Siblings Used An Amazon Gift Card To Tip Their Server & TikTok Is Divided Over It

The holiday season can really put a dent in your wallet, and there’s a chance that sometimes, you might be out of cash but flush with gift cards.

That’s precisely what happened to a sibling trio on TikTok during a recent trip to a Korean BBQ spot in California.

Kaitlyn and Gustavo Lombera, along with their older sister, decided to grab some food together but found themselves in a pickle when they had no spare change left to pay their tip.

The siblings posted about the awkward moment on TikTok, in a video that shows them leaving a $25 Amazon gift card on top of their almost $100 bill.


holidays left us #broke 😮‍💨😮‍💨

The caption read: “holidays left us #broke.”

To be fair, they asked the waitress first if she’d accept her tip in gift card format, the siblings told BuzzFeed. The server was totally OK with it and even thought it was funny, they said.

However, other TikTok users were torn over how they felt about paying with a gift card. Many who identified as service industry workers said they’d love to get a gift card as a tip, while others thought it was a cheap move.

One commenter said: “I’m a bartender. I WOULD HAVE LOVED THAT AS A TIP!!! 😁😁😁”

Another agreed and even pointed out that the $25 gift card was probably more than she would get in tips anyways.

“Also that $25 gift card is not taxable. You get that money all for you,” said another person in the comments.

However, not everyone agreed with the move.

One person said: “I didn’t think it was bad till I saw the bill. ‘We didn’t have money for a tip,’ you should’ve put some food down then.”

Other people also brought up the hefty bill and questioned why they were unable to pay the tip.

“Really?! The receipt says it cost $95, and he couldn’t afford to tip her $10 like wow.”

Many people came to their siblings’ defence and pointed out that tips are up to the guest, so a gift card should be more than acceptable.

“It blows my mind that people get angry at customers for not tipping them, rather than be mad at companies for not paying a livable wage,” one person wrote.

Another person joked that the card might be nearly empty. “Gift card has $0.37 in it,” they wrote.

One user who claimed to be the restaurant owner’s son even joined in on the fun.

“LMAO that’s my dad’s restaurant!” he wrote. “Hope you guys enjoyed.”

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Sneaky TikTok tip shows how to cram in extra baggage on budget flights

A TikTok user has gone viral for her creative tip on how to avoid paying for extra baggage on budget flights.

“My flight is in three hours, let’s see how this goes!” user Ayo, who posts as @Ayotothe, captioned her video.

In the video, she calls out two specific US budget airlines for their added baggage fees, saying “Trying the Spirit and Frontier hack, cos I ain’t tryna pay $60 for a carry on”.

She then goes on to show how you can remove the stuffing from a standard travel neck pillow in order to fill the casing with extra baggage.

She says she got the tip from TikTok in the first place, writing “A few weeks ago I saw a TikTok hack for the airlines that don’t let you carry on a bag.

“Instead you can use a travel pillow as additional storage.”

Spirit Airlines charges between $55 and $100 for a carry-on bag added on at the airport, depending on whether passengers already have a checked bag. Meanwhile, Frontier charges $60 for a carry-on checked at the airport (fees are usually slightly cheaper for carry-on bags booked in advance online).

However, most airlines will allow a neck pillow free of charge, and do not count it as a baggage item.

She credits her travel pillow to US drugstore Walgreens, saying she bought it for $9 (£6.57), and pointing out the zip where the inner filling can be removed.

Ayo then fills the emptied neck pillow with the clothes she couldn’t fit in her suitcase.

“I’m going to Vegas so ya girl needs options!” she adds.

“Here’s my luggage,” she says, showing a standard backpack and the neck pillow. “Let’s see if I make it on without paying.”

In a follow-up video, Ayo says: “So for those that care, yes, I did make it on the plane and did not have to pay extra”.

She also responded to follower comments asking why she had bothered to get around the baggage fees.

“Some of you were saying in the comments, you know, why don’t you just pay for a more expensive flight, this is too much work…”

“One: it took me five minutes to do.

“Also, I live in the Bay Area, I was going to Vegas, it was an hour flight. There’s no reason, if you live that close, why you should pay $300 for a flight when you could take one of the budget airlines.

“So try a little travel hack, like a pillowcase or this travel pillow one.”

In September, fellow TikTok star Anya Iakovlieva went viral for going one step further and stuffing a full-sized bed pillowcase with clothes in order to take more belongings on holiday.

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TikTok star claims too have ‘genius’ packing hack for extra luggage on Ryanair flights

A TIKTOK influencer claims she’s found the perfect packing hack for getting extra luggage on a Ryanair flight.

Kristen Black shared a video on Tiktok showing how she managed to sneak extra clothes and souvenirs onto the budget airline.

Kristen Black has shared a Tiktok video revealing how she takes extra luggage on a Ryanair flight


Kristen Black has shared a Tiktok video revealing how she takes extra luggage on a Ryanair flight
She hides her souvenirs under her hat and wraps extra clothes into a jumper that she ties around her neck


She hides her souvenirs under her hat and wraps extra clothes into a jumper that she ties around her neck

She first laid a big jumper down on the floor and placed a few items of clothing on top of it.

Then she rolled the jumper into a tube shape, with the extra clothes tucked y inside.

She then used the sleeves to tie the jumper around her neck, pretending it was a ‘neck pillow’.

Her final piece of advice was to balance a souvenir she had just bought in the airport on her head, and then put a hat on top to keep it in place.

The video has been watched more than 9m times, and has been hugely popular with people keen to get their hands on a travel hack.

One person commented: “This is genius.”

Another wrote: “As a former employee of them please do it, they overcharge for luggage so you do you.”

Although not everyone was convinced by the practicality of the tip, including us here at Sun Online Travel – the Ryanair cabin crew are a sharp bunch, who are used to passengers trying to game the hand luggage system.

We’re pretty sure they’d notice if someone was wearing a weekend’s worth of clothes around their neck.

TikTok users were mainly concerned about losing their belongings.

One person wrote: “All fun and games until you leave a trail of your scants across the terminal,” and another added: “I’ll forget I have the souvenirs in the hat and will lose them…”

Another Tiktok user recently shared a tip on how she always takes an extra bag on flights for free.

One woman also claimed she had a way to get extra hand luggage on a flight, at no extra cost.

The video has been watched more than 9m times


The video has been watched more than 9m times
Woman reveals hack to get extra hand luggage on a flight

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5 TikTok travel hacks to save travelers money on bags, seats, and neck pillows

TikTok is an addictive, one-stop shop for on-demand entertainment, but it doesn’t have to be mindless. The app is full of useful tips for everyday life, including travel hacks. Once the algorithm
realizes that you are into travel content, your feed will start filling with dreamy drone footage of far-off destinations alongside tips and tricks for making your trips cooler, cheaper or more comfortable.

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TikTok star’s first class travel hack leaves flyers furious

A former flight attendant and TikTok influencer has ruffled feathers among business class flyers with her latest travel tip.

In a video titled Three Airplane Hacks, Kat Kamalani gives her top behind-the-scenes flying tips such as how to find a secret toilet compartment that holds sanitary pads and tampons, and never accepting a first offer when being compensated for an oversold flight.

But it was her second tip that caught commenters’ attention.

“Everyone always thinks that [economy flyers] can’t use the first class bathroom, but you totally can – as long as you’re not standing in the galley, you’re free to use their lavatory,” she says.

Posted on Thursday, the video has already had more than 20,000 views and 3,300 likes.

But some in the comments section felt her toilet tip made a mockery of the upgrade from economy to business.

“You are actually teaching pax [passengers] how to abuse airport staffs? Seriously?” wrote a fellow flight attendant, Marvin Gil Yu.

Others disagreed, with one user saying “Easy there about using the FC lavs… try pulling that on most carriers and it won’t go over so well.”

The debate over whether customers from economy or premium cabins should be able to use business or first class toilets has been a touchy subject for years, with many big-spending business clients feeling that they shouldn’t have to share.

After United officially changed its staff guidelines in 2020 to allow passengers to use any aeroplane bathroom on a flight, frequent flyer blog God Save the Points opened up the debate to its commenters.

“Not too happy about this change as a 1K with United,” wrote one reader.

“A large part of my reason for maintaining 1K status and paying $$$ for flights is more privacy and space.”

The writer of the blog post agreed, saying: “Totally with you. I’m a traveller in both cabins often. I value it when I’m in first, and respect it when I’m in coach.”

“Absolutely opposed to this,” wrote another reader.

There are several perks to using a business or first class bathroom – for one, with fewer passengers seated in that section of the cabin, it gets used less throughout the flight.

But many airlines also provide better quality hand soap and often moisturiser, while some premium airlines have floral arrangements, fabric hand towels, illuminated make-up mirrors and changing areas.

Airlines generally ask flyers to use the bathroom in the cabin they’re seated in, but most will also turn a blind eye to customers using a bathroom in another cabin, particularly if there are queues in the aisle or other toilets are in use.

However, it’s not a hard and fast rule – in 2019, an Alaskan Airlines flight made an emergency landing after a dispute between crew and a passenger over whether they could use the first class toilet turned ugly.

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5 Travel Safety Tips According to TikTok to Use on Your Next Vacation

4. Make copies of all important documents.

Whether you’re traveling alone or in a group, make copies of all important documents such as passports, immunization records, and your social security card. TikTok user Kendra Okereke says that she keeps multiple copies on her while traveling in different places, like in her suitcase and on her personally. She then keeps the original documents in a locker.

The TikToker also tells her followers that she carries pepper spray on her at all times, never carries large sums of money, and does not give out any personal information.

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TikTok hand gesture leads to Kentucky officers rescuing NC teen

Laurel County Police said a person reported a tip of a girl using a hand gesture made popular on TikTok led to the arrest. She was reported missing Nov. 2.

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — A man was arrested after a 16-year-old girl who was reported to be missing was found in his car. The Laurel County Sheriff’s Office said they were able to arrest the man after a tip was received of a girl giving hand gestures to represent domestic violence made popular from TikTok.

The sheriff’s office confirmed the arrest of 61-year-old James Brick happened on I-75 at KY 80 Nov. 4. Police said the person who reported the tip was behind Brick’s car. 

As Brick continued to travel on I-75, the person followed him giving officers an update on the location and description of his car.

Investigators positioned themselves at an exit in London to wait for the suspect vehicle and were advised by the tipster the vehicle was exiting the interstate. Laurel Sheriff’s detectives and deputies conducted a traffic stop and an investigation on its occupants.

It was learned through the girl had been reported missing by her parents out of Asheville, North Carolina. The girl told investigators she had gotten with Brick and traveled through multiple states.

During the investigation deputies also located a phone in the possession of Brick allegedly portraying another girl in a sexual manner. 

James Brick has been charged with unlawful imprisonment and possession of matter sex performance by a minor over the age of 12 but under age 18. 

He is currently being held at the Laurel County correctional center. The investigation is ongoing.

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Newsroom – American Airlines Takes TikTok to New Heights with Free Inflight Access for Customers

  • Only on American: Free access to TikTok
  • More than dance videos — customers can find travel inspiration, off-the-beaten-path locations, and travel tips

FORT WORTH, Texas — American Airlines, which has the fastest Wi-Fi on more aircraft than any other U.S. carrier, just added TikTok to its roster of free inflight offerings. Without having to purchase Wi-Fi, customers traveling on Viasat-equipped narrowbody aircraft can get 30-minutes of free access to TikTok, an entertainment platform powered by a global community of creatives. This is a promotional offering beginning Aug. 2, 2021.

“Faster Wi-Fi allows us to deliver diverse inflight entertainment options and invest in innovative partnerships with platforms like TikTok,” said Clarissa Sebastian, American’s Managing Director of Premium Customer Experience and Onboard Products. “Customers play the lead role in helping us better understand what content they want during their inflight experience and TikTok is one of the platforms they love on the ground, and we’re thrilled to work with Viasat to give customers free access to TikTok while they’re in the air as well.”

A beginner’s guide to TikTok on American

What is TikTok? Available as a mobile app and on a desktop, TikTok is on a mission to inspire creativity and bring joy through short-form videos. While a hit with GenZ thanks to its dance challenges and lip-sync videos, the platform has something for everyone — from tech-savvy teens to those who were born at a time when you only had landline phones at home.

How it works: Enable airplane mode and connect to the “AA-Inflight” signal. Once connected, customers will be redirected to, the Wi-Fi portal. Simply click on the TikTok ad for free access to the platform. Pro tip: If you are not a TikTok user, you can connect to while inflight and download the app without having to pay for Wi-Fi.

Once logged in to TikTok, customers can search for popular video creators, their favorite topics or even hashtags like #travel, #traveltips, or #traveltheworld to view related video content for travel and adventure enthusiasts.

When exploring TikTok, here’s what you’ll find:

  • Travel inspiration, off-the-beaten-path locations and travel tips
  • Animal and nature videos
  • Comedians and pop culture experts
  • Sports, classic car videos and car tips
  • Music and dance trends
  • Wellness tips and beauty tutorials
  • Career advice for summer internships, resume building and finance

Trials like this one and others that customers traveling on Viasat-equipped narrowbody flights have free access to, like Facebook Messenger and Messenger Kids, help American evaluate offerings to ensure the best experience for customers throughout their journey.

All Inflight entertainment is free

All inflight entertainment onboard American flights is free, including a library of more than 600 movies and TV shows and a collection of educational tools on American’s new Lifestyle inflight entertainment channel, featuring exclusive partners Rosetta Stone and Skillshare.

American works with its Employee Business Resource Groups — 20 groups made up of more than 26,000 American Airlines team members that represent different backgrounds, cultures, and experiences — to highlight movies that celebrate diversity across its inflight entertainment.

About American Airlines Group
American’s purpose is to care for people on life’s journey. Shares of American Airlines Group Inc. trade on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol AAL and the company’s stock is included in the S&P 500. Learn more about what’s happening at American by visiting and connect with American on Twitter @AmericanAir and at

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TikTok star Jesús Morales gives away $1,000 tips to street vendors

During Hispanic Heritage Month, TODAY is sharing the community’s history, pain, joy and pride. We are highlighting Hispanic trailblazers and rising voices. TODAY will be publishing personal essays, stories, videos and specials throughout the month of September and October. For more, head here.

Feeling unfulfilled with his content, 24-year-old social media star, Jesús Morales, known as @juixxe online, turned to TikTok last summer looking for inspiration. That’s when he came across other users on the platform raising money from their followers to give out generous tips to food service workers during the pandemic.

“I remember just sitting there thinking, ‘Wow, I wish I could do that, but I want to do it for street vendors and I want to give them thousands of dollars,'” Morales told TODAY Food. “That would be so amazing.'”

Jesús Morales, aka @juixxe on TikTok, poses with street food carts.Leo Gonzalez

A year later, Morales has been able to raise $135,000 to support over 90 street vendors in Southern California thanks to the generosity of his 1.3 million followers on TikTok. Now, he hopes other people will take inspiration from his work and support their local vendors however they can.

Taking $100 out of his own pocket, Morales began filming his donation videos in August 2020 by handing the tip to a local street vendor in San Diego and recording his reaction. The vendor was in complete shock and fell to his knees and thanked him. “In that moment, (with) the way he reacted, I just knew I wanted to do it over and over again,” Morales said. From there, he started driving around San Diego in search of more vendors to support.

Morales recalls how his family taught him the power of giving from an early age. His parents, who immigrated to the U.S. from San Luis Potosí, Mexico, took service and auto industry jobs with the goal of working their way up and achieving the American dream. Despite the hardships, Morales remembers how his family still managed to visit their homeland every year and bring boxes of unused clothes and other items to those in need.

“They always had someone they could give things to,” Morales explains. “So and so could use this, so and so could use that. I think that’s where the inspiration (to give) came from.”

As the views on his tip videos began to rise, the more and more people began to donate directly to Morales though the Venmo and CashApp linked in his social media bios. Gradually, $100 tips turned into $200, then $500 and eventually the donations snowballed into the $1,000 the tips are today.

Morales then realized he could support more people in Los Angeles where street vendors are more common. Now, he typically takes trips to LA, driving around different neighborhoods to see who he can tip. His followers will often leave comments on his videos suggesting locations or specific vendors he should visit, and while Morales tries his best to help where he can, he still prefers to tip vendors at random. Often, this means that he never sees the same vendor twice.

“It’s just, you’re a stranger, I’m a stranger and we meet each other in this moment,” Morales explained.

But one instance that particularly stuck with him was with a fruit vender he noticed on the side of a busy street one evening. Morales got out of his car, ordered something and handed him the donation. Filled with gratitude, the vendor grabbed Morales’ shoulder, bowed his head and began praying.

Jesús Morales poses with one of the 90+ food vendors he’s been able to support through crowdfunding on TikTok.Courtesy Jesús Morales

“It was just a timeless moment I just had to soak in. Those words he was saying were just so powerful,” said Morales. “He was praying for me and my family and everyone who contributed. (They were) words I’ll never forget.”

But, Morales explained, not all reactions are the same. He still encounters vendors that are skeptical about why they’re receiving such a large tip, which is why he takes the time to explain how the money is crowdfunded online from supportive strangers.

“It goes to show how humble and hardworking street vendors are and it speaks volumes about the Latino and Hispanic community,” Morales said.

Transparency is one of the main reasons he believes that his initiative has become so successful. People can see the money being physically handed to someone and their immediate reactions in his videos. But above all, the safety and dignity of the person who receives the tip is his main priority. That’s why Morales never shows the vendors’ faces. He explains that most people don’t understand the hardships street vendors go through, especially when experiencing theft or facing harassment from people who want to cause them harm.

“Every vendor sells with a purpose. I just want people to know that these are real lives, these are real human beings who are just trying to make an honest living,” he added. “If you can leave a tip, $2, $3, anything, it helps. At the end of the day, you’re supporting a hardworking individual that may be working to support their family or (pay off) bills.”

Morales dreams to one day travel across the U.S. handing out donations in different cities. But at the moment, he is taking the process of receiving and handing out donations day by day.

“Who knows (what will happen),” he continued. “This just started about a year ago and I am incredibly blessed and thankful that we’ve received so much support to this day. I can only imagine what we can do in another year.”


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Your best travel tip just came from TikTok

The most viewed TikTok video of all time shows a young man, dressed up as a Hogwarts student, flying a magic broomstick in an industrial park. The 18-second snippet has been watched some 2.2 billion times.

But TikToks about travel haven’t taken off in the same way. Some reasons are obvious: Pandemic lockdowns have clipped the wings of traveling content makers. There are other reasons: The public appetite for glossy influencers posting jet-setting content from around the world seems to be waning.

Still, some creators have found novel ways to explore places that appeal to the TikTok audience and highlight off-the-beaten-path locations. Now, as people armed with vaccines delve into trip planning, the social media platform may end up changing how people approach travel.

This is especially true for American millennials and Gen Z, who are more likely to be on TikTok than other age groups. This cohort is spending more now, especially on travel and dining, than they were pre-pandemic. Their number presents an opportunity for the massively popular platform, which launched in the U.S. in 2018, hit two billion global downloads last August, and was the most downloaded app in 2020.

It also presents challenges: Can TikTok’s talent for showing unfiltered bursts of life be harnessed to educate travelers without saturating destinations with unwanted attention, potentially leading to overtourism—or worse, sinking into the confusing morass of paid influencers and product placements?

Samanta Rosas, a 28-year-old creator from Houston, believes there’s a way to thread the needle: to produce videos that present destinations authentically, tell engaging little stories, and model responsible tourism. 

On a trip to Mexico City, where she has relatives, Rosas posted a TikTok of Grutas Tolantongo, a resort location with heated pools in a box canyon a few hours north of the capital. While most of her posts get thousands of views, this TikTok, showcasing the area’s natural beauty, struck a chord and eventually received more than 3.5 million views.

“A lot of my family has been there,” she says. “People from Mexico go there, but it’s a hidden gem for tourists.”

(Here’s how you can travel sustainably.)

Surfacing unexpected places

On TikTok, users typically spend time on the “For You” page, an algorithm-driven selection of videos based on what the user has watched in the past. Unlike YouTube or Instagram, which surface specific accounts users already follow, TikTok users interact more with new accounts, creating opportunities for creators to be found by new audiences.

For this reason, unexpected content, like Davud Akhundzada’s videos of his trip to Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, can reach global audiences. Based in Prague, Akhundzada, 27, has run a YouTube account for years, gathering a few thousand followers. But after his TikTok video showing him at the dried-up Aral Sea went viral, he picked up 100,000 new followers in a month.

“Americans are really interested in this geographical area,” Akhundzada says. “And they are interested in a unique story.” While he would love to become a full-time traveler, he does not want to become an Instagram-style influencer, and would make TikToks whether or not they bring him money. “I have zero revenue from TikTok,” he says. “But it’s fun for me.”

Like other social media platforms, TikTok includes users who have made full-time careers posting content by partnering with brands or doing advertisements. Alex Ojeda, who has more than six million followers, is one of them.

Based in Austin, Ojeda, 19, has always loved traveling, but started on the platform doing dances and funny sketches. Eventually he realized that travel could be part of what he shared on his account. His TikTok of a hike up Koko Head Trail, in Oahu, Hawaii, starts with the expected beauty shots at the top, but then shows how hard the climb is to get there. He has since partnered with destinations and says he feels driven to help places bounce back after more than a year of limited business.

But there’s a difference in the feel of TikTok videos—they are looser, and less retouched and idealized. This appeals to travelers now, according to Ellie Bamford of RGA, an innovation consultancy.

“All of our crisis habits have led to permanent shifts in behavior. The perfectly manicured influencer look is suddenly not so appealing—it isn’t in tune with what we were experiencing,” she says. “When it comes to travel, it’s about the culture, what the cuisine is like, how to think about traveling sustainably.”

Celebrating hometowns

On most social platforms, travel problems, such as overtourism, can get glossed over; on TikTok they get called out. One reason for this is that the platform’s audience is generally younger and more socially engaged than on other platforms, according to Joon Park, a senior cultural strategist at Sparks & Honey, a cultural consultancy firm.

“They are concerned about ethical consumerism and travel,” Park says. “TikTok is going to drive responsible tourism, especially in light of a pandemic.”

These concerns have allowed content to flourish from people showing off their hometowns, with authenticity “considered as a status symbol on TikTok,” Park says. “They are local celebrities because of their knowledge of the cities that they inhabit.”

New Orleanian Lansa Fernandez, 24, had been posting about fashion on TikTok but started to focus on his favorite dining spots right before the lockdowns began. His first video, about snacks he ate growing up, got hundreds of thousands of views, thanks to his straight-talking charm. A typical quip: “I know y’all going to judge me, but I don’t really care!” He has since turned more of his attention to highlighting other restaurants in his city, including a quick tour of his favorite vegan spot (“although I’m not even vegan”).

“People don’t want to do the touristy stuff,” he says. “They want the real New Orleans.” Now that the city is opening up, he wants to spotlight clubs that play bounce music, a homegrown style of hip-hop, and other authentic experiences that won’t show up at the top of a YouTube search.

(New Orleans’ historic architecture is uniquely suited for pandemic living.)

One reason for the growth of travel TikToks is that they successfully impart useful advice. After being fully vaccinated, N’Taezha Davis went to Houston last month with a friend and scoured TikTok for ideas. The bars and restaurants the 25-year-old discovered on TikTok—Hungry Like the Wolf, FAO, and Present Company—were all hits. They even impressed the local friend she visited. “She hadn’t heard of any of the places we found,” Davis says.

Davis is now planning a trip to San Francisco with the help of TikTok tips. “TikTok is going to give you the hole-in-the-walls and the mom-and-pop shops that provide more of an experience,” she says. “You find some of the best-kept secrets on TikTok.”

The new travel agent

The easiest way to start travel planning with TikTok is to follow a hashtag, such as #Mexico or #rollercoasters. Not all of what comes up will be about travel, but even locals doing dances or fawning over a movie star can give travelers a sense of the place they are interested in visiting.

(Here’s why planning a trip can help your mental health.)

A whole genre of travel tips can be found under #travelhack, such as Salt Lake City-based flight attendant Kat Kamalani’s series of hotel and airplane hacks. She offers advice on how to check into a hotel safely or what drinks to avoid on planes. (Although some viewers don’t always agree with her tips.) 

Travel brands, destinations, and publishers are in on the action. While this brings a diversity of colorful coverage, users should take note of video sources and potential commercial interests. [Disclosure: TikTok helped National Geographic launch an account this year.]

As TikTok’s algorithm learns more about your preferences, the platform reveals more secrets, in the form of unexpected (and sometimes unvarnished) videos. This serendipitous approach mirrors what makes discovering a new destination so rewarding in the first place. 

Jackie Snow is a technology and travel writer based in Washington, D.C. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

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