Since its launch in 2010, Instagram has completely changed the way people share information. Unlike Twitter and Facebook, Instagram only allows its users to upload photographs and videos, often edited using the platform’s selection of filters, that can be seen and ‘liked’ by followers of the account. From clothes and cars to football results and breaking news, Instagram features everything that can be recorded, presented in a vibrant and interesting format that takes just a quick scroll of the thumb to view. Travel inspiration, tips and recommendations are subject matters that has been able to take particular advantage of Instagram’s unique format, relying mostly on colourful, stimulating photographs with a short descriptive caption underneath to present destinations from California to Cape Verde. With the ability to ‘repost’ the photos and videos from other accounts, as well as the emergence of Instagram bloggers – who work much in the same way as regular bloggers – many travel-related accounts have gained widespread followings, some numbered in the millions, making them the go to places for gaining insight into various locations.
With that in mind, we have put together a list featuring a selection of the six most inspiring, exciting and, ultimately, useful, instagram travel accounts around. From moody urban inner city shots, to breathtaking rural landscapes, each account prides itself on its unique content featuring a whole range of different locations. Find hidden gems, gain great travel inspiration, read tips and discover the local cuisine, all by simply referring to our carefully curated list. Each one was thoroughly assessed, with each review containing a brief summary of the service, its highlights, what makes it unique and its potential drawbacks, while the pros and cons of each one are listed in an easy-to-read set of bullet points below each review. There are millions of accounts posting photos and videos of destinations around the world, however we’ve chosen only the ones that most suitably fit our criteria by considering a number of factors outlined below.
One of the first aspects of the Instagram accounts that was assessed was the quality of the photos and videos uploaded. Clearly, a vitally important part of capturing the feeling of a destination is having high resolution images with lots of detail, in order to provide viewers with as much information as possible. They say that a picture can speak a thousand words, and indeed, a well-taken, high quality photo will speak volumes about a certain location. This includes not applying too many artificial filters, such as the presets included on the platform, as these can often misrepresent what a place is truly like. Instead, a simple brightening or touch of colour can be enough to enhance the photo to a degree that it will accurately give viewers a sense of what to expect from their own trip there. For example, Pretty Cities repost photos from other travellers’ accounts, curated so that they do not usually include people or the use of many filters. This works in giving each post a natural feel and allows the content of the picture to do the talking, rather than extensive editing. Beautiful Destination, meanwhile, source high quality photographs captured from various angles, using everything from GoPros to drones, hence keeping their content interesting and unique.
The time of year and whether the uploading of photos corresponded was also factored into the review process. While moving between the Northern and Southern Hemisphere reverses the seasons, generally English language accounts are followed by those in the Northern Hemisphere, such as the US and Europe. This means that they will experience the seasons at the same time, and therefore we looked for accounts that, in autumn for example, uploaded autumnal photos. The importance of this becomes more apparent in seasons such as summer and during Christmas, when people become more keen to see photos of hot sandy beaches and snowy winter scenes respectively. Wonderful Places is one example of an account that sticks to this, posting shots of autumnal scenes with brown leaves on the trees and frosty mornings, while during summer photos turn to beach scenes and swimming pools. This helps to provide inspiring ideas for travel, as well as get the viewer in the mood for that particular season. For that reason, we ensured that this factor was included when assessing the various travel Instagram accounts, in order to fill users’ feeds with photos and videos worth following.
Having good, detailed and factually correct descriptions under each post was also considered a key area to examine. While most photos provide a good sense of the location, often a short description, informing viewers a bit about where and when the photo was taken, and by whom, can be a great asset to have included. This is important particularly if the photo does enough to inspire viewers to book their own trip there, as they may need to do some research into the location, and therefore contact the photographer, or at least have the precise name of the place in order to look it up in more detail. Photos displaying just the name of the country or city are nowhere near as helpful as those that pinpoint the specific spot, with a bit of description added below. Beautiful Destination is a fantastic account for this, frequently going above and beyond what is expected of an Instagram caption. Some of their captions feature inspiring stories of how the photo was taken, while others provide insightful facts, quotes, and tips for travelling to the destination presented. The background story of who took the photo and a bit of information about the content undoubtedly helps bring the piece to life and add a bit more to the experience of viewing it.
Finally, we looked at whether the account was monetising its content via adverts and, ultimately, how this impacted on the account in general. Featuring sponsored posts has become a quick and easy way for Instagram accounts with lots of followers to make money, including sponsored products every few photos in an attempt to blend them in with their normal content. Wonderful Places is a key example of an travel Instagram account that does this, advertising LG televisions every ten uploads or so. On top of this, they constantly include a ‘Tag your friends’ caption, which only adds to the sense that they are more concerned with making revenue than posting interesting and insightful photos and videos. Callum Snape, meanwhile, uploads posts in which the the vast majority contain some form of advert, either in the description or the location. Although this doesn’t distract from the image itself, it gives a slightly less authentic feel to the experience as a whole when you know that it is part of an advertising campaign by a multinational company, rather than a fellow traveller, motivated by nothing but the beauty of experiencing new locations. Hence, when reviewing the various travel Instagram accounts, we factored in the level of adverts to decide where they should be placed on the list.
Overall, this list provides a selection of the six best and most inspiring travel Instagram accounts, carefully selected from thousands of similar accounts. View captivating photos, explore exciting videos, gain brilliant recommendations, discover hidden gems and learn about unique destinations, all free and easily accessible from the Instagram smartphone app. By following the accounts featured on this list, you can obtain information on travel in the most simple way possible; a quick scroll of the thumb. We have carefully considered the aforementioned factors to provide you with only the top travel-related Instagram accounts, so that you can view incredible photos and videos without having to waste time searching across the app.