One of the challenging and intimidating parts of trip planning can be finding things to do. I have several different methods for gathering ideas of what to do when exploring a new place, and today, I’ll dive into one of them: Instagram!
I have found Instagram to be useful in planning travel in three ways. I’ll dive deeper into each way here!
- General travel accounts
- Specific travel destinations
- See a sight through other’s Instagram lens
General Travel Accounts
General travel accounts can be great for gaining exposure to all the great places that are out there to explore! I follow these just to find out about cool places that I may not have even been aware of. Here are some of my favorites:
- The Bucket List Family: @thebucketlistfamily
- Lonely Planet: @lonelyplanet
- National Geographic Travel: @natgeotravel
- Conde Nast Traveler: @cntraveler
- Rick Steves Europe: @ricksteveseurope
Specific travel destinations
Once you settled on a travel destination, search for Instagram accounts for that place. There will likely be at least one from the tourist bureau for the city. These are great for getting ideas of things to do as they will highlight different sights and areas of the city or country. They’ll likely highlight at least a few lesser known gems that you might not have otherwise found. It will also get you excited for your trip! I usually unfollow them once my trip is complete, but you could continue following if you want little reminders of what a great time you had! When trying to find an account to follow, some things to look for are the number of followers (50k or more likely means they’ll post regularly), if there is a little blue checkmark by an account indicating it is a verified account (definitely not necessary for a good account, but is a good indicator), and if their past posts look interesting to you!
Examples of accounts I’ve followed:
- Spain (Official Instagram of Tourism in Spain): @spain
- Kauai Visitors Bureau: @kauaidiscovery
- Tourism Ireland: @tourismireland
- Icelandair: @icelandair
To find, use the magnifying glass at the bottom of Instagram to enter the “search” section and use the bar at the top to enter a location (Ireland, for example). Then click the “People” tab below the search bar to narrow the search to Instagram accounts, as opposed to posts or tags.
See a sight through other’s Instagram lens
At an even more specific level, you can search Instagram for photos tagged at a certain location. Search for a location you’re interested in, and see what pictures people have taken there. This could help determine if a sight is worth a visit, or maybe even give you a different perspective to take it in from once you do visit. To find, use the magnifying glass at the bottom of Instagram to enter the “search” section and use the bar at the top to enter a location (Waimea Canyon, for example). Then click the “Places” tab below the search bar to narrow the search to locations and select the one your are looking for. This will display top and recent posts tagged at that location.
Give these tips a whirl and see if they help you plan your next trip!