We live in the twenty first century, where you can expect 9 out of 10 people to have an Instagram account. I mean, my mum recently joining Instagram too, after realising it is a highly utilised platform and it also allowed her to get more of an insight into her own children lives through it. I wouldn’t be surprised if even generations older than my parents are getting involved, especially as we live in such a social media focused culture these days. You can find out where someone is in the world or what they are up to without to even asking them but simply by hitting a ‘follow’ button and a small heart under a photo.
As a travel blogger and content creator, I follow a lot of other travel influencers, content creators, travel accounts and hotels on Instagram. Many may argue that it’s because i’m a content creator in the sector that I would follow these accounts, but I think everyone on Instagram follows a few travel focused accounts/influencers. Especially with so many perfectly curated images and ‘bucket list’ adventures where many people would only dream of visiting such a hotel or destination in their lifetime.
One morning I found myself scrolling through my feed of travel focused content and noticing there were more preset filtered, perfectly edited and curated images of different destinations and hotels than usual, with mass amounts of comments and tags, sharing ‘goals’ destinations with their friends. I’m happy to own up to the fact that I often save and screenshot different locations, hotels and restaurants I find through social media and add them to my various lists. However, it wasn’t only until recently that I felt completely let down by my fellow travel Instagrammers through a various few Instagram stories I had seen of those that showed how they edit their photos, but also those that showed the reality of these ‘goals’ destinations.
I’ve always been the sort of traveller that has expectations. Expectations of how a destination should be, how a hotel should look or if a restaurant is worthy of visiting, but that’s through extensive research before booking or agreeing to go somewhere. However, I am sure there are many people, who aren’t so experienced in the travel niche or don’t travel often that would simply accept these perfected Instagram photos and book a trip or stay at these hotels. Especially, most of these people are spending their hard earned money or splashing their disposable on a regular trip, let alone a luxury focused. Either way, they have spent time earning this money and imagine the look on their faces when they don’t get what they expected? I would be dammed if I influenced something that wasn’t real or true to what they would be getting.
I won’t name any names of these so called ‘influencers’, but one travel blogger managed to edit out an entire roof of a hotel, to make it look like the hotel had an outdoor infinity pool that overlooked the mountains. Imagine getting to said hotel and realising that this so called ‘outdoor pool’ of your room isn’t actually outdoor at all?!
Imagine booking a visit to Positano after seeing all these dreamy pictures of the Italian village on Instagram but only to discover that this dreamy Italian dream is actually as a facade and doesn’t look anything like you expected it to. Instead, it has a beach full of rubbish below it and doesn’t look like the photos at all, where you imagined to pose with your loved one to celebrate your anniversary? I felt so disheartened when I watched the Instagram story of said fellow Instagrammer that I follow. Nobody should have to experience that.
Bali is often a destination talked about in a positive light, but another of my Instagram followers turned up to a Balinese beach that was hyped to have blue water and a beautiful beach, only for it to be another beach covered in rubbish and not even blue water. This isn’t what Instagram was created for, to give people false hope of the reality!!
As a content creator in this era, i’ve always vowed to myself to keep things real. My content may not be filled with fairy lights, roses and copious amounts of chocolates therefore not making them flashy or as ‘goals’ as other Instagrammers or bloggers, but it is real life. You will always get what you see on my social media channels or read on my blog posts. Like I said, I couldn’t bare the fact that someone would spend money on the back of being influenced by content only to feel utterly let down by me and just perceive me as another ‘grabby influencer’. I create content for those well travelled and those not so well travelled so get a first hand experience of luxury travel in each destination, hotel and restaurant I review. I just wish more people felt inclined to do so too…
I think Instagram should be continued to be use as a platform of inspiration and sharing content that inspires people to travel and explore, but for all the right reasons. Not for the fact that ‘grammers create this desirable content just in order to push their follower numbers, number of likes and insights. We are better than that!
Does Instagram influence the way you travel?
Until next time…