5 Reasons You Should Use The Instagram Community When You Travel
In this world of social media, we rarely think twice about pulling out our phones to post a photo. Now it’s time to start using Instagram to your advantage when you travel.
I’ve been an active Instagrammer for over two years now, and one thing I’ve learned about this particular form of social media is that the Instagram community is one that every traveler can and should use to enhance their time abroad.
The great thing about Instagram is that it is truly worldwide. There are “Instagrammers” everywhere sharing photos of their cities or even more common, posting pictures of their food (don’t deny it – you sometimes do it too). The sheer number of accounts and posts, however, can make it daunting when you first decide to use Instagram to help you when travelling.
Here are a few aspects of Instagram you should definitely check out before starting your adventure:
– The official tourism account for the city: these accounts, which can be easily found by a quick Google search, are run by a city’s tourist information office and feature beautiful images of iconic locations as well as tips for what to do while on your trip. For example: @paris_tourisme, @inside_vancouver and @sydney
– The “igers(name of city)” account: these accounts are run by local photographers, and feature more artistic photography from the city. The moderators also organise meetups for groups of Instagrammers. For example: @igersamsterdam, @igerslondon, and @igerssf
– Local photographers from the city: some of my favourite ways to get inspiration before I travel is to check out the accounts of local photographers. Here are a couple of my favourites: Amsterdam – @brian_sweet, New York City – @ceos_downbeat, and Tokyo – @yuma1983
– Travel accounts: run by travellers and communities across the world, these accounts will never fail to create a sense of wanderlust. For example: our very own @officialcollegetourist, @polkadotpassport, and @theoutbound
– Locations: checking out the photos from different locations is a great way to see what normal people living or visiting the city are posting about their day-to-day lives. For example: The Trevi Fountain (Rome), Time Square (NYC) and The British Museum (London).
Why you should use the Instagram community when you travel:
1. The locals know the best spots to visit and take photos
Just like you know the most photogenic places to visit in your hometown, the locals in the places you’re traveling to know the best places in their cities. Local photographers and the “igers” account may give you good ideas of where sources of hidden beauty lie in their cities. Whether that be a back alley with beautiful graffiti or the perfect bar from which to see the city’s skyline, locals know the hidden not-to-miss places you should visit. Make the most of this community during the planning stages of your trip so you can use your time effectively as soon as you arrive in your destination.
2. Meetups are great ways of getting to know your destination…
If you’re lucky enough to be in a city when an Instameet is being organised, definitely see if you can tag along. Meetups are normally advertised on the “igers” page for the city and often involve photo-walks with other Instagrammers with stops along the way to take photos at the best locations. My first Instameet was in Amsterdam for Worldwide Instameet 11, with almost 100 Instagrammers showing up to explore the city together. We started off the afternoon at the Eye Film Museum then walked around the center of the city, stopping along the way to get drinks at a cute cafe and pausing at the most picturesque locations to take pictures.
3. …And are a great way to meet some awesome people!
If you do manage to attend an Instameet of any kind, don’t be afraid to talk to the other Instagrammers – from what I’ve experienced they’re a friendly bunch of people and often have wonderful stories to share. A lot of the people who turn up to meetups are probably like you: they enjoy taking pictures, meeting new people and exploring cities. Whenever a group of like-minded people get together, you’re bound to have fun. Swap Instagram handles with the people you meet to see the photos they post of the Instameet as well as whatever else they like to photograph. Who knows, maybe you’ll be completely inspired by someone you meet!
4. Find out about unique events, exhibitions and special offers
Both the official and “igers” account for a city are likely to post photos with information about special events or exhibitions that are going on in their city. Take advantage of this insider’s knowledge – these events may not always be advertised to everyone!
5. It’s a great way to get your photos noticed by others in the travel community
If you enjoy sharing photos from your travels, using the Instagram community is a great way of getting yourself and your photos noticed by other travellers and photographers. “Igers” accounts have their own hashtags which you can put on your Instagram photos and if you’re lucky you may have your photo featured on their page. Additionally, community travel accounts feature travel photography from around the world. It’s time to start tagging and get noticed! Don’t forget to tag all your travel photos with #collegetourist for a chance to be featured on our Instagram!
So what are you waiting for? It’s time to get on Instagram and start using it to plan an epic adventure for your next holiday! Grab your phone and your camera and get out there to get some great shots and meet some fun people!