Let’s be honest, as a new year begins or summer nears, thoughts of vacation suddenly start prominently taking over your mind. You might be thinking of an all-inclusive sun getaway or a luxurious cruise. How about a road trip or that exotic destination you have always dreamed about visiting. Maybe it’s a trip to that long-awaited place on your bucket list. You definitely need travel inspiration!
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Trying to decide where to go has never been easier. Technology, global reach and people sharing their adventures, are just some of the fun ways of discovering your next destination. Here are some of my favourite sources of inspiration.
I am a huge fan of Instagram. The images of the places I find there constantly amaze me. When it first came out, Instagram got a lot of negative slack. Many felt that it bastardized the art of photography. As an art form, photography required expensive cameras, lenses and various paraphernalia. It took hours of waiting for the right moment to capture that perfect shot, followed by extensive retouching and editing.
Those factors made photography often inaccessible to many until Instagram came along and changed all that. After all, nobody became famous for taking Polaroids.
Photography made easy
Anyone with a smartphone can now be an artist. The more advanced the devices get, the better and more improved the cameras they come with. Multiple filters and apps allow anyone to edit a photo and post it online. When it comes to travel, this is probably the best way to see faraway places. Seeing destinations through the eyes of others can be interesting and fun.
The images of the salt flats in Bolivia or the Red Square in Moscow are practically ingrained in my head simply because I have seen so many of them. Through the snow, reflections in rain puddles, night shots and sunny days. I have experienced places I have never been to, each different from the next, varying only by how the person who took the shot envisioned it.
Through their captures, Instagrammers have allowed me to see the familiar in a different light. Through those images, I have learned more about destinations I’ve already planned on visiting. I also yearn for places I’ve never imagined or knew existed.
There are many stunning images on Instagram that can provide travel inspiration or help you experience them through the eyes of others.
Videos can be a great source of travel inspiration. Many destinations create videos made specifically to attract tourists. Tourist boards, travel agencies and various government organizations put much effort into getting you to visit and spend your money there. That’s because people are more likely to visit a place if they can see the destination ahead of time. It’s definitely a good way to pique someone’s interest.
Destination videos can dispel any pre-existing notions like “there is nothing to do in X.” They show the unfamiliar in a friendly and welcoming way. Thanks to technology, people are not only watching videos, but they are also sharing them. How many of you have shared or saw a shared video on social media? I know I have and this makes them so accessible to everyone with an Internet connection.
An effective piece can have a wide and powerful reach. I learned that first hand a few years ago after watching a tourist video for Iceland. I can’t find the original one, but here it is also a good one.
My love for Iceland born from videos
I have to admit that I didn’t know too much about Iceland. It wasn’t really on my radar as a destination. Then I saw this random video. Something about it intrigued me and definitely made me want to go there. To this day, Iceland ranks as one of the best trips I have made so far, proving to me that tourism advertising works.
The beauty of YouTube is that there are endless videos. Both professional and amateur quality, available for any travel research. Pick a destination and you’ll have access to an endless resource of information. Who knows, as the inspiration strikes, you might be tempted to do your own video for others to enjoy.
As the popularity of leisure travel grows, everyone in the business wants a piece of it. Airlines are no different and can be a great source of travel inspiration. To attract passengers, airlines are becoming increasingly more creative when promoting various destinations by offering great deals. This offers a great opportunity for research on new destinations.
While on a flight, you will most likely find some type of travel magazine tucked into the seat pocket in front of you. Filled with lots of pictures and easy to read articles, you can learn more about the destinations your airline services.
From where to shop to what to eat and visit, there are little tidbits on places you might have not been to or never thought about. Even if you have been to a particular destination, there might be new things for you to learn or explore next time you visit there. Besides, with all this time on your hands, reading a magazine is a good way to pass the time.
Airlines are also getting more creative with promotions and travel inspiration. With the popularity of social media, airlines take to twitter, Instagram, Facebook and other platforms to promote destinations, deals and engage with those who might want to travel with them.
Taking advantage of this will expose you to information (video and articles) on the destinations they are promoting. It also allows you to participate in various promotions and new deals that might just sweeten that trip you’ve already planned. Score.
Although a more traditional way of learning about places, printed travel guides are still a good staple to rely on. They are also a great source of travel inspiration. Guides often provide recommendations for visiting various museums, restaurants and monuments. In them, you can find practical travel information and advice on local currency and customs. Travel books also help you get around and often include a few phrases in the local language.
Quite often, the guides come with a map, itinerary suggestions and directions. These are quite handy for the times when you are limited in how long you can spend in one place. Whether you prefer guides that are more descriptive with limited images or more visual ones, there is something for everyone.
Not all guides are created equal
I have a number of guides that range from the quick top-10-things-to-do-here types, specific location ones as well as those covering multiple countries and cities. The best thing about them is their longevity. Let’s be honest, the Colosseum hasn’t moved for centuries and it won’t move next year either. While you’ll be able to find the Colosseum, you want to make sure you don’t solely rely on your guide if it’s a few years old. There are other things that could have changed since it was published. Remember, research should have multiple sources.
If you don’t care about lugging books around, there are many travel guide apps that work well without an Internet connection. These are especially handy with mapping out directions from your location, finding places to eat and general getting around.
These are my favourite ways of travel inspiration. Like anyone else that has been bitten by the travel bug, I don’t have a problem with finding places to go to. My problem is finding the time and means to get to the next place on my list. It’s a challenge I take on very seriously.
Travel blogs are one of the most fun ways to find travel inspiration. Each is unique as is the person behind it. I love reading posts on the same destinations from different people as they all have something different to say. One of my fave things is to read about places I’ve been to or have written about on my own blog. It’s always interesting to find out what their experience and impression were and compare them to mine.
Blogs are also a good way to get inspired to blog. I find that when I hit that writing wall, it’s easier to break it after reading a few blogs. Other times, it’s the comments that provide inspiration. Readers might suggest other options and/or provide their own experiences. It just adds to the conversation.
There are many great books that can inspire travel. Tales of foreign lands and fast-paced adventures, stories of love and betrayal. These books don’t even have to be travel books to inspire wanderlust in the reader. Sometimes even fiction can be a great source of getting curious about a new location. After all, you can imagine anything simply by reading.
Aside from Instagram, travel inspiration can be found on other platforms. Interestingly, I am finding tons of great photos and blogs on Twitter. It’s also one of my fave platforms to chat with other like-minded people about travel. Sometimes the Twitter chats offer so many new ideas and inspiration for my bucket list.
No matter what platform you choose, there will be someone sharing something that can provide travel inspiration. It never fails and people love to chat about traveling. Do you have any fave social networks that inspire you?
What are your favourite ways to find inspiration for travel? Let me know!