Four Ways to use Instagram to Plan Your Best Travels

Four Ways to use Instagram to Plan Your Best Travels

Have you ever used Instagram to plan your trips? In this year of 2019 when everyone and their country is on Instagram, it’s an incredible resource for finding amazing places.

There’s always Trip Advisor, but if you are looking for those out of the way hidden gems, putting some planning and intention in ahead of time on IG is a good way to find them.

Four Ways to use IG While Planning Your Trip

Research Countries + Cities

Many countries and cities have an official IG account. These are amazing resources for finding the most beautiful places as well as details about traveling there. Many of them are called @visit___. For example, last winter when we were planning our trip to France and Switzerland, I followed @visitfrance and @visitswitzerland for several months. When they posted about gorgeous places to visit that piqued my interest I added them to a note I kept on my phone. When we were actually there, I went back to that list so often as we planned out our days. We got to visit several gorgeous places that we wouldn’t have known about otherwise, like the little hilltop town of Gordes.


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Save that Café

It’s easy to see something on IG while scrolling, but then weeks later when you are looking for the details it can be impossible to find again. On IG when you see a post that you like, there is a little banner icon on the bottom right of the photo. Simply tap that, and it will save the post for you. So if you see someone post about a charming little café in Nice or a vintage market in Paris, click the little banner to save it for future reference.



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Watch Highlights

Many bloggers, travel influencers and even entrepreneurs like me that travel several times a year post more to Stories than they do to their timeline. They often tag café’s, hotels, stores and Airbnb’s in their Stories. Since Stories are only available for 24 hours, the best way to save them for future reference is as a Highlight on your profile. For example, if you remember that a certain blogger went to Lake Como, check their highlights and find out which cafe’s they visited, which markets to check out and often the best way to get there as well. This is also a great way to see if a restaurant has the “vibe” that you are looking for. Yelp reviews often just have photos of the food and while I absolutely love that, knowing if the place has more of an intimate, cosy vibe or a party atmosphere is often helpful when choosing a dinner spot.

Find the most Instagrammable places

If you are one of those who likes to collect iconic photos of well known tourist spots, IG is one of the best places to find them. You can search Instagrammable places in France or Paris or Zurich and easily find certain neighborhoods and streets from IG hashtags. When I went to Paris the first time, Jen had googled the most instagrammable street in Paris which turned out to be Rue de Cremieux. We took the metro one afternoon, walked several blocks and found this gorgeous little street with pastel colored houses and plants blooming on every stoop. It felt so quintessentially Paris, and we spent almost an hour there snapping photos and wondering what it would feel like to live there. While I often opt to avoid the crowds and find lesser known spots, those well traveled photogenic places are worth looking for if that’s what you enjoy while traveling.



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What is your Travel Personality?

There’s such a balance to be found when looking for ways to make the most of your opportunity to visit other places. Different people have different travel personalities and different priorities when traveling. I find myself wanting to plan every night, have a list of all the places I want to see and an itinerary for every day. But I also love those moments of magic that sometimes happen without a plan, like pulling over at the roadside stand because you spied something delicious, or changing dinner plans at the last minute when you pass a darling little spot that just looks delightful.

With experience, I’ve found that it works best for us to do some of both. Not having enough of a plan means that we waste some of our time just trying to decide what to do, and planning every day full means we don’t leave time for the spontaneous adventures or the last minute discoveries.

When planning our month long trip to Europe, I booked an Airbnb for a week in France and one for a week in Switzerland as well as a little apartment in Paris for several days. This left several days in between to be spontaneous and figure it out as we went.

In Switzerland, I got on the night before, after deciding how far we wanted to drive the next day, and found the most darling old hotel in a tiny little town. We arrived the next afternoon and absolutely fell in love with it. I think it happened for me when she showed us to our room with an old wooden door and handed over a set of vintage keys with a little wooden heart painted with the number of our room. They also had a little restaurant at the hotel with incredible service and we had an amazing dinner later on. As we walked outside after dinner we heard cowbells jingling from the next hill over. It was the perfect introduction to Switzerland.



While in France, we had planned to visit a certain area, but weren’t sure where we would be so those were the days I left open to “be spontaneous.” Well…. we drove through this town several times, all the hotels we stopped at were booked and it was getting later and later. Jay was starting to stress, and I just wanted to find another darling hotel at the last minute. Was that a lot to ask? Turns out in small town France in July- it was. We ended up at an Ibis Budget that had about two inches of space around the bed, the entire bathroom was also the shower and there was no place for a suitcase. But it was a good place to sleep for one night and the kids thought it was the best ever, they were so fascinated by all the details of the shower and the bed on top of the bed that they still talk about it.

I find that I stress more when I’m not sure where I’ll be spending the night, especially when traveling with kids. When we don’t have somewhat of a plan for the day, I can get frustrated when we spend so much time just figuring out what to do. So when planning this trip, I took that into account and booked most of our overnight stays ahead of time so we knew what to expect. Also knowing what easily frustrates me helped me to manage some of my expectations ahead of time and be prepared to be flexible. A few of those unexpected things that we found became the highlights of our summer. Maybe you would rather take the risk of sleeping in your car one night in exchange for the possibility of finding that magical spot. Either way, know how you like to travel, what your priorities are and plan accordingly so that you can make the most of your experience!

What are some ways you have found that work for you to make the most of your travels?

The post Four Ways to use Instagram to Plan Your Best Travels appeared first on Urban Southern.

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