Apologies if you just rolled your eyes at the prospect of Insta-planning your holiday, but I wanted to write a post on how I’ve found the app to really help when planning my trips abroad. Never before have I been able to scope out new places to go/eat/drink/visit than with the help of that tiny little icon on my iPhone home screen. I think it’s one of the best tools for working out the vibe of a place, and how other people have experienced it, to help influence your trip planning before you go. I’ve been using it to help plan my upcoming trip to NYC, and so far it’s shown me so many places I wouldn’t have thought of before.
Support Your Local Travel Blogger
I’m guilty of this normally anyway, but I follow a lot of bloggers – travel, fashion, beauty, whichever – and throughout the year so many of my blogger favourites have been on trips to New York. When they have I’ve been sneakily screenshotting and keeping a note of where they went. It’s the best, unofficial tour guide way to find the best food – and they’re also very honest if they didn’t enjoy where they went.
The Frugality is a blog I’ve been following for years, and whereas Alex’s posts are usually around fashion and interiors, her travels always leave me with inspiration on what to do.
Is It Worth The Hype?
I use Trip Advisor for most trips away, but sometimes their ‘Top 100 Things To Do’ can feel a bit outdated. Look up these places and locations on Instagram, and it’ll give you a good idea of what you’ll be in for realistically. Is that view from the Top Of The Rock what you thought it would be? How about that cruise that goes around The Statue of Liberty? For us, we read an article about the best rooftop bars in NYC, but how do we know? We checked on Instagram and there we could see the best view you actually get in each one, and it really helped – we found the 230 Fifth Rooftop Bar. Through Instagram you have the chance to see a mini preview of what you can do – and I don’t mean that you’ll spoil your own trip, but it can help weed out the activities that might not be what you expect them to be.
#NYC #NYCeats #NYCrooftopbar – just a few examples of my Instagram search history of late. It may seem a bit trivial, but it’s the best way to find out pictures and accounts of people who are in NYC and are going to places you might like. It’s also a great way to find dedicated accounts to the cause as well, like my new favourite new account – Nyceeeeeats which will give you the meat sweats just looking at it.
Look up where you want to eat
Once you’ve found a few places that you just know you have to visit, start looking them up on Instagram. You’ll see proper pictures from us ‘normal folk’ without the gloss of a professional photoshoot. Sure, it will probably have a filter on it, but it’s great to see what you plan to be eating without the unrealistic shine of pics you might see on the website. Take a look at this restaurant – Panna II, completely filled with fairy lights and practically begging for it’s own hashtag.
Location, Location, Location
Whilst you’re there, you can also check out the location of the pic – so if you’re after something nearby this is the best time to use it. Another great way to utilise this is to find the best spots of somewhere you want to go. For example, want to visit Central Park? Great! But where? Its huge, and one spot doesn’t look like the other. There’s plenty to see there – the John Lennon memorial, the Alice in Wonderland statue, the central lake where you can hire a boat. But what about where to get that perfect skyline view? Search the tag and find the location, and you’re there!
Checking out Hotels
This applies in the same vein as the restaurant search, but you can also look up potential hotels on Instagram. You might find their official account, which is great for a follow if you want to see pics in the lead up to your holiday to get you excited, but you can also find pics from others who might be staying there. It’s a great way to see the pictures that aren’t just the promo pics from the hotel, and without having to sit through the horrifying ones you occasionally see on TripAdvisor of a chipped tile or an untucked bed sheet. Scandalous.
All of this may seem obvious, but I think Instagram has been such a help when planning my trips away lately. Thanks to Instagram you can weed out the things we’re not too fussed about, whilst also comparing pics of Mac & Cheese, because unfortunately I can’t fit them all in in only 5 days.
Have I missed any vital Instagram accounts out for NYC? Let me know in the comments! Or follow me on my Instagram to follow my travel adventures!