Are you finding yourself constantly scrolling through Instagram, flipping through pictures of the girls you went to high school with, or clicking through stories of people posting photos of their sad lunches? Within the last year or so, I began to realize that I followed less and less people I actually knew and more people who inspired me - travelers, photographers, and global food enthusiasts. Through the power of Instagram and social media, I discovered new cities, new people, and new concepts of what it means to be happy and successful.
Although Instagram gets a bad rep for displaying sugar-coated versions of ones life, it can also be an outlet for information and inspiration. For without seeing photos of @Mariefeandjakesnow traveling, I probably would have never decided to go to Bali or dreamt of places like Cappadocia. Without seeing posts of the Amalfi Coast posted by @travelandleisure, I may not have spent a summer in Sorrento, Italy. Even with the negative attributes associated with social media, it has the power to bring us all over the world, even if just through images. That being said, here are the travel Instagrams who have cured my wanderlust this year.
Marie and Jake are my personal favorite travel influencers on Instagram at the moment. After meeting on a beach in Thailand, German Marie and Australian Jake soon decided that they wanted to travel the world together and share their adventures with their friends and family through Instagram. Three years and an engagement later, they’re now sharing their everyday experiences including their success stories, fails, and tips for traveling to places such as Greece, Bali, and Sri Lanka with over half a million followers.
Not only are they one of the most dedicated and kind hearted couples in the industry (I’ve briefly emailed back and forth with Marie and she’s an absolute angel), they also host a “Do Good Monday” segment every week that recognizes and raises money for charitable causes all over the world such as Care for the Wild Rhino Sanctuary, Coral Gardeners, and Parley for the Oceans.
There’s not many places in the world you can go that Kiersten (AKA the Blonde Abroad) hasn't been and lived to tell about it. Although The Blonde Abroad focuses less on Instagram popularity (she’s probably too busy building her powerhouse of a brand), she’s uses this platform as a way to update her readers on where she’s traveling, what blog posts she has coming out, and tour group information on her co-company, TBA escapes, which offers all-female excursions through areas solo female travelers may be wary of, such as Jordan, South Africa, and even Antarctica!
From Texas to Indonesia, I always head over to The Blonde Abroad’s blog to get advice on where to eat, where to stay, and what to do while traveling.
Aggie Lal @Aggie
Aggie Lal, AKA Travel in Her Shoes, started her travel journey on Instagram to show the perspectives of women in different cultures as she traveled around the world. Today, she shares stunning photos in places like Australia, Thailand, and Tulum, as well as daily stories on the real, raw pros and cons of constant travel.
How did she begin traveling the world? This Poland native sailed from Mexico to Sydney on a cheap second-hand sailboat with no radio equipment or experience. Her trek across the Pacific took her a year to complete and nearly two months before seeing land for the first time since taking off. Although she claims that she had more than a few near death experiences, this inspired her to continue seeing the world and relishing in the shared connectivity of different cultures and communities.
Jonathan Kubben Quiñonez @MomImFine
Jonathan Kubben Quiñonez, commonly known on Instagram as Mom I’m Fine, travels the world with a sign and a mission. While spending time in Tulum, he recognized that outside of the pristine luxury resorts, the community was struggling with plastic waste removal that consequently was ending up on their beaches, pyramids, and homes. Due to this, he began the Mom I’m Fine Project with a goal to create a school for children in Tulum made completely from recycled plastic. As Jonathan’s project raises the funds, he continues to travel the world helping humanitarian projects such as UNICEF and spreading awareness through his public speaking. On top of all of his accomplishments, he recently won “Influencer of the Year” and “Best Philanthropist” at the Monaco Influencer Awards.
Want to help his cause? Donate to the Mom I’m Fine Project.
Although this isn’t a personal Instagram account, Travel + Leisure shares gorgeous travel photos from all over the world that link off to travel inspired articles on topics such as 22 Postccard-perfect European Villages or Most Affordable Winter Vacations in the U.S. While you lack the influencer-to-follower connection, this is a great instagram to find travel tips and advice for your next trip, along with just beautiful curated content.
Dirty Boots Travel @dirtybootstravel
Dirty Boots Travel is a travel influencer feeder page that curates content posted by other well-known travel Instagrams. This is a great source for anyone looking for new travel inspiration or wanting to share their own travel pictures (just tag them and use #dirtybootstravel). Along with their travel Instagram, they also offer a sister-page for couple photography known as @Dirtybootsandmessyhair and a preset page, @dirtybootspresets.
Hαуleу Andersen @haylsa & Kyle Hunter @kyle_hunter
Similar to Marie Fe and Jake Snow, Hayley and her boyfriend, Kyle, travel the world together and share their adventures in the form of Instagram posts and stories. However, unlike Marie and Jake, the couple chooses to have separate accounts posting different content within the same cities.
I love the ability to look back on their story highlights, which are separated by city. Their highlights act like mini travel guides, giving you advice on where to eat and what to see.
Hildegunn Taipale @Hilvees
While Hildegunn’s account was once mainly stories of her and her husband, Samuel, traveling the world together as she balanced medical school, the birth of their son has altered their page into a family-based influencer page that shows that traveling with young ones can be possible. Since having Benjamin ten months ago, they’ve traveled from Norway to Thailand (twice), The U.S., Latvia, Albania, France, and the UK with baby in tow.
Okay, technically Tali photography isn’t a travel instagram or influencer, but instead a destination wedding photography page. Putting beside the fact that I’m personally obsessed with everything destination wedding related and love their work, this account can still be great for those seeking travel related content.
Tali and Claudia are a sister duo who with their team shoot weddings in some of the most beautiful places in the world including Cappadocia, Ibiza, and Mallorca. Their use of light, landscape, and scenery to enhance the bride will inspire anyone to skip the obnoxious 200 person church wedding and head overseas.
Foodguide and their sister pages are essential to me when planning any trip. For almost all major cities you can travel to, you can search for their Foodguide instagram to find the best restaurants and food scenes in the area. The @foodguideapp account is a great feeder page to the rest of their accounts, but if you’re going to a specific city such as Paris, Dublin, Bali, Stockholm, etc., you can search for their individual page.
Foodguide also offers a tinder-style swipe app that you can download. This app pins your location and lets you swipe left or right on photos of dishes people post at restaurants in the area, helping you find hidden restaurants and unique dishes in new cities.
What are your favorite Travel Instagrams? Leave their handles in the comments below!