Before Facebook and Twitter, families traveled based on limited resources. For adventurous people who love to explore, they took on the tasks of researching the destinations that might seem to fit their interests. They would also have to make sure all the accommodations were appropriate for their family, which usually resulted in a lot of phone calls and wishful thinking.

For the not-so-adventurous, families were confined to what they knew. Trips were often to the same spot time after time, like to the nearest beach. What gained the title of “tradition” was really often a result of not having more information about other places to go.

Then came the internet! And as the internet grew, so did our travel options. Suddenly it became easier to do your own research.

We can look up any city and what they have to offer. We can arrange hotel reservations, plane tickets and car rentals all online.

Now we can explore everything this country has to offer from the Grand Canyon, to the world’s biggest ball of string.

Here’s the tough part, where do you start?

Before the internet, we asked our friends and family. Now? Now you have hundreds, maybe thousands of people at your fingertips! And not just local people, but also people that live where you may want to go.

Social media has given us the opportunity to connect with the world. You can not only get recommendations of where to go, you can get personal opinions on the best family-friendly places to stay, plus the best tourist stops to make.

Talking to so many people can result in finding out the little treasures a town has to offer, like that small diner that no one knows about, but serves the best clam chowder you’ll ever eat.

When you have an idea of where to go, check out the city, hotel or other relevant businesses for Twitter and Facebook pages, as well as hotel blogs. They’ll not only have helpful information, you might just come across a promo code or special discount. And in today’s economy, every family needs to save a few dollars.

While the internet has made family travel planning easier, social media has upped the ante to making it simple and even fun. Being able to find the best vacation for you and your family is a wonderful thing, but being privy to other people’s experiences can help you avoid the hazards you might not have known about so your family vacation can be a true respite.