Nowadays, who does not use Instagram. With more than 600 million users, this is now the go-to app to get inspirations or follow your favorite influencers online. But lately, I surprised myself using Instagram to plan my next trips more often. I am currently planning my next trip to Indonesia, so let me break down the process for you.
The best way to avoid any tourist traps is to follow the locals. I would usually start following couple accounts linked to my destination couple weeks before my trip. With the geo-location feature that you can add to any photos you post, it becomes easy to find any cool spot to hang out and not be among the busy touristic areas of a city. Many cities are home to photographers who publish on daily basis photos of hidden gems in the city where they live. Visiting accounts like these will allow you to plan your itinerary for your next trip.
Follow tourism board accounts
Destinations less known and that do not have many locals showcasing the gems from the city likely have a tourism board account that offers great tips. Through them, you are likely to find information about upcoming events.
The Planning process
Hashtags and locations
I search by hashtag or places linked to the destination I will be traveling to. i.e. #bali
Then I would scroll through the feed, and get a screenshot of the photos that inspire me. I look especially for the images that are geotagged so that I can get the location of where the photo was taken.
The next step is to create a folder in my phone photo gallery with the name of the destination
Use Google Map
Once you have a rough idea of the places you want to go, use Google map to create your itinerary. There is a new feature since the last update that allows you to either create a list or just flag it as a place you want to go. Once you are done, save your map so that you can use it when you are offline and cannot use Internet.
By using Google map you can evaluate how much time it would take you to go from point A to point B and therefore create an itinerary accordingly.
By planning your trip this way, you will avoid tourist traps and live like a local in a foreign country. It requires couple hours to work on but it is FREE. You will go to destinations of your choice that you saw and have an idea of what to expect rather than be listening to recommendations and imagining what it would look like. You will be able to keep on your phone and use it even offline if you do not have any internet connection.
This method to plan my trip is definitely a game changer. Of course, this is not the only source of information that I use to plan my trips but it really helps a lot. What about you? How do you plan your trips? Have you ever tried doing it with Instagram?
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