How to Use Instagram to Plan Your Next Trip

travel planning apps

I’ve made no secret lately of the fact that I’m obsessed with Instagram, usually using it to drool over doughnuts, artfully placed piles of fried chicken, and charismatic cocktails – seriously, WHEN will scratch and taste apps be a thing?! – but recently I’ve been using the app to do my homework on the places on my travel list. Once I’ve decided on a destination, I usually have a scroll through the ‘gram and see what the place has to offer, and the sweet spots I’ve found haven’t let me down so far. My recent trip to Nashville wouldn’t have been the same without the months that I’d spent lusting over feeds chock fulla pics of amazing corners of the city and adding new eateries, music venues and sights to my ever-growing list, that’s for sure. So if, like me, you love a good Insta-stalk of the cities on your bucket list, why not put your time to good use? Here’s how to plan your next trip’s activities through Instagram…

travel planning apps

Jump on a hashtag

Want to find somewhere tasty to eat? Looking for a place to rest your head? Wondering where the best gin cocktails are? There are hashtags for all of those things, just waiting to be discovered. Just tap into the search section of the app, switch to ‘tags’ and investigate a few hashtags relevant to the place that you’ll be visiting – or keep it general if you haven’t yet picked a place and are looking for inspiration. So for example, for my Nashville visit I found the #nashvilleeats tag pretty darn handy – because I’m always thinking about my stomach…

You’ll usually have a whole feed of images displayed as a result from people who are recommending places they’ve enjoyed or the brands themselves (depending on the size and popularity of the tag), so take some time to scroll through and if something catches your eye, click through and check it out! Being the intuitive app that it is, it even suggests some search results you may be looking for as soon as your start typing. If you click on an image you like, usually the account has mentioned the name of the place they’re at, or has tagged in the location underneath their name.

Stuck for inspiration? Here’s a few popular general tags to get your started: #hotelsandresorts, #hotellife, #beautifulhotels, #greatdestinations, #travelgram, #instatravel, #wheretoeat, #travellingfoodie, #foodadventures, #wanderlust, #ic_thecity, #wheretonext

travel planning apps

Scout location tags

Once you’ve found your cool new place to hang out and are happily snapping your perfect avocado on toast, you’re probably going to want to share it with the rest of the world. You’ve filtered to perfection and are ready to share, during which process you’ll have the option to tag in your location, so that your snap will collect with your fellow avo-lovers’ under one location umbrella. The location will then be displayed on your image under your username, so that when your followers are tempted to check it out for themselves it brings up the location in their Maps app, in the palm of their hands. Useful right?

You can search through locations in the same way that you search hashtags, by clicking through to the search ‘places’ tab and typing in the name of a place you’ve discovered through previous reading or through your hashtag research.

Try it now! Type in the name of that plush hotel you’ve had your eye on and scroll through images by those that have stayed there recently to check out what it’s really like before you splurge.

travel planning apps

Follow a local blogger or tourist board

If there’s anyone that’s going to want to showcase the must-sees (and most Instagrammable spots) in their area, it’s going to be a local blogger – and most of the time they’re a step ahead on new openings and events. I usually find a few bloggers in the local area on Twitter and Bloglovin’ and then check out their Instagram feed for good spots to eat and drink in the area, then get lost down the rabbit hole and keep on clicking through to similar accounts. Nobody knows where to find the prettiest happy hour cocktails better than a super savvy online influencer!

If you’re looking for the more traditional tourist spots, you can’t go wrong with peeking through the pics of the tourist board of the city or country that you’re visiting. They can point you in the direction of cultural hotspots and historical gems to check out when you arrive. Just have a quick Google for the local tourist board and there should be a link to their feed from their site.

Ask in the comments

Found a cool place that looks like it’d be your kinda thing, but there’s no location listed? Then ask! Instagram is a social platform, and it’s all about actually being SOCIAL. Get out there and make yourself an internet buddy – you never know where it may lead!

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