How I use Instagram to enhance my travel experience

by - 18:00

Instagram, the biggest social media platform in 2017. Whilst I use it to share content of myself on my travels, there are ways in which I use the platform to help me in different ways before I travel. Instagram has definitely been taken over by post-uni backpackers trying to show off about their travels - yes, I am one of those people. The hashtag for travel is one of the most used hashtags on the social network too, as well as wanderlust following shortly after.

I don't use Instagram much, I post perhaps once a month, although I often do Boomerangs on my story. When I use Instagram, it is to research and plan my travels. Let's start with the weather - I never know what to pack. Whilst often cheap flights often have limited baggage space, I need to use this wisely and only pack things that I definitely know that I would wear. By searching for the location where you're going into the search bar, take a look at what sorts of clothes people have been wearing the past few days. If you see a big bunch of waterproofs on the feed, then you probably should pack one, or at least an umbrella. If you are brave enough, I have done this a few times - it never hurts to comment and ask what the weather is like (if the sky isn't a big enough clue).

Big tourist cities are often packed with over-priced cafes, restaurants and bars. Sometimes, the best way to find the cheaper, and 'more popular with the locals' kind of cafes are by searching for them on the Gram. There are two ways to do this - first go on TripAdvisor or have a Google for some places you think look great, then search for that location on Instagram. This will bring up photos of the place and if it doesn't look all that great on the Gram, find somewhere new. The second way, is to find a foodie spot and search their name on Instagram. Have a look what people are saying! For example, you are walking past a place called Best Food in Amsterdam - Instagram that location name and see how it looks.

Fancy a night on the town? Search for the club name and watch the Instagram stories from everyone who posted there the night before. What music are they playing? What is the dress code? If they are playing heavy metal and you prefer r'n'b, then maybe it is a good idea to avoid that one. Keep hunting until you find a club that is suitable for you - and make sure it isn't empty either, nobody likes an empty club.

You're on your last day in the city, you have done everything that you want to do and now you're just a little bit stuck on how to spend your day, right? Again, Instagram can help you with this. All you need to do is start searching for your place, lets take Amsterdam again, and see what locations come up. For example, if you search Amsterdam, wait for the options to load and see what Instagram gives you. Amsterdam's Prostitution Museum, Amsterdam's Sex Museum, Amsterdam's this, that and more. Find new places that Google wouldn't have even told you about!


 Ah, my final point that I am definitely, embarrassingly guilty of, as well as most of my friends. Get inspiration from other photos for how you want your photos to look. You're only there once, so why not make the most from your trip by catching your dream photographs. Have a look on Instagram at the location, how are people standing? What backgrounds look good? For us millennials, photos are key to any key fo'sure and you don't want to take a look back on the most amazing trip in 15 years and think, damn that photo could have been way better. No matter how many times someone tells you 'this photo was done first time!', they are most definitely lying. Take a look at the above photos - me, number three, definitely wouldn't have sat on the wall about a million feet off ground unless I saw everyone else doing it.

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