Travel TikTok: Overrated Or Underrated?

One of the most popular apps right now, TikTok lets people post short-form videos that last anywhere from 10 seconds to 10 minutes. You never know what will go viral on TikTok but travel Tiktok videos are often a great hit with the audience. In fact, #travel boasts over 100 billion views on the app! If you find yourself on Travel TikTok, you’d often see pristine beaches or rustic wilderness. As with all things on social media, most of these are meticulously filmed to create a curated aesthetic. For tips on filming and videography, check out this Singapore corporate video production company.

To keep things fresh, some travel accounts also animate their videos, with skills that rival professional animation studios. It’s no wonder people fall in love with Travel TikTok and use them to sate their wanderlust. However, is Travel TikTok worth the hype? Do the destinations touted on the app really live up to its expectations? Let’s find out! 

Overrated: Hidden Gems That Are No Longer Hidden

With social media, hidden gems don’t stay hidden for long. Once a “hidden gem” goes viral on TikTok, expect to see throngs of people heading to these places in droves.  

While crowds aren’t always a bad thing, they can be messy. With a few inconsiderate people littering and polluting their surroundings, it’s more than enough to ruin an unspoiled treasure. This was exactly what happened to a lake in New Jersey. 

@dkaur171 #hiddengems #hiddengemsoftiktok #waterfall #WearAMask #FamilyThings #upstate #newjersey #newyork #ny #fyp #naturelover #natureexplorer #learnontiktok ♬ Fantasy – Alina Baraz / Galimatias

Lake Solitude had lived up to its name for decades, offering a quiet getaway for local residents. This was not the case after it went viral on TikTok. Vast groups of visitors started going to the lake, leaving noise and litter in their wake. 

Once pristine, the lake had trash scattered throughout and it was overrun with day trippers from New York City. Eventually, the park had to be shut down due to COVID-19 health precautions.

While this isn’t an issue on TikTok’s part, it shows the damage that social media virality can do for these isolated hidden-gems. 

Overrated: Locations Are Over-Glamorised 

With video editing and filters, any location can look like paradise on TikTok. People are often in for a shock when these locations don’t meet their expectations, which can lead to hilarious results. 

Australian travel blogger, Lena Tuck, saw a hidden, picturesque pool on TikTok and decided to visit it. The pool in question turned out to be a steep trek down a 700m hill and was packed with people. Far from what she had in mind, the pool trip ended in disappointment but it made for a really funny TikTok. 

@lenasdoingthings I got a good pic tho so like it’s fine #canberra #nsw #vlog #instagramvsreality #victoria #australia ♬ original sound – Lena

A dream destination for many, Santorini is heavily depicted on social media. With its iconic blue domes and seaside views, it makes for great pictures! However, this TikTok spoils any illusions about Santorini. 

@thenonstopdreamer Sunsets in Santorini, Greece 🇬🇷is beautiful but also so crowded 🙃 One way to avoid the crowds during sunset is to book a room or hotel with view so you can be in your hotel during that time, thats what we did and it was lovely #igvsreality #tiktokvsreality #santorini #greece #sunset ♬ original sound – Carsyn Yorkoski

It just goes to show that no tourist attractions are safe from crowds. This is also a sign for you to do your research before visiting your next destination! Do not be a victim of a glamorised TikTok video.  

Underrated: Connecting With Like-Minded People 

Travel TikTok may have its flaws but it also presents new opportunities for travel creators. 

Unlike other social media platforms, TikTok’s algorithm doesn’t just push your content to people who already follow you. Based on posts that you’ve previously interacted with or liked, TikTok’s algorithm will start displaying similar content on your feed. This means that you have a more curated feed that’s closely aligned with your interests. 

For creators, this also means that their content gets sent out to people who would be most interested in watching it. From there, they can interact with like-minded people who’d appreciate travel content as well. 

The app also makes it easy to collaborate with fellow travel content creators. With features like TikTok duet, creators can respond to another video and share their thoughts. Although TikTok is more geared towards content creation rather than socialisation, it’s still a useful platform for travel creators to interact with other travellers. 

Underrated: Vicarious Travelling 

Not everyone can afford to travel and TikTok is another platform for people to travel vicariously. Vicarious travelling is not a new concept. Whether it’s through books, films or television, people have often used different mediums as a way to “travel” to new places. They gain pleasure from watching others travel because it feels as though they’re travelling with them.

Travel videos on TikTok are often short and snappy; perfect for people who want a quick dose of travel content. The short timeframe also forces creators to showcase the main highlights of their travels, showing audiences the best of what they have to offer. 

In its own way, travel TikToks make travel accessible to more people and shares the joy of travelling with them. 

So what do you think? Is Travel TikTok worth the hype? 

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