How to Use Instagram as a Travel Guide

Use geotags

Instagram has always allowed you to tag your location in posts and you can now tag them in stories as well. By clicking the location tag, you can not only see pinpointed where the hotel, restaurant, or graffitied wall is located on a map—you can see photos taken by other Instagrammers there.

"Any time I travel and want to check out a new restaurant, I look up that place on Instagram's geotags to see all the photos people posted at that location. Ninety-five percent of the time I choose what to order off the menu based on people's photos. It may seem like I'm overly reliant on Instagram, but it's actually saved me from ordering food that I probably wouldn't have wanted had I seen a photo of it." —Rachel Coleman, Condé Nast Traveler's social media director, @rachelecoleman

"Hashtags have become an incredibly over-saturated wasteland. You'll be searching a certain destination like China and there will be posts from all other corners of the world mixed in. Generally, geotags are more accurately tagged." —Brendan van Son, travel photographer, @brendanvanson

I’ve been saving places in a “places to go” private list on Instagram for a while now. I do like this next peice of advice for those who might try this out too.

Don't let the 'gram define your trip

As we've said before, Instagram is the highlight reel of travel and while it can provide so many good tips and ideas for your next trip, you shouldn't rely exclusively on the app for your planning.

"So many people these days focus way too hard on photogenic destinations. I used to go somewhere like Peru and people would obviously hit up Machu Picchu. But, they'd also head to places where the history, culture, and experience in general couldn't be captured in a photo, but that had a lot of personal value. Nowadays, they just head to Machu Picchu, the Colored Mountains, and leave. They definitely focus too much of their planning by using Instagram, rather than guides." —B.V.S.

How to Use Instagram As a Travel Guide