How to Use Instagram To Travel Better
If you can get past the selfies and overzealous hashtagging, Instagram can be a treasure trove of travel inspiration and insights. Here, we round up our top six tricks for using the platform to travel smarter.
Scope out city IG’ers
There’s no better way to discover a place than through the eyes of a local, which is why following local IG’ers is one of the best ways to use Instagram as a travel resource. How to scope out talent? For starters, browse a few of our favorite ‘Grammers here, then expand your search by researching influencers based in specific locales. For example, you might Google “Best Instagrammers to Follow in San Francisco,” and once you’ve identified a SF-based personality whose interests and aesthetic align with your own, scroll through their feed to discover their favorite local hangouts. And remember: Every time you ‘Follow’ an influencer you like, browse similar talent by scrolling through Insta’s “Recommended” list of accounts.
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Follow tourism boards
Following tourism boards is another easy way to discover the best of a city/country through IG. Simply visit the tourism board site associated with a certain place, then click through to their Instagram account to start getting inspired. Once you’ve arrive at your destination and start posting photos, use the hashtag associated with the tourism board (usually listed in the bio section of their feed) for the chance to be featured on their page. A few of our favorite tourism board accounts are @Australia, @ExploreCanada, and @visitjordan.
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Doesn't this look like the perfect spot for an early morning dip? @caitensphoto had heard a lot of good things about the #CardwellPools, and "just had to check it out for ourselves". You'll find this natural spring-fed spa pool just 10 minutes' drive west of the town of #Cardwell on the @tropicalcoastqueensland. Take the Cardwell Forest Drive, which encompasses 26km of scenic loops that lead you to the spa pool as well as several lovely swimming holes, beautiful waterfalls and excellent picnic spots.
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Shop the content
Let’s say you’re traveling to a foreign city and want to know what kind of fashions you can expect the locals to be wearing. A great way to do this is to identify fashion influencers with a strong sense of place, and then scroll their feeds for wardrobe inspo. With so many fashion Instagrammers using services like LIKEtoKNOW.IT (a platform which allow users to shop products with a tap of a finger), it’s never been easier to reproduce the exact look you see in an image.
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Search geotagged posts
Sometimes, a destination is not exactly how it’s depicted in glossy magazines or dreamy Pinterest boards. To find out what a place actually looks like, consider reffering to the raw IG feed of geotagged posts. (This feature also comes in handy when you’re trying to get a feel for whether a place is safe enough to visit at a particular moment of time). For example, if you wanted to get a sense for the current scene at the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, you might search “#bluemosque” in IG’s search bar, or look up “Blue Mosque” under the “Places” tab.
Watch IG "Stories"
The world is a big place and chances are you won’t be able to experience it all in your lifetime. Enter Instagram’s “Stories,” a Snapachat-like feature that allows users to watch (and post) slideshows of photo and video content that disappears after 24 hours. If you know someone you follow is embarking on a once-in-a-lifetime excursion, you can follow along their adventure in real-time by watching their story. It’s the next best thing to being there.
Follow your favorite travel brands
Have a favorite travel site or magazine? Chances are the brand also has an Instagram. Ahem, Jetsetter