These days, Instagram is the go-to destination for travel inspiration. There’s an endless amount of travel accounts that’ll make you want to jump on the next flight. These accounts will leave you with a serious case of wanderlust, but you’re not complaining. Instagram is a great resource to discover new destinations and even learn what to wear on your long-haul flight. It’s an exciting platform to consume travel content, but what happens when you want to be a creator? Here are some of the best tips to starting a successful travel Instagram from someone who has been there, done that.
I started my travel Instagram page almost five years ago, and I’ve loved every minute. I’ve grown a community of nearly 35,000 followers, and I couldn’t be prouder. I feel lucky to be able to share my experiences around the world with people who are just as obsessed with travel as I am. I’ve dedicated a lot of time and effort into creating travel content that will inspire people to take action beyond double tapping a photo.
As a result, I’ve been able to turn Instagram friends into real-life friends and collaborate with a variety of well-known brands. I’ve learned so much along the way, and I have some tips for anyone who wants to start a travel Instagram in 2019.
1Gain Travel Experience
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Havana hard time deciding where to go next year! This time last year, I booked a solo trip to Cuba for 2 weeks! To this day, one of the most raw travel experiences I’ve ever had…in a country that operates much diffferently than my own. . . With that being said, I need your help! I don’t have many travel plans within the next year. Where should I go in 2019? Where are you headed? Here are some places I have in mind so far . . New cities in Mexico Japan India(again, but this time solo???? Idk) Nepal Sri Lanka Turkey Norway Iceland(again) US cities A Variety of African Countries(been to Morocco, South Africa & Swaziland, but would like to increase that) . Im VERY open! And I’m thinking about letting you all choose at least one of my destinations, so help me out!!
Gaining travel experience is the most important step to starting a successful travel Instagram. I spent several years saving up to make travel a reality in my life — traveling on a budget, being a digital nomad, and planning my own trips. Now, I have the knowledge and expertise to provide information and inspiration in each area.
Instead of focusing on creating content, I lived in the moment and traveled authentically. These experiences left me with plenty of unique stories to tell and a lot of advice to share.
You may be worried that you don’t have the time or budget to travel frequently, but that isn’t necessary. You can take advantage of weekends, use the time off that you do have to plan trips, and can even plan staycations. Find unique ways to showcase restaurants, sights, and activities in your hometown or a nearby destination.
2Find Your Niche
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“And perhaps it will be here, In your unknowns, You learn the art of becoming Perhaps you will learn to see that In order to bloom, You did not need all of those other things You thought you would need. You will find You needed sun You needed rain You needed endless grace To remind you that here, In your unknowns You were still Able to truly grow” – @morganharpernichols . . Thank you @gadventures for helping me find my balance in the midst of the unknown. #gwellness #selfcare [sp] …………… This is at Místico Arenal National Park, where you can walk through a series of hanging bridges to observe the rainforest canopy. The bridges are long and wobbly, definitely not for the faint of heart. Check my IG stories to see behind the scenes. #whpnaturallight #ongooglemaps
Do you want to share your spontaneous adventures with your followers, or would you rather showcase your fashion on-the-go? There are so many travel-related topics that you can discuss and it helps to find a niche. For example, I spent two years traveling solo, so I share tips that empower women to adventure alone.
Finding a niche will help you establish your voice. If you can establish yourself as an expert in a few areas, then your audience will know what to expect. They will come to trust you to provide more information and inspiration. When they need inspiration about how to plan their first solo trip or what to wear to their beach vacation, they’ll know exactly where to look.
3Learn Photography Basics
Instagram is a visual platform, first and foremost. You don’t necessarily need to be a professional, but it certainly helps to have eye-catching photos and a cohesive feed.
Scroll through your favorite Instagram pages to gain photo inspiration. You can watch YouTube videos to learn about photography basics such as the rule of thirds and golden hour. You can quickly edit your photos with cool apps like VSCO and the Lightroom mobile app.
If you truly enjoy taking travel photos, then it may be helpful to invest in quality camera gear to up your game. It will take a significant amount of time to learn photography basics, but it will be worth the effort when you create your very own dreamy Insta feed.
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“So, Who takes your photos if you’re traveling solo?” . Interestingly enough, this is the most common question I receive as a solo traveler. I’ve said it before – but there’s nobody behind the scenes taking my photos, although that would be nice ? . Solo travel is monumental experience for many. It may be your first trip alone, your first trip after a divorce, your first international trip, a birthday trip, or a trip that you’ve spent years saving up for. You may want to share these photos with friends/family who are unable to travel or your grandkids years down the road. It’s one thing to have a mediocre landscape photo that can be found on Google, but it’s another thing to have a personalized photo of YOUR trip. With all of this in mind, I can definitely understand the desire to have gorgeous photos that encapsulate your experience – especially since you’re the only person who will be re-living it. . . .I’m not a fan of selfies or tripods, so I’ve gotta get creative to get my shots. I’m currently settled for the next month or so, so I’ve got nothing but time to finish up overdue blog posts. Tomorrow I’ll be sharing an in depth blog post about how I get beautiful photos as a solo traveler, how I edit, which gear I use, how to find your angles, some go-to poses, $45 discount on photo shoots, basic photography tips, and how NOT to let photography/social media ruin your trip, etc. . . This one was taken by a stranger, a hotel employee with less than three attempts. I use a sony a6000, my iPhone 7 Plus, and Lightroom mobile to edit my photos! In the next few posts, I’ll be sharing how i each photo was taken – in detail, so that you can understand what actually goes on behind the scenes. Do you struggle with getting decent photos while traveling alone…or heck, even with friends? Do you have trouble editing or knowing which gear to use? Ask me anything photo related – I want to make sure I have everything covered in this blog post so you can always reference it!
Creating a successful travel Instagram isn’t as simple as posting cool photos. People need to be able to discover you in order to follow along.
You can implement relevant hashtags and use location tagging so that people can find your feed. When you use hashtags like #wearetravelgirls and #passionpassport, there’s a chance that your photos will be asked to be reposted to large travel accounts for more exposure. You can also create a community by showing love to other likeminded travelers, and making an effort to engage with the people who are already following you.
Use other social media sites and blogs to direct people to your Instagram page, so that they can follow along with your journey. Craft an Instagram bio that captures your personality and tells people what they can expect when they follow your page.
5Establish A "Why"
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GOD IS LOVE This is the message that you’ll see and feel at Salvation Mountain, a man made site dedicated to visibly sharing his love for God. You can drive nearly 2 hours outside of Palm Springs to see the artists’ home and the masterpiece that he’s created as a tribute to God. The artist has spent years painting Bible verses, rainbows, flowers, and other symbols that make this masterpiece what it is today and remind me of my childhood Bible study days. If anything, this is what I know to be true. Talk about a labor of love! Have you heard of Salvation Mountain? Keep a look out on for my stories where I’ll post more photos! ##ongooglemaps
So, why do you want to create a travel Instagram? It’s important to know the purpose behind the feed.
Do you want to inspire others with your scenic photography? Do you want to encourage others to plan their own trips? Do you want to connect with likeminded people? Having a "why" will help you establish a vision, spread your wings, and fly.
I’ve had my Instagram for five years. I’m reminded of my "why" every time I receive a message from someone who says that I inspired them to book their first solo trip.
A travel Instagram can bring so much more creativity and community into your life, so what are you waiting for?
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