I visited Florida four times in the last three years to escape the brutal Michigan winters.
Of course this year, during the worst winter of my life, I had no southern escapes planned due to the craziness of a newborn baby in the mix. So I have watched from afar, noticing 98.5% of Michiganders have escaped to the Sunshine State within the last few weeks.
Unfortunately, I have noticed a disturbing trend emerge on my newsfeed: most people have absolutely no idea how to market their winter getaway.
What I mean is Michigan travelers struggle to tell a cohesive, classy and downright interesting story about their vacations. And that’s a shame. The result? They annoy every… single … one … of their Facebook friends with terrible images, boring narrative and downright TMI.
Therefore, I have decided to step in, and, with years of diverse Spring Break experiences, provide some guidelines for Spring Break via social media.
1. Whenever possible, showcase a picture with the Heisman pose.
It’s timeless, recognized by most sports fans and can’t be misinterpreted for an obscene gesture. I think. You don’t see this in many vacation photos so your peeps will totally stop scrolling and say “whoa, awesome.” Extra points if you trade shirts with someone of the opposite gender on the trip and incorporate the Heisman into the resulting photo. Trust me it wasn’t as bad as it sounds.
The Heisman is a welcome replacement for the “arms-wide-open-look-of-ta-da” pose, the “I’m-shirtless-because-I-eat-whey-protein-24/7-so-I’m-flexing” pose or the dreaded “oops-this-is-awkward-because-my-arm-is-around-someone-with-hostile-body-language” pose.
2. Stop checking in at airports, for the love of….
There’s nothing unique or adventurous about walking through an airport terminal. It’s like an overpriced mall food court with a much higher strip search potential. Sure you landed at your destination or your layover has you so close to your fabulous resort.
However, in a recent survey, 6 out 7 adults said they “at most” would like an airport check-in, but never, ever comment on one. Ouch. I mean, come on people, you aspire for the elusive comment. 6 likes is not worth the data usage.
3. Put 10 seconds of creativity into your album title.
“Small rental condo with a bunch of pasty, grumpy old people” is much, much better than “Fort Myers 2014.” Like a good book , your album title is your chance for a good first impression. Let me put it to you this way. When Lindsay Lohan comes out with a memoir someday, it won’t be “Lindsay’s Life.” Better chance of “To rehab and back and back and back,” you get the picture.
For my multi-city Spring Break bash in 2011, I called the album “I could so live here: My 9-day Southern Florida adventure. Your Facebook friends will ask why could he live there? (Everyone is really good looking, which is a morale booster). Why 9-days? (You’re right, not the typical vacation length. I got stranded in Florida for two days because of a blizzard in Michigan. Yes, best news ever.)
4. Please, please, please avoid a “be jealous” call to action.
If you don’t remember any other point, remember this. Market your trip right and people will be jealous. Writing it makes you look desperate. This trip is awesome, right, right, right? Please validate me.
The point of the trip isn’t to make people jealous after all. It’s to make memories with your spouse, your parents, your assistant baseball coach or your Match.com first date. Focus on that and be present on your trip. During a trip to Panama City Beach a few years back, I didn’t have a cell phone or digital camera. Just a throwaway camera. It was an incredible trip everyone was jealous of because we went nuts and weren’t trying to impress anyone.
5. Near famous attractions, find “that guy” to provide a refreshing twist.
Anyone who has visited New York has a picture of the Statue of Liberty. Probably 45 pictures actually. Will people click on all of them and be amazed? Probably not. Trade those 45 for one. During Spring Break 2005, my group and I visited the Statue of Liberty. We found that guy: a man dressed in a Statue of Liberty costume with a huge American flag. Five of us gathered around and settled on spontaneous poses. The result was epic. More photos ensued, including an all backside one and others I don’t care to repeat.
Sometimes “that guy” is in your group. In Toronto, my buddy Eric and I posed in a slightly sketchy manner with downtown Toronto in the background. Be jealous. Wait, no, I didn’t say that.
6. Choose your vacation gear wisely because you never know what Google Images will uncover.
I am super guilty of violating this tip. I can pull off many fashion feats – orange pants, bright pink sweaters, layers upon layers and soon – blue glasses. Unfortunately, I can’t pull off four things, no matter how hard I try – tank tops, cutoffs, v-necks and short bathing suits. I tried and failed at Disney (see South Beach pic). Maybe someday. But for now I avoid them because of long arms, lack of muscles and superwhiteness.
So many vacation outfits I see on Facebook make me cringe. Like I can’t make it through the rest of the album. A good exercise on vacation: look in the mirror, walk away. Repeat. 10 times. If you feel confident, each and every time, you are good. If not, change. Choose wisely or stick to photos of your dinner.
Well, those are the guidelines I live by. I have failed but picked myself up again.
Please, no tips. But I do accept frequent flyer miles.
What tips would you add? Let me know in the comments below.