Finding the best travel hashtags to add to your posts on Instagram and other social media platforms can help boost your views, get more people commenting on your travel photos and help people see why you’re totally worth following.

But more than that, travel hashtags can help you find a community of inspiring Instagrammers who love travel as much as you do. Whether you’re one of the #SoloTravelers, your journeys are #FamilyTravels or you’re working to fulfill your #TravelCoupleGoals, finding your tribe is much easier thanks to hashtags.

You may not be a travel influencer (yet), but that doesn’t mean you can’t use the same hashtag strategies the pros use to grow your own following and get your photos noticed. Here’s what you need to do.

Use Unique Instagram Travel Hashtags

The very popular Instagram hashtag, #travel, written in the sand on a beach.
#travel is a popular hashtag but not great for getting your travel photos seen.

#Travel and #traveling seem like the obvious best travel hashtags to use, but they’re really not. By the time you’ve finished editing your next Instagram post, your most recent #travel-tagged post will be buried by new snapshots shared by your fellow travelers because these are very, very popular Instagram hashtags.

The key to standing out from the ever-growing crowd of globetrotting Instagrammers is using travel hashtags that are variations of the theme. Here are some ideas that are highly searched but not overused that you can copy and paste:

  • #traveling
  • #travelers
  • #travelbug
  • #travelholic
  • #travelgram
  • #travelinggram
  • #travelphotography
  • #exploring
  • #explorer
  • #wanderer
  • #wanderlust
  • #doyoutravel
  • #goexplore
  • #travelmore
  • #lovetotravel
  • #wonderfulplaces
  • #roamtheplanet
  • #travellifestyle

One strategy you should also try is choosing your Instagram travel hashtags and vacation hashtags based on who you are and how you travel. It’s a great way to connect with other traveling Instagrammers who share your passions.

  • #solotravels
  • #solotraveldiaries
  • #solotravelstories
  • #nomadiclife
  • #womenwhoexplore
  • #womenwhotravel
  • #travelingladies
  • #familytravels
  • #travelingwithkids
  • #familytravelmoment

Hashtag Your Destination

Your followers definitely want to know where you are, so let your social media travel hashtags do the talking.

I used #kauai during a recent trip and found I received likes from both people who lived on the island and people who were traveling there. Start with the obvious Instagram hashtags related to your destination, like:

  • #mexico 
  • #sandiego 
  • #lajolla 
  • #nyc 

Then drill down even further. First, you can break it down by region. If you happen to be in Hong Kong, you could use #china and then #hongkong and even drill down further into neighborhood names like #kowloon.

You can also think about what sets your destination apart, like #colorado, #denver, #rockymountains, and #coloradolife. Just don’t forget to include those top-level destination-specific Instagram travel hashtags before experimenting with variations like #nycstyle, #instaparis, #traveleurope, or #lajollavibes.

Not sure how to hashtag your destination? Just pop the name of the city you’re visiting into Instagram’s search box. You’ll get loads of results showing the popular hashtags fort travel that other people in the city are using.

Use Branded Travel Hashtags

Top travel photos in the South of France often have branded travel hashtags in them like this #ILoveNice sculpture on the city's famous promenade.
This tourism board travel hashtag is a sculpture on the famous Nice promenade.

Make sure to find out which popular travel hashtags are used by tourism boards, airlines, and attractions in the destination you’re posting about. Magazines and media also have their own branded hashtags for travel that you may want to consider using.

The upshot to using branded travel hashtags is not only are you getting more targeted eyeballs on your photos, but they may be less active than Instagram hashtags used worldwide. This means that more people are likely to see your travel photos as they’ll stay near the top of the hashtag feed for a longer period of time.

And, if you’re trying to get the attention of a particular brand on social media, this is one way to do it. Just make sure the photo you’re posting is relevant to that brand.

Some examples include:

  • #VisitSD (San Diego Tourism Authority)
  • #VisitCalifornia (Visit California)
  • #DiscoverHongKong (Hong Kong Tourism Board)
  • #flyLAX (Los Angeles International Airport)
  • #lifewelltravelled and #mychinaexperience (Cathay Pacific Airways)
  • #iflyAlaska (Alaska Airlines)
  • #IamATraveler (CN Traveler)
  • #IamAFan, #MOSpa, #MOFoodie, #MODetails (Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group)
  • #FourSeasons (Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts)

Hashtag What’s Around You

What are you capturing? A sunny day on the hiking trail? A sunset over the ocean? Make sure to hashtag what features prominently in your photos. Maybe you should include beach hashtags or mountain hashtags for travel.

Start with top-level hashtags that describe exactly what you’re looking at, like:

  • #sky
  • #clouds
  • #beach
  • #food
  • #nature
  • #snow
  • #sunset
  • #night
  • #mountains

But don’t stop there. Next, add some Instagram hashtags that give your post additional flavor, like:

  • #snowcapped
  • #roomwithaview
  • #beautifulnature
  • #riverside
  • #beautifulclouds
  • #landscapephotography
  • #luxuryhotel
  • #reflections
  • #tropicalisland

Are you lounging on the most beautiful beach you’ve ever seen? Think about how many beach hashtags for travel you can come up with, and then do a search to see if people are using them. It really is that simple.

And, finally, why not add a few photography hashtags that tell people how you take your photos? For example:

  • #Canon
  • #CanonEos
  • #Sonyphotography
  • #Sonycamera
  • #GoPro
  • #wideangle
  • #fisheye

Describe the Moment

Is the lei you just received in Hawaii super pretty? Is the Caribbean’s warm turquoise water washing onto your toes? People want to experience what you’re experiencing.

That’s why these top-level hashtags are so popular:

  • #love
  • #pretty
  • #funny
  • #amazing
  • #awesome
  • #yum
  • #cute
  • #luxury

Next, describe the vibe with hashtags like:

  • #viewfromabove
  • #skibum
  • #beachbum
  • #lovetheocean
  • #foreversummer
  • #sundown

Hashtag What You’re Doing

A man in a red jacket overlooks a valley with the #explore hashtag for Instagram written over the sky.
Hashtag what you’re doing or about to do.

Were you running on the beach or hiking in a national park when you took that photo (or your bestie snapped that gorgeous photo of you)?

Describing what you were doing is an easy way for people — aka potential followers — who share your interests to find you.

  • #running
  • #hiking
  • #flying
  • #swimming
  • #relaxing
  • #spa
  • #scubadiving
  • #exploring

Get Creative with Your Vacation Hashtags

Vacation hashtags are getting more and more descriptive and fun as time passes. Like:

  • #sunsetporn
  • #nightphotography
  • #postcardsfromtheworld
  • #choosemountains
  • #optoutside
  • #ipulledoverforthis
  • #viewfromthetop
  • #sunset_madness

These vacation hashtags for travel are all about the vibe and how travel makes you feel. They may not have the numbers that #sunset has, but you can bet that the people browsing niche Instagram travel hashtags are the kinds of passionate people who make the best followers.

Aviation Travel Hashtags

Obviously, the photos you post with these popular hashtags must have something to do with aviation, but that should be easy considering how much of travel involves boarding a plane.

Do you love the journey as much as the destination? Then check out these air travel hashtags:

  • #instaplane
  • #planegeek 
  • #planes 
  • #flight
  • #aviation 
  • #planespotting 
  • #planeporn 
  • #landing
  • #takeoff 
  • #airlines 
  • #airplanes 
  • #aviationphotography
  • #flightpictures
  • #avgeek 

You can also hashtag the airline, make and model of your plane (e.g., #deltaairlines #boeing737 #737) or even your #airplanefood.

Because I have a thing for airplanes and love to Instagram airplane food, I’ve recently been using the hashtag #avgeek, which stands for aviation geek, and I’m getting a lot of engagement from Instagrammers outside of my usual network as a result.

Food Instagram Hashtags for Travel

Dining out is part of a vacation so don't forget to use travel hashtags that are food centric.
Like to take photos of food? Use hashtags!

For many of us, food plays a major role in a vacation. My family often automatically does not touch their plates until I’ve taken a photo. And, I believe there is no better way to experience a destination than through your taste buds. So, you should absolutely create Instagram posts that include decadent and local eats.

It’s highly likely that the destination you’re visiting has a set of city specific food hashtags. To give you an idea here are a couple of San Diego food hashtags:

  • #SanDiegoEats
  • #SDFoodie
  • #YouStayHungrySD

You can also use some general food hashtags that may apply to your situation:

  • #onmytable
  • #foodphotography
  • #foodieadventures

How Many Instagram Hashtags Should I Use?

The quick answer is however many you are comfortable with.

I’ve seen popular Instagrammers use as many as the full 30 allowed by the platform, though some research suggests that 11 is the perfect number for attracting new followers.

Remember, you can always add more Instagram hashtags for travel in the comment section if you remember one later or don’t want to clog up your caption with too many hashtags. Make sure to get the best travel hashtags in your Instagram post right before you post (in addition to checking for spelling and formatting errors). If you edit an Instagram post after it’s live, their algorithm will likely show it to less people. I know this based on personal experience and fellow influencers also report the same.

How Do I Remember Which Top Instagram Hashtags to Use?

There are affiliate links below which means that if you make a purchase through them, I may be compensated.

There are a few apps out there that will automatically identify hashtags to use in certain categories like food, plants, travel and more. I quite like Tailwind for scheduling Instagram posts and hashtag research (I also use it for Pinterest).

Tailwind is an Instagram Partner, and they allow you to save hashtags into reusable lists. Their recommended hashtags are usually pretty good. Every once in awhile they’ll present something that I feel is irrelevant (as do other apps like this) so I’ll simply ignore them. They also color code Instagram hashtags so that you’ll know which of the popular travel hashtags that they recommend are the most likely to give you the most engagement.

However, many people I know forego apps and simply store hashtags on their mobile phones. Make a list of hashtags you like in your phone’s notes section and refer to it as you post. I know people who have hashtags listed by category in notes that they copy and paste into Instagram as necessary.

Or you could just wing it — which I actually do fairly frequently.

The Best Travel Hashtag Rule of Thumb

Here’s what I do. I do a little bit of research as to what tourism boards and major brands in the destination use for Instagram travel hashtags. You’ll save time if you do this before you head out to take photos. I also often hashtag my location (in addition to setting a location on my post), a word to describe the moment, when I took the photo and what I was doing.

Next, I’ll add in a few general top Instagram hashtags or related hashtags for travel. Of course, it all depends on the photo, so I am always be flexible.

Remember that you’ll spend more time at the top of the results when you choose travel and vacation hashtags that are popular but not so popular that new posts are buried in a matter of seconds.

Do you find yourself using the same travel hashtags repeatedly? Instagram hasn’t confirmed that it penalizes posts based on repeated use of the same hashtags, but some users have reported less engagement when they keep repeating Instagram hashtags.

You can always experiment to see whether you see increases or decreases in engagement based on the travel hashtags you use, the number of hashtags, and whether you put them in the caption or the comments of your post.

Again, choosing the best travel hashtags should be, first and foremost, about creativity. How can you tap into a community of travelers who love exploring the world as much as you do without getting lost in the constant flood of travel photos? Look at the travel hashtags popular Instagrammers are using and follow their lead. 

Which Instagram travel hashtags have you experienced success with? How many hashtags do you use? If you enjoyed this post, please follow my travels on Instagram — @lajollamom.

Katie Dillon is the managing editor of La Jolla Mom. She helps readers plan San Diego vacations through her hotel expertise (that stems from living in a Four Seasons hotel) and local connections. Readers have access to exclusive discounts on theme park tickets (like Disneyland and San Diego Zoo) and perks at luxury hotels worldwide through her. She also shares insider tips for visiting major cities worldwide, like Hong Kong, London, Paris, and Shanghai, that her family has either lived in or visits regularly (or both).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. I’m visiting you from the SITS Saturday Sharefest, and I am so glad I did! I am just starting to learn instagram, and I have lots of traveling coming up in the near future. I’m definitely pinning this! Thanks for the tips, and have a nice weekend!

  2. thanks for the tips. Just returned from a vacation and have lots of pictures to post. Followed you from SITS. have a blessed day!

  3. What a fun post. I’m just getting back into Instagram. Slowly!

    Happy SITS Saturday. Have a great weekend!

  4. I would love for you to share and link up at my weekly TGIF Link Party if you haven’t already this week. Your favorite posts, most popular, recent or new! The party is open every Thursday night and closes Wednesday’s at midnight. Followed by (Not SO) Wordless Wednesday! I would be honored if you join us! Have a wonderful week!

    Hugs, Cathy

  5. Wow, VERY helpful information! Thanks for boiling that down to basics, I often get overwhelmed by hashtags.

  6. This is such a detailed post, I love it. I’m *REALLY* trying to up my followers on IG and hopefully hashtagging is the way to go! Bookmarked for reference! <3

    xoxo Sara

  7. Thank you for this im sure to get new followers on instagram. I think wanderlust is also a great hashtag. Enjoy traveling the world. Please give me a shout out on instagram hope I can get new followers

  8. thanks for this base, it’d be very useful. I’m a travelholic and these would help me. Btw, can anybody advise me perfect app with analytics for managing IG? I use for boosting followers, but i need smth for management. Any suggestions?

  9. Wow this is wonderful information. Hopefully this is going to help us to get more followers. Thanks a lot for sharing. Bookmarked for future reference.

  10. #instapassort is another good general instagram travel hashtag. And when hashtagging the location, also think to hashtag the city/country/continent. So I just posted about Budapest so I hashtagged: #budapest #hungary #europe
    Also if you put ‘visit’ or ‘travel’ in front of any of most locations and that works well too.
    I usually do a quick search of the city I am about to post about and see what top instagrammers are using.

  11. Although written three years ago I am sure it is still relevant today. I shall put into practice the tips. One small concern I have is if one uses a hashtag that has an extremely high popularity ranking, then my message may be lost amongst the millions, rather than have something somewhat unique and more relevant to my niche target market. I rent out luxury vacation apartments in a tiny town named Liepaja, Latvia that not many people have heard of. I hope my posts will attract attention and in particular allow prospective guests to find me. Many thanks, Judith

  12. Great article… you gave me a few new ideas to try!
    If you’re into really wild and adventurous travel, please chexk my feed (and by all means, send a DM if I use any hashtags incorrectly)
    Graysdir on Instagram

  13. That´s a helpful information! Thanks!
    I´d like to share the hashtags, that work for me 🙂

    #WorldCaptures #LiveTravelFly #LoveTheWorld #BeautifulDestinations #PassionPassport #TravelStoke #TravelAwesome #WorldPlaces #MeetTheWorld #AweSupply

  14. Thanks so much for these tips! I’m really trying to get more engagement on Instagram. I was doing really great until they started messing with the algorithms and such. Just gotta keep pushing! Thanks again!

  15. Instagram is popular entertainment, travel, photography site. I like Instagram site. It’s very useful for travelling, photography source. You share the best travel hashtag is really awesome. Thanks for such post and please keep it up.