I have confessed before that Instagram has changed the way I travel and while this may have negative connotations to some, to me it is only positive. Enhancing the way I travel, collecting memories and seeing things in a different light. This month as part of our travel link up on ‘habits’ I want to look at how I specifically changed my travel habits since becoming so bloody obsessed with Instagram!
1. How I Choose a Hotel
As you know for me a hotel isn’t just a place to stay or a simple place to lay my head, it can really make or break a trip. When I choose a hotel I’ve always opted for one that is known for great service, has a good location and top amenities. Of course, aesthetics and style has always been important to me… I always take a look at what my room will look like first! But nowadays a hotel doesn’t have to just be pretty and stylish, it also has to be Instagrammable! So what could this mean? Lots of flowers, a great view at breakfast, interesting architecture, bright colours, something unique, a really cool pool? All of these add to the Instagrammability (is that a word) of the hotel. Here’s a few of the most Instagrammable hotels I’ve stayed in.
Il Sirenuse in the Amalfi Coast.
Kasbah Tamadot in the Atlas Mountains.
Jade Mountain in St Lucia.
2. Where We Eat
I am a dedicated foodie so I will always choose where to eat based on how good the food is… but if the restaurant is pretty or has a great view well that doesn’t hurt either as it’ll look great on Instagram! If there’s somewhere I really want to eat BUT I don’t think will make it to the ‘gram, I’ll generally eat there in the evening and save the ‘grammable place for lunch when the light will be good.
Some of my favourite grid-worthy restaurants have been:
GB Roof Garden at Hotel Grande Bretagne.
Aroma in Rome.
Ice Q in Solden.
Zass at Il San Pietro di Positano.
3. How I Plan What To Do
Before Instagram I used to pour through Lonely Planet guides and websites looking for the best places to go and activities to incorporate into a trip. I still do that… but I also use Instagram to find pretty locations that will suit my theme and grid. I have lots of ways of searching Instagram for these ideas, such as checking the feeds of my favourite bloggers, checking locations and hashtags and checking local accounts. I make mood boards in the saved section of Instagram and refer back to these when looking for picture ideas. A few spots that I found by searching the ‘gram:
Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona – I’d never heard of this colourful spot before it popped up on my feed.
This gorgeous spot in Paris.
Di Ponte Umberto which I discovered through Brooke from World of Wanderlust.
4. The Time I Get Up in the Morning
I never thought I’d be one of those bloggers who got up at the crack of dawn to get the perfect shot but when Laura and I went to Rome we agreed that’s what we’d do to get our perfect photo of the Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountain. As girl who loves her sleep, I was dreading it but not only did I get great photos, I experienced these beautiful monuments without the crowds and stress.
5. Going Somewhere Specifically for *THAT* picture
Admittedly I’ve never actually travelled somewhere for one specific photo… though I would and places like Lago Di Braies, Neuschwanstein Castle and Lake Bled are on my wish list. I’ve seen people ranting on Twitter about other people who go to destinations just to get the one picture but personally I don’t see anything wrong with going somewhere just cos you want a pretty picture, and if you want to be in that picture, well you’re not doing anyone any harm! You’ve got a great picture for your grid and a fantastic memory.
6. Going Against the ‘Gram
Conversely sometimes I want to visit destinations to actually go against the ‘gram… I mean how many times have you seen Santorini, the Amalfi Coast, Marrakech and the Maldives on Instagram? I know there’s a formula and these places work but it’s this over saturation of seeing places like this constantly that made me want to go somewhere totally different… which is one reason why I chose the Atacama Desert and Patagonia last year.
As I expected, I didn’t get the same level of engagement on these photos as I did for over water villas in the Maldives, white washed buildings in Santorini and views of the Amalfi Coast but I felt like I’d done something different and I’m not just like everyone else.
7. Going on Press Trips
Of course I never went on press trips before I had my blog or Instagram. I’m not a qualified journalist or professional photographer so I couldn’t quite believe I’d be invited to travel the world based on the fact people like my photography and writing. On these trips (sometimes I’m paid and sometimes I get experiences in exchange for content) I strive to get the best content possible in return for what I’ve been given. Most recent press trips have included:
Solden in Austria.
Hotel Eden in Rome.
8. Who I Travel With
I’m very lucky to have made close friends on the Internet and my Instagram and blog have introduced me to new friends and people to travel with who have the same interests as me.
I had such a great time visiting Rome with Laura, staying at the Pig on the Beach with Lauren and my trip to Bovey Castle with Emma and Binny.
And then there are all the wonderful people who I met on press trips, who I never would be encountered before.
9. I Take More Risks
Ok I’m not talking actual risky risks but since Instagram became an integral part of my travel plans I push myself more. Now I’m certainly NOT talking hanging off of trains, swimming with sharks or climbing up high walls – I’m the most risk averse person ever so that’s simply not me. What I mean is trying new food, stepping out my comfort zones and doing things that are risky to me personally, not stupid stunts to get a death defying photo.
10. Taking Better Photos
Quite simply it’s become a habit of mine to take better photos than I did before. Starting a blog meant I alway made sure I got photos of the room before it was thrown into disarray but starting to take Instagram seriously meant I created more beautiful set up photos that not only give me good ‘gram fodder but create really wonderful lasting memories.
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