Hoping to document your trip for posterity and sharing with friends, family, and followers? We've outlined 150+ vacation photo ideas, travel photo ideas, and travel hashtags to inspire you.
Photos or it didn't happen, right?
Coming up with vacation Instagram post ideas and photos to fill your family albums doesn't have to be difficult, even when you have jetlag.
Getting Ready to Travel Instagram Photos and Facebook Posts
They say the joy of travel is divided into three parts: anticipation, participation and memory.
You can start to enjoy your trip, and share it, even before you walk out your door. Let folks in on the packing process. Tell your followers why you selected a particular bag to pack in. Seek (and get) valuable advice from others who have been there and done that.
- Try on vacation outfits/items, snap photos and ask for feedback.
- Take a photograph of your calendar with the date you will be travelling circled (optional: do a countdown in stories)
- Show your packing process
- Snap a picture of your bags by the door or curb
- Share your plan for your pets, if applicable and get a photo of them in your suitcase (obviously they want to come.)
- Show your luggage loaded in the car (best for group travel when it all barely fits!)
- Take a picture of your luggage/luggage tags to use as a background for text in your stories
- Take a flat lay picture showing the contents of your carry on. Take individual item pictures for items you want to include in a story.
- Share your favorite/essential travel gear in your stories or your feed, with or without links
- Share a photo of a map or a travel brochure hinting at where you are going
- Travel books/guides with your vacation destination
Vacation Instagram Posts & Social to Share En Route
You may think that people aren't all that interested in what you ate at the airport and where you sat on the plane but you would be wrong! Sharing your experiences, both good and bad, helps others plan for their own travels. This makes those posts both valuable and interesting. People actually do want to see what the food is like on different airlines, whether you can get decent coffee at the airport, and what the seatback entertainment options are on your route. Family and friends also enjoy traveling along with you, virtually. And last, of all, these posts will serve as a memorable journal that you'll be happy to review in the future.
- Snap a photo of your boarding passes
- Take a photo of the departures board at the airport/train station
- Show the view out the window of the car/plane/taxi
- Capture a photo of the airport sign, or an airport feature such as a mosaic floor (with your feet in the photo).
- Take and share a photo of your plane/bus/train with info about the type of vehicle you'll be traveling on and about your travel route
- Snap a photo of your airplane seat/row for your stories. Include friends and family traveling with you.
- Are your travel dining options awful or awesome? Either way - share a photo. Include helpful info about where to stop, shop, and what to order (or what to avoid).
- Document and show your progress via road signs or the seatback flightpath screen
- Other travelers are super weird - Capture the odd footwear and behavior you encounter along the way. Just try to keep it covert and respectful.
Are We There Yet? Documenting Your Arrival
First impressions are meaningful and dramatic. These interactions set the tone for your whole trip. Capture that moment with the following photos.
- The view in the lobby
- A loaded luggage cart
- Welcome signs, ceremonies, goodies
- The elevator ( try a mirror selfie or take a photo of the control panel with your floor lit)
- The door to your room
- Shoot a room tour of your untouched room/cabin
- Tour tickets
- Name tags/passes
- A hotel/cruise newsletter
Instagram Vacation Photo Ideas for Sharing the Local Vibe
Now we are diving in! Although you may not end up posting all of these images, take as many as possible. These types of photos really give you a sense of place, and will bring back all the feels of what it was like to be there. Think about the places where your eyes naturally linger. These photos of (mostly) inanimate objects and landscapes, will provide context to all the other photos that you choose to share. Colors that pop and textures that fascinate, turn otherwise static images into art, but you don't have to work too hard, these are your "b-roll".
- A road marker
- A museum sign
- A ticket booth
- A street sign
- Locks of love on a fence/bridge etc
- Time and temperature/weather report (screenshots acceptable)
- Pavement & cobblestones underfoot
- Park Benches
- Street lamps
- Wires and Antennae
- Clotheslines and laundry
- Posters and flyers
- Hopscotch, handball, chess tables, other public sport/play courts, and equipment
- Children's chalk drawings on the sidewalk
- Pigeons or other local "pest" birds that gather around tourists
- Street performers
Local Flavor-Loaded Foodie Travel Posts to Feed Your Followers
Nothing cements a memory like using all your senses. And let's face it - we all gotta eat! Food is a universal language. These images recall the tastes and smell, textures and sights that delighted you...
- A dinner
- A lavish dessert
- A buffet or spread
- Morning Coffee
- A table at a sidewalk cafe
- Afternoon tea
- A bakery case
- A menu
- The nametag of a great waiter
- Local snacks or treats
Travel Photos That Provide Context to Your Social Travel Posts
It's amazing how different the same things can be in different cities and countries. The sound of an ambulance siren, the way you check out at the grocery store, the side of the street you drive on, and the schedule for the day. Capture the rhythm and ritual of life somewhere else when you take photos of these everyday items and occurrences.
- A scooter
- A bike
- A subway platform
- A bus station
- Public transportation maps
- Newspaper & magazine stands
- A pharmacy sign
- A barbershop
- A sale sign
- A traffic signal
- A taxi
- A mailbox
- A license plate
- A gas station
- People waiting in line
- A drinking fountain
- A trash can
- Bathroom door signs
- Familiar items in unfamiliar packages
- Local currency
- Vending machines
- A sleeping dog (or cat)
- A group or collection of common items unique to the location ( shells, rocks, poker chips, french fries... be creative!)
Funny Vacation Instagram Post Ideas
If you are lucky, you will capture funny posts. This is where candids, quick camera work, and a sense of humor pay off. Be kind to your fellow travelers. They may capture you next.
- A bad translation
- A shocked reaction
- "Weird" (to you) food
- An "out of character" or surprising activity
- Sleeping in strange places due to jetlag/travel fatigue
Architectural Details to Capture for Instagram Travel Posts
If you are visiting a new city/town, you might want to capture the architectural details that this place is known for, or those that really stand out to you. Like the local photos earlier in this list, there's no need to populate these photos with people unless you choose to. This is your b roll that rounds out your memories and transports others along with you. Pick the most interesting shots to share. Save the rest for your own albums.
- Building facades
- Memorial plaques & cornerstones
- Stucco, plaster, and siding
- Fresh and peeling paint
- Reflections on buildings
- Scaffolding and Construction - "work in progress"
Nature Details to Show Off in your Vacation Instagram Stories
By now you know the drill... Consider adding these textural "sense of place" nature pictures onto your shoot list. If you are making albums or stories, you can use these types of images as backgrounds and apply type or captions.
- The effects of strong winds
- Sand dunes
- Local flora & fauna
- Reflections on the water
- Moss and lichen
- Mushrooms and fungi
- Cool clouds
Story Telling Photos for Social Media Stories and Feed
Storytelling images show the activities you participated in and suggest the emotions. They may also show relationship details by capturing a telling moment between a couple, a child and a parent or grandparent, old friends etc. Some examples:
- Game pieces (deck of cards, bingo card, checkers)
- Holding hands
- A shadow portrait
- A silhouette at sunset
- Body language (heart frames with arms/hands)
- Lipstick mark on a cheek or napkin
- Two glasses (in a toast, two cups of coffee w/a view )
- Sunscreen & sunhat
- Mittens, scarf, gloves, and hat
- Specialized travel gear (water bottle, binoculars walking shoes )
- Feet in sand
- Feet in water
- A "lesson" such as learning to ski/surf/play a card game.
- Sports equipment
Market and Shopping Photos
Market scenes are always popular shares. We all love to see what's available in other places.
- Something you want that you'd never buy for yourself
- Fresh Produce
- Market Stalls
- Store Fronts
- Window Displays
- Items for sale in the market
- Grains & spices
- Fabric & textiles
- Market "scene"
- Kitschy souvenirs for sale in a shop
- Shopping haul
- Souvenirs/gifts you’ve purchased
(You) wish you were here... Vacation Photos Your Instagram Feed Needs
Let's face it - everyone likes getting likes. And everyone likes sharing the best parts of their vacation. These photos are where reality takes a backseat to fantasy. Part vacation porn, part humble brag, this is the good stuff. Just don't overdo it on these. Try to keep it real. You want people to be happy for you, not hate you.
- A bubble bath
- A lounge chair and novel
- Your view from the lounge chair (including feet)
- A cocktail
- A chocolate on a pillow
- Crisp linens
- A Do Not Disturb sign on the door
- A Room Service menu
- An elaborately folded napkin or towel
- Flowers in a vase
- Robe and slippers
- The label of a fabulous bottle of wine
- Lavish hotel amenities - soaps, etc
- A special outfit laid out and ready to wear (or on you)
- A room service tray
- The amazing view from your balcony/window
- Heated towels in your room/spa
- Stacks of fluffy towels by the pool
- Flowers in the lobby
Bonus: Vacation Reels and Vacation Tiktok Post Ideas
- Before and after - film yourself magically transported to your vacation location
- Timelapse travel - shoot a timelapse of your flight's take-off and/or landing out the window
- Room tour
- View reveal
- Packing video
- The mood on arrival vs mood leaving
- Photo montage set to your favorite music
Don't forget to check out our Ultimate list of travel hashtags before you post. Using the right hashtags will help others find your posts, and follow you!
Popular Travel Photography Hashtags To Use and Peruse
Looking at photos taken by other travelers is often a great source of inspiration for your own travel photos. Everyone documents the journey a little differently so it's fun to see what people are posting and learn from others. Consider following and engaging with some of these hashtags and the accounts that frequently use these hashtags. Using the appropriate travel photography hashtags are also a good way to join the community and attract other like minded folks to your own posts.
Here's the assignment. You don't have to post all these images but if you take them, your Instagram, Tiktok and Facebook feeds will never be boring and you will never be at a loss as to what vacation photos to take and to share when you travel.
These are just of few of the most engaged travel hashtags. Use them as a jumping off point to explore more specific community tags. Tip: find more specific travel communities via our massive directory of travel hashtags.