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
#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:
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.
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:
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
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:
But don’t stop there. Next, add some Instagram hashtags that give your post additional flavor, like:
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:
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:
Next, describe the vibe with hashtags like:
Hashtag What You’re Doing
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.
Get Creative with Your Vacation Hashtags
Vacation hashtags are getting more and more descriptive and fun as time passes. Like:
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:
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
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:
You can also use some general food hashtags that may apply to your situation:
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?
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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 offer 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 that you like in the notes section of your phone and refer to it as you’re posting. 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 over and over again? Instagram hasn’t ever 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’ve 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).
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