Instagram we all know. It’s a great way to share your photos on what Starbucks missed your name, how wonderful the sunset in South Africa is and how to envy your followers while driving on a cable car through the Costa Rican jungle . But what you might not know is the fact that Instagram can also help you plan your next trip. Here’s how to read:
1. The old trusted hashtag
Let’s start with that old trusted friend: the hashtag! Hashtags are a way to categorize topics, cities, countries and other cool places. Suppose you are interested in going to Asia, but not yet knowing which country. As you search #Asia, for example, you will find a picture of monkeys taking a bath in hot springs and thinking, “That’s the place I want to go!”. As you search for more, for example, using geotags (more on below), you’ll discover that you can find these monkeys, Japanese macaques, in Japan.Then you can discover more cool things with the hashtags #Japan, #Tokyo, #thingstodoinjapan and so on.
2. Location, Location, Location
Using the geotag on Instagram lets you see where a photo has been made and that can provide a lot of inspiration. Let’s say that someone is taking a picture of a very cool graffiti wall and there is “Wynwood Wall” as the location: click on this location and you’ll see that place in Miami. On the basis of this, you can compile a list of must-see for Miami and know for yourself that you have a rough sketch of your itinerary based on your own preferences and interests.
3. Travelers, bloggers, locals
Instagram is full of photos of travelers and travel bloggers. Anyone who searches for a hashtag as #travel or #travelblogger will find millions and millions of accounts (and I will not exaggerate). Instagram also has a cool feature that lets you view the nine most important posts of the day, so you can see which ones are most similar. By clicking on it and continuing a bit further, you will find yourself a new interesting destination or blogger to follow and inspire you. Also locals are interesting to follow. Via geotags, bios and smart keywords like #home you will get them on track.
4. Tourism agencies
Tourism agencies are important in the local tourism industry in many countries and often have their own Instagram account. Cities and countries have their own account like @visitchina or @sydney. These pages provide tips and advice on what to see, do, discover and where to eat and sleep.
5. Get social!
Finally, do not forget where social media are meant for the first time: socialists! Did you find a picture of an impressive destination? Then put some questions in the comments and try some tips. If you do not know the owner of the account but you are in a good mood, send a DM to ask for more information. If the recipient is a blogger, your questions may be inspiration for a new post. You can of course also use your own network: post a photo of your dream destination or the place where you will go next and ask for tips. You never know who can provide you with good advice or who you can propose to a local to truly experience genuine memories during your stay.