How to Use Instagram to Plan Your Next trip
Instagram can be an especially helpful tool when it comes to planning a vacation. It can be used to create itineraries, curate images of places you want to visit, restaurants you want to try, and things to do. If you're vaccinated and getting back into vacation mode, here are some ways you can enhance planning your vacation using Instagram.
1. Use the Save function
The Save function (the icon below an image on the far left) allows you to save an Instagram post so you can view it at a later time. It’s great for all kinds of purposes, like saving a dress you want to buy, a recipe you want to make, or an image you don’t want to forget. But for travel, it’s an especially great tool for planning.
Instagram automatically puts all saved images into one main album, but you can create specific albums to group images using your album settings. If you’re going somewhere, you can create a series of albums related to the location. You can categorize them broadly, like “Tuscon” or “Dream Airbnbs,” or make them more specific, like “Coffee shops in Tucson” or “Arizona selfie spots.”
It’s one of the best ways to see a place before visiting, find places to go, and plan more accordingly. It can also help you feel familiar with a location before you arrive. You can also always add, remove, or review content in your saved albums as you go along.
2. Follow hashtags
Instagram has a function where you can follow specific hashtags, not just people or brand profiles. Simply search or click the hashtag you’re interested in, and click the blue Follow button. If you follow hashtags that are relevant to your trip, Instagram will show you related images in your feed.
You can use broader hashtags, like #Paris, which will populate any image tagged with this word. A hashtag that’s too general or popular, however, might return irrelevant or low-quality posts. It’s best to get more specific. Follow hashtags related to things you want to see, like #EiffelTower or #ParisCafes, and then use the Save function to build your mini guides.
3. Click on geotags
Similar to hashtags, Instagram has a geotag function that is very useful for finding specific addresses of places you’d like to visit. This is especially handy if you’re looking to replicate popular selfie spots. If there's a selfie image on your feed you like and want to do yourself, check to see if it's geotagged and then you'll know exactly where to go.
You can’t follow geotags like you can follow hashtags, but you can type in the location into the Instagram search bar and see new posts as they become populated. Geotags are indicated with map marker symbols next to their names in an Instagram search.
Choose any image, and if you see smaller text under the profile name, that means there is a geotag. You can click on this geotag, and Instagram will show you any image that is also tagged with the same location. You can add images you like to your Saved albums, then open the location in Google Maps to find the exact address.