Filtered Travel: 4 Ways to Instagram-Plan Your Vacation

Filtered Travel: 4 Ways to Instagram-Plan Your VacationI’m scrolling through my Instagram feed, sipping on a beer from a brewery in Oakland, California, strolling the streets of Bucharest, Romania and even sinking my toes into the turquoise shores of Thailand. Sure, I’m just the viewer of these experiences, but Instagram provides a venue for travel planning assistance and inspiration guidance. Instagram has become a venue for documenting every aspect of life, from selfies to the places that take your breath away. Filter or no filter, Instagram is perfectly suited for travelers looking to plan or those who are actually traveling currently. Just as other social media platforms like Twitter and Pinterest can be useful for trip planning, here are a few tips to help you use Instagram to enrich your travels.

Follow The Tourism Boards of Where You Are Headed: If you are planning a trip to virtually anywhere in the world, most likely that destination has an Instagram account. While many people still use guidebooks to plan their trips, the tourism board’s Instagram account can be a gold mine to help you start figuring out where you want to go, some places you might not have known you wanted to visit in the first place. Before you take off or even begin planning, find the tourism boards you are visiting to provide daily, sometimes hourly, shots of where you could plan your trip around.

Know Your Hashtags: In order to effectively use Instagram for your travel planning and inspiration, you have to know how to search for hashtags. Some of the most popular travel hashtags include #instatravel #travel and #adventure. However, these hashtags might lead you to destinations that won’t necessarily help you plan your trip to Paris. Rather, you should search for Instagram photos featuring hashtags specifically related to where you are going. This could lead you to more local views of where to go and what to see at your destination.

Compose an Instagram Feed of Actual Travelers: On my own Instagram account, I try not to follow too many personal accounts of friends, but rather I follow mostly people who travel for a living. If you don’t want to be without seeing your friends' selfies, you can always create an Instagram account where you specifically focus on your travels. By just having travelers in my feed, I have often found places that I want to go to as a result, ones that I didn’t even know existed.

Engage For More Information: You can certainly compose a travel feed of people to follow and never interact with them. However, if you really want to use Instagram to enrich your travels, you need to get curious. If someone just posts a beautiful photograph with no description, comment on the photo and ask where it was taken. Interacting with more travelers, especially local bloggers living in your trip destination, you just might find some friends to meet up with over coffee in new lands or even more details on what you should see, where you should go and perhaps most importantly, what you should eat.

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