How to Use Pinterest to Plan Your Next Vacation

How to Use Pinterest for Vacation Planning

There are a number of traditional ways to plan your vacation. You can use guidebooks. You can bookmark hotel information in your internet browser or browse pretty photos on Instagram. You can throw a dart at a map. But have you ever thought of using Pinterest?

The social media app that allows you to “pin” images and web links to virtual boards can be a great way to organize your next weekend getaway, vacation, or road trip. Not only will the photos and infographics you come across help you to visualize yourself at each destination, but Pinterest’s online social capabilities let you make a digital itinerary for your trip, or share them with your friends. This gives you the freedom to keep on schedule, edit plans, and even search for new activities as needed, right from your phone or laptop.

Use this guide to help you start planning your next Pinterest vacation, and make sure to check out our boards for inspiration!

How to Use Pinterest to Plan Your Vacation

How to Use Pinterest to Plan Your Next Trip


Step 1: Create a Board with a Map

Once logged in, you have the opportunity to add a new board, which will be the home base for planning your vacation. If each pin is like an entry in your personalized trip guidebook, then this board is the book itself. Give the board a name, a description, and choose the “travel” category—this will be useful not only for helping others find your pins and make their own travel plans but it will also help the site make suggestions that will better fit your interests.

When setting up your board, make sure to enable the Map function. This is a great way to compare the locations of everything you want to visit! Want to know which hotel in Phoenix has a shorter driving time to Slide Rock State Park? Pin them both and take a look!

Visit Wales Pinterest Mapped Itinerary Travel


** See a few of our mapped boards for more ideas: East Coast of Australia Road Trip, Things We Love About San Diego, Visit Wales, and Western U.S. National Parks.

Follow Ordinary Traveler’s board East Coast of Australia on Pinterest.

Step 2: Add a Location

On your map, you’ll see the option to add locations to your board. Adding the locations as individual pins is a great way to start fleshing out your map, especially if your trip will involve multiple destinations. This allows you to visualize the distance between different destinations, attractions, and even lets you find nearby restaurants if you’ve pinned potential dining places on the map beforehand. If you have already booked a hotel, using the location of your hotel as the primary pin for a location will help you get a feel for the city before you even arrive.

Pinterest Mapped Boards Plan Your Vacation
Click on “Add a place” to add a pin to your map

Follow Ordinary Traveler’s board Vacation Ideas Near the Beach on Pinterest.


Step 3: Search for Inspiration

Once you’ve added a few locations to your map, do an active search for pins. The keywords can be as simple as the name of the place you’re visiting—“San Jose, Costa Rica,” for instance—or as complicated as they need to be. (E.g.: “San Jose, Costa Rica, hotel, pool,” will still display results that allow you to compare views of the Rosa Blanca’s infinity pool with those of the lush plant life surrounding the Beacon Costa Rica’s Jacuzzi.) When you find a pin post you like, simply add it to your vacation board.

Vacation Planning on Pinterest Mapped Boards


As another option, the Pinterest browser button allows you to add websites to your board as pins. While booking a hotel or reading travel blogs, if there’s something you want to be included on your Pinterest itinerary, using the browser button will create a pin for it on your board. This way, you can keep your relevant trip information and your pictures, restaurant recommendations, and activity suggestions in the same place.

Unfortunately, not all pins will automatically show up on your map. Associating a location with a certain pin, though, is relatively easy. Once pinned, look to the left side of your browser and select the pin you’d like to put on your map. On each pin should be the option to add a location; just type in the place or address where you’d like it to appear on your map.

Follow Ordinary Traveler’s board Solo Female Travel Tips on Pinterest.

Step 4: Enjoy!

Congratulations! You now have a travel-ready travel guide that’s personalized just for you and your trip. Use it liberally! Whether it’s checking your hotel address or deciding last minute what eye-catching landmark to visit, you have now successfully planned your vacation on Pinterest. Last but not least, don’t forget to take your own pictures and pin them to your board. Who knows? Maybe seeing the result of your trip will inspire someone else’s Pinterest plan!   Don’t forget to follow us on Pinterest for more vacation planning tips and travel inspiration!    


Visit Ordinary Traveler’s profile on Pinterest.

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  1. I just found this post and love the idea. I tried to set up a board following your step by step guide but I can’t figure out how to enable the map function. Is it a special feature on Pinterest? Or perhaps no longer available?

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      It’s a bummer, but Pinterest discontinued their map feature. It was one of my favorite features!

  2. Chris Bell says:

    Using a map would work as well as an on or even post holiday diary.

  3. What a cool idea! I wouldn’t have thought of it, thanks for the tip 😉

  4. Handy list, thanks for posting! I’m completely addicted to Pinterest, use it to plan pretty much every trip, at least for initial inspiration!

  5. Raw Wahab says:

    I’ve just started using Pinterest more “seriously” and these tips sure come pretty handy for me! So… thanks! 🙂

  6. Raphael Alexander Z says:

    Great tips! I love them!

  7. Venturists says:

    Great idea – I learn something new about using Pinterest every day.

  8. Tanj from A Travelogue says:

    I have no idea you can do this on Pinterest. Such a cool new tip! Thanks!

  9. Fiona_M_Maclean says:

    what a sensible post! I use pinterest to pin the places I’ve been and never actually thought of using it the other way round!

  10. Claudia Luxembourg says:

    I have never used Pinterest – I am not even sure how it works, really. Then again, I am not much for planning in advance. But I suppose that, when travelling for a short time and wanting to optimise timings, it is a great idea!

  11. Toni | 2 Aussie Travellers says:

    I use Pinterest for travel inspiration all the time but never thought to be this structured with it, it’s an interesting idea

  12. AdventureCyclist says:

    I never thought of using Pinterest to plan a trip before… Looks an interesting concept!

  13. I have no idea how to use Pinterest in the first place. I tried to set up a profile a while ago but just got a lot of spam 😀 I should really give it a go though as so many bloggers recommend it. But I’m afraid I might get a social media overdose. Haha 🙂

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      I think you have to follow a few targeted boards before you will start seeing things you are interested in. I don’t get much spam in my feed at all. You also want to make sure to turn off email notification settings if you don’t want a ton of notifications showing up in your email.