Finding the right vacation hashtags to add to your travel posts on Instagram can help boost your views, get more people commenting on your 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 Travel Hashtags
#Travel and #traveling seem like the obvious hashtags to use, but they’re really not. By the time you’ve finished editing your next photo, your most recent #travel-tagged post will be buried by new snapshots shared by your fellow travelers.
The key to standing out from the ever-growing crowd of globetrotting Instagrammers is using travel hashtags that are variations on the theme. Here are some ideas that are highly searched but not overused:
One strategy you should also try is choosing your 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 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 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.
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 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 other people in the city are using.
Use Branded Travel Hashtags
Find out which travel hashtags are used by tourism boards, airlines, and attractions in the destination you’re posting about. Travel magazines and media also have their own branded hashtags that you may want to consider using.
The upshot to using branded hashtags is not only are you getting more targeted eyeballs on your photos, but they may be less active than hashtags used worldwide. This means that more people are likely to see your 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, 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? Hashtag what features prominently in your photos. Maybe you should include beach hashtags or mountain hashtags.
Start with top-level hashtags that describe exactly what you’re looking at, like:
But don’t stop there. Next, add some hashtags that give your post flavor, like:
Are you lounging on the most beautiful beach you’ve ever seen? Think about how many beach hashtags 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
Was the food you ate delicious? Is the lei you just received in Hawaii super pretty? 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:
Again, choosing 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 hashtags popular travel Instagrammers are using and follow their lead.
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 Travel Hashtags
Travel hashtags are getting more and more descriptive and fun as time passes. Like:
These hashtags 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 travel hashtags are the kinds of passionate people who make the best followers.
Aviation Travel Hashtags
Obviously, the photos you post with this hashtag 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 airplane food.
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.
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 hashtags in the comment section if you remember one later or don’t want to clog up your caption with too many hashtags.
How Do I Remember Which Instagram Hashtags to Use?
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).
Load the app, copy the hashtags, open Instagram and paste the hashtags into your photo. But personally, I find these apps are too limiting and that I often delete suggested hashtags because they aren’t relevant.
You may also copy hashtags you like into 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 cut 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 hashtags. I also often hashtag my location, a word to describe the moment, when I took the photo and what I was doing.
Next, I’ll add in a few general Instagram hashtags or travel-themed hashtags. 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 hashtags.
You can always experiment to see whether you see increases or decreases in engagement based on the hashtags you use, the number of hashtags and whether you put them in the caption or the comments of your post.
Which Instagram travel hashtags have you’ve experienced success with? How many hashtags do you use? If you enjoyed this post, please follow me on Instagram below.