When you plan your travel with an eye on discovering new destinations, you would prefer to rely more on people’s experience instead of glossy advertisements and other visual content posted by hotels and tour operators. Images are handy to evaluate any destination’s attraction and the reason why Instagram is the most sought after social media platform both for travelers and the travel and tourism industry.
The best thing about Instagram is the user generated content, mainly comprising of real-time images that turn the platform into a strategic tool to travel enthusiasts who gather a lot of information to form an opinion about their target destination. Instagram plays a critical role in planning travels both for individuals and travel companies and tour operators as it serves as a vetting tool by knowing travelers’ actual experiences.
The information gathered from Instagram serves a different purpose for individuals and businesses. Tour and travel companies open Instagram accounts to post content for marketing and business promotion. To ensure that their content gains instant popularity, they buy Instagram likes that help gain immediate attention, and soon the flow of organic likes begins. The popular posts are helpful for individuals too who can use the information for planning their holiday travel.
You must know how to use Instagram to plan your trip, and this article should help you learn about how to make the best use of the platform.
Focus on geotags first
It is good to express your intention of going on a vacation, but it hardly helps to initiate your travel process unless you choose a destination. Start by making a shortlist of some probable destinations according to your preference and budget by identifying the countries first and then drilling down to some specific destination. For example, you can look for content like #Morocco, # Greece, # Maldives, etc., to view images that can be pretty inspiring. It helps to zero down on a country first and then the destinations within it. Start curating the images by grouping them according to the activities you would typically undertake during the tour. For example, you can group the photos under the head shopping and markets, sites to visit, things to do, restaurants, and others. It should help to gather unbiased information, as you earlier shared with others from your previous tours.
The information will give you a clear idea about what kind of trip you can expect in a specific locale. After finalizing a region, you can look for lesser-known spots if you want by searching for places followed by hotels.
Get the most from hashtags
Hashtags are much more helpful than just choosing destinations as they can help you uncover more information about some subtle elements of the trip. Those planning for a honeymoon could search for #honeymoondestination or #luxurytraveladvisor. When traveling with your family and kids, you can look for some child-friendly ideas like #familytravelmovement or # travelingwithkids. Hashtags like #sustainabletravel or #ecotravel, or # slowtravel could be ideal for those seeking eco-friendly tours.
To connect with travel and tour companies that specialize in more targeted traveling styles, begin your search with #transformationaltravel that might lead you to some company that creates customized tour plans by matching your personal travel goals. For planning individual tours all on your own, search for #solotravels or #solotravelstories.
Once you know the logic behind hashtags and are aware of your travel goals, it becomes easy to identify hashtags that provide the best results and saves time.
Let the feed guide you
The traditional authority that defines what’s hot and what’s not in a travel space does not hold well anymore as consumers have become more skeptical. Instead, Instagram users are reaching out to other travelers who can act as their surrogates for the travels they want to undertake by matching their aspirations. Travelers are keener to listen to people who share a lot of common traits with them as travelers. Although there are chances of incidents described on Instagram are over-glamorous, it also upholds honest representations of people’s experiences fraught with vulnerabilities that do not usually find a place in the traditional media.
By spending considerable time scrolling through various images, you can draw an accurate portrait of what a place is like. In addition to scrolling Instagram photos, go through the Instagram Stories that are more authentic than editable photos.
Look beyond your friends
When using Instagram for planning your holiday travel, look beyond your known circle of friends and acquaintances. Expand your network and try to connect with a few people in the city you visit by knowing if they share similar interests like you for things like food, shopping, and adventure. You can connect with them through DMs for travel advice and guidance regarding local tours. The eagerness with which the strangers respond will surprise you.
Besides, you can start following some local photographers and the tourism board’s accounts to gather more information from different perspectives. By gathering information from a local photographer, someone could visit a tiny island Favignana off Sicily’s west coast that never finds any mention in any travelogues of promotional travel content. Surprisingly, the tour was one of the most enjoyable tours that the person had experienced.
Besides following locals, look at the accounts of travel experts that can enrich your itinerary. Celebrity travelers and tourism boards provide guidance and travel advice and share information about discounts and deals.
Clear your doubts by reaching out to people
Since the vastness of Instagram provides endless opportunities for connecting with people according to your needs, the more you talk to people more accurate will be your evaluation of the various aspects of travel. People are ready to interact on Instagram and honestly share their travel experiences, and you must take advantage of it to plan your tour with confidence.
Connecting with travelers who have been to the places you want to visit will make you feel like you have already undertaken the journey.