Why You Should Use Reddit to Plan Your Next Trip

Why You Should Use Reddit to Plan Your Next Trip

For the past few decades, Google has been the main tool most travelers turn to when planning a trip, whether they use Google Flights to find the best airfares or the search engine to uncover “weekend getaway ideas from San Francisco” and (hopefully) land on Afar’s content. But in recent years, travel lovers—including many Afar editors—have turned to Reddit, an online forum consisting of thousands of communities known as subreddits, to crowdsource human insights from other Reddit users who share their honest opinions and breadth of experience on hotels, destinations, luggage, and more.

According to Reddit, there are more than 15,000 travel-related communities on the platform, and 91 percent of U.S.-based users who browse those communities have made booking decisions based on the information they found there. Google has even started to see more people add “Reddit” to searches over the past few years to get a more authentic answer from people’s real-life experiences.

“The beauty of Reddit is that no matter how broad, hyperspecific, or trivial your travel question is, there’s almost always a Redditor out there eager to share their experiences and opinions,” says Tiana Attride, Afar’s social media editor. “This couldn’t be more true in travel communities, where tourists and locals are both often kind enough to leave long, thought-out responses tailored to your needs.”

Afar contributor Naomi Tomky prefers Reddit to other social platforms since people are on Reddit to answer other people’s questions rather than boast of their own experience (Instagram) or complain about it (Yelp). “Reddit is better internationally, too, where Yelp is pretty dead,” she says.

Yet, for the uninitiated, Reddit can be a vast and confusing place. Instead of starting in the main 10-million-member strong r/Travel subreddit, which can be overwhelming, head to more specific subreddits like r/DigitalNomad, r/TravelHacks, and r/SoloTravel to find like-minded travelers. Below are a few more subreddits AFAR editors love.

Blue whale skeleton suspended over the main hall in London's Natural History Museum

London’s Natural History Museum is a well-known landmark, but one AFAR staffer found out on Reddit it also hosts monthly silent discos at night.

Photo by Stephen Kidd on Unsplash

Location-specific subreddits

While Attride likes using the main r/Travel subreddit for travel inspiration and general discussion, once you enter the planning phase of your trip, she recommends heading to more location-specific subreddits for better results.

For example, before a recent road trip through Iceland, Attride hopped into the r/VisitingIceland subreddit to ask whether the length of her stay offered enough time for a few days in the Westfjords, and if so, how to best organize her trip. Within minutes, she says, comments streamed in with helpful advice, opinions, and itinerary critiques that helped her plan a great trip.

Anni Cuccinello, Afar’s director of growth and product, also uses this tactic. “I join city or region-specific subreddits before I go somewhere to try and find events that aren’t in the typical must-do lists,” Cuccinello says. This is how she discovered that the Natural History Museum in London hosts silent discos under the iconic blue whale skeleton in its main hall once a month.

If you’re seeking specific advice, be sure to provide details about yourself in your post. “If nobody knows what you’re interested in, what time of year you’ll be traveling, or how long you’ll be in town, they can’t help you plan your ideal trip,” Attride says.

The subreddit for serious travel nerds

In general, Reddit attracts people who love to nerd out on hyperspecific topics. But for the old-school, seasoned traveler, Attride recommends the subreddit r/TravelNoPics. The community bills itself as the “anti-Instagram,” restricting photo dumps in favor of in-depth discussions, debates, and trip reports. “Some of the most interesting travel conversations on Reddit live here,” she says. In the past year, some top posts include legendary hostels around the world, great places Redditors feel may be past their prime, and tips for the post-travel blues.

Budget-specific subreddits

Cuccinello says she recently has started following budget-specific subreddits for luxury travel ideas. “I am not elite enough for r/FATTravel, which is basically for people with zero budgetary concerns, but I have been checking out its little sister, r/ChubbyTravel,” she says, since it aligns more with her budget.

In the past year, some of the top posts on r/FATTravel have been about what you can ask a luxury hotel concierge to do for you, the best luxury hotel gyms, and what it’s like to fly Air France’s La Première class.

Popular r/ChubbyTravel posts include which Four Seasons hotels offer guaranteed upgrades at the time of booking, worthwhile travel splurges (business class seats and car service to the hotel upon arrival were two popular answers), and the best ski towns for non-skiers.

A man sits in front of a fireplace indoors and reaches into a light-blue Cotopaxi backpack

The Cotopaxi Allpa 35L is the go-to travel backpack for many Reddit users in the r/OneBag community.

Courtesy of Cotopaxi/Adam Joseph Wells

The minimalist packing subreddit

Those who struggle with overpacking will find a lot of value in the tips from Redditors who make an art of minimalist travel. The r/OneBag subreddit is described as “an urban travel community devoted to the idea of lugging around less crap.” It has more than 700,000 members dedicated to traveling with just one piece of carry-on size luggage. In this community, you’ll find posts on the best bags for one-bag travel, packing lists with photos so you can re-create them on your own, nonliquid toiletry recommendations, and more.

Loyalty subredddits

“I also use the loyalty subreddits like r/ChaseSapphire and r/AwardTravel, but it typically gets too intense for me,” Cuccinello says. “People are overly obsessed, but they do give good advice about whether or not to take advantage of those Chase bonus point transfer offers.”

For example, one Redditor asked r/ChaseSapphire if the 60 percent transfer bonus from Chase to IHG offered in February 2024 was a good deal or not. He received multiple responses saying that it would be smarter to transfer those points to Hyatt, which has better redemption rates.

Want to book an award flight to Tokyo on Japan Airlines using American AAdvantage miles? Last week, someone posted a comprehensive step-by-step guide to the entire process on r/AwardTravel.

Event-specific subreddits

Though I wouldn’t consider myself a Reddit superuser like my colleagues, I turned to it while planning my recent trip to Malmö, Sweden, to attend Eurovision. From the emails I received from Malmö Arena about the event, I could tell the bag policy was much stricter here than in the States, but the Swedish-to-English translation left much to be desired about what exactly was allowed in the arena. I turned to the r/Eurovision subreddit, and within minutes, several Europeans had weighed in on local laws, and I learned that “no bags” really does mean “no bags”; that a purse is a wallet in U.K. English; and that wallets were okay to bring in as long as they fit in your pocket.

Those heading to the Paris Olympics or Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour in Europe this summer can find good advice in the r/Olympics and r/TaylorSwift subreddits. Don’t be scared to get specific; someone has likely attended something similar and can provide tips for navigating confusing ticket portals, plus all the minute details you need to make sure you pack the right things.

For the past few decades, Google has been the main tool most travelers turn to when planning a trip, whether they use Google Flights to find the best airfares or the search engine to uncover “weekend getaway ideas from San Francisco” and (hopefully) land on Afar’s content. But in recent years, travel lovers—including many Afar…

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