Instagram's latest update is a game-changer for using the app to get inspired for and start planning your next trip. Now you can take the next step from following someone with inspiring pictures to keeping that information for when it's time to go!
Wait, there was an update?? What?!
Yes. While some people recently got the ability to "like" comments with little hearts, more importantly we all got the bookmark feature. Thank you, Instagram! Now I can save taking screenshots for weird Tinder conversations and memes I want to save for later.
The bookmark feature lets you "save" a picture into your bookmarks. You can then access them later from your profile. No one else can see what you saved, so you can hang on to any research you need.
Press the bookmark on the image > go to the bookmark on your profile > voila! All the pictures you've saved.
What do bookmarks have to do with planning for trips?
Ok, now that you know how to bookmark, how can you use it to plan your travels? Personally, I get really inspired during trip planning by seeing pictures that move me. I can read about a place and feel overwhelmed by the options, but doing an image search gives me something specific that I want to see. Before I did most of this on Google because after finding something interesting, I would bookmark it for later. But now, we can do this right in Instagram!
Browse using hashtags
- Look for popular hashtags for the destination you're researching - this might be as broad as the country (#switzerland), down to the city (#interlaken), or something specific you want to do (#paraglidinginterlaken)
- Most locations have tourism boards pushing specific hashtags that visitors use during their trip (e.g. #beautifulthailand)
- If you aren't set on a destination, use broader hashtags like #beachvibes if you want your toes in the sand or #archilovers if you want to find really great architecture on your trip
Browse using locations
- Click the location of the photo to see other images that are associated with it
- Use the search function and click over to Places to see what locations come up
Browse using the accounts you follow
- Follow accounts that not only have great pictures, but give you the details you need to plan from (location, tips, etc.)
- If you really dig a certain account, check out who they follow to see if you can find more great accounts
People love to reminisce back to when they took the photo they shared, so ask questions about it (but read the caption first because it's extra annoying when people ask where something was taken when the photo includes a location or ask about stuff that is specifically addressed in the caption)
Bookmark the photos you're excited about or the ones that have good information in them so you can come back later. Then, when you're ready to start making actual booking plans, you have more than just inspiration - you have specific locations, tours or companies you want to see/do/book with. It's really that easy. Now if Instagram would let us click on profile pictures and use paragraph spacing in posts, it would be complete!
Finding the right accounts
Finding the right accounts to follow isn't just about who posts the best pictures that leave you in awe. You want people with great pictures and videos, but who also are sure to give you the information - tagging the location so you know where it is and giving enough info in the caption that you can do something with it. With that in mind, here are 14 accounts that do just that. These accounts each have something unique to stoke your travel fire, and the information to set plans in motion.
Underwater Exploration | True Nomads
Justin is trying to dive the Top 100 scuba sites in the world and takes incredible underwater shots and videos while he's at it. Through his macro lens, you see more than most of us could see with our own eyes.
A Day in the Life in Asia | Adventures Around Asia
Richelle lives in Beijing and shares pictures from her life there and travels in Asia. From exploring the region to every day life, you feel like you're with her.
Small Traveler, Huge Smiles | Five Foot Traveler
What she lacks in stature, she makes up for in huge smiles all over the world. She's adventured on every continent and clearly has a great time doing it.
Daring Travel | How Dare She
Daring isn't about being fearless, but having the courage to do inspite of fear. This one is mine and I'm headed to every country in the world, sharing not just pictures, but the wins and blunders too.
Read the Caption | Gloria Atanmo
My favorite part of following Glo's travels actually isn't her stunning pictures or ear-to-ear smile; it's her raw story-telling that either has you inspired by her stories, in stitches from her jokes, or cringing at her awkward encounters all over the world. ALWAYS read the caption.
Foodie Travel | Food Fun Travel
Megsy and Tommo whet your appetite for travel and local cuisine at the same time. Do not follow on an empty stomach.
Power Couples | Nomadasaurus and Goats on the Road
How about a couple of couples? Both of these couples have been on the road a LONG time and their photos cover show you a little bit of everywhere. These aren't the kissing pics at the top of the Eiffel Tower type. If you want to travel with an SO and aren't sure if you'd make it, these two twos show that it can be done.
Dog Travels | Cong Mai
Not every picture includes his dog, Riki, but the best ones do. His account might just make you jealous of a dog's passport.
Responsible Travels | Don't Forget to Move
Jules and Christine seem to have gone everywhere, but they make sure to share how to do it responsibly. Plus their drone shots are jaw-dropping.
Adventure Travel | Janet Newenham
Janet is Irish and, it would seem, always on the move. Her gallery contains every color of the rainbow and no shortage of adventures.
Backpacker to the Max | Broke Backpacker
Will isn't your average backpacker, unless you'd expect to find the average backpacker in Iran and Pakistan. He does it on the cheap and in really surprising places.
Solo Female Traveler | Hannah Logan
Hannah is Canadian and spends as much time traveling as she can - whether it's small trips in her home country or months on another continent. She's great for giving you the real deal on her travels and has a not-so-secret wish to be Indi-Hannah Jones.
Solo Male Traveler | Travel Dave
Solo female travelers have been all the rage this year, but the guys are in the game too. Dave is always on the move, with great pictures and tips to show for it.
These are some of my favorite, but the beauty of Instagram is that the options are endless. Everyone listed here is a travel blogger, so their posts are perfect to bookmark since they'll give you details and tips. But go into the internet rabbit hole. Now that you can save posts, it doesn't matter how lost you get while looking for inspiration to get lost.