogger at Legal Nomads), Gary Arndt, Chris Gray Faust (award-winning travel writer), Dorothy McGivney (who runs Jauntsetter), and Johnny Jet (who runs a popular travel-themed newsletter). I've been on Pinterest since September and can vouch that it's a fun, super easy, useful and truly inspiring tool.

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