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Our 10 best travel Instagrams

Have you been bitten by the Instagram bug?

We have.

And while we haven’t posted zillions of pics (680 travel Instagrams at the moment), we’re loving this visually creative way to share our travel experiences.

We also love playing around with the different filters and effects.

Best Travel Instagrams

In this way, Instagram is quite different from the usual traditional travel photography we’re used to seeing in magazines and newspapers (where realism is the goal).

Our “go to” photo editing app is currently Snapseed. Shift is also great for creating individual color effects. Often we don’t do any editing except for a few tweaks right in Instagram.

You can also get quite creative with what you say to go alongside your travel photos. If you’re at a loss for words, try using some of the great short travel quotes for Instagram to evoke the mood or feeling behind a photo.

Best travel instagrams

Kangaroo in Australia

Browsing the travel moments captured by others is also inspiring.

There are some amazing photographers and instagrammers out there – like Dave Bouskill and Deb Corbeil (thePlanetD), Liz Carlson (YoungAdventuress), Lauren Bath (Laurenepbath) and Gary Arndt (EverythingEverywhere).

It’s hard to compete with their travel shots – and we’re not trying!

But here we’ve picked from our @SandInMySuitcase Instagram account what we think are our 10 best travel Instagrams. (We’ve posted many more photos since we first started on Instagram, so these are our best “earlier” Instagram posts.)

Some are “insta” but others are “latergrams.” (Don’t you dig the Instagram lingo?)

Hope you like them…

1) It’s a crab’s life!


See: On Instagram

Doesn’t this crab look as if it’s clinging to the dock like its life depends on it?

We spotted the little creature in Bora Bora when catching the taxi boat to the Four Seasons Bora Bora (located on its own little private island in Bora Bora’s lagoon).

We love the overwater bungalows in Bora Bora and have very fond memories of our time in Bora Bora!

2) Boat ride to heaven

Longtail boat ride in Thailand

See: On Instagram

Thailand is a country we can return to time and time again. And we have!

There are are so many exotic places to visit in Thailand and things you can do there.

Like hiking in the jungly rainforest outside Chiang Mai (maybe avoid the rainy season if you don’t like the idea of leeches clinging to your pants legs).

And visiting the Hall of Opium in the Golden Triangle – who knew that Bayer, the aspirin maker, once advertised heroin as a safe drug for coughs!

But taking a longtail boat ride out into Thailand’s Phang Nga Bay also ranks high on our list.

The limestone karsts jutting up out of the pea-green water really are quite spectacular!

And as in our picture (shown above), there’s always room for a “navigator” to sit at the front of the boat and enjoy the ride too :-).

3) Ancient city of love


See: On Instagram

With the sweet fragrance of wildflowers scenting the air, we walked through this ceremonial gate at the entrance to Aphrodisias.

Named after the goddess Aphrodite, Aphrodisias is not as well-known as Ephesus in Turkey, but the ancient marble city in Greece rivals Ephesus as one of the best preserved sites of the ancient world.

4) Vancouver – there’s no place like home


See: On Instagram

Have you visited our former home city of Vancouver? No? Well, you should! Must-do: Bicycle around Stanley Park.

This is one of the water views of False Creek you’ll see when in downtown Vancouver. Not bad, eh?

5) Clip-clopping around Bagan, Myanmar

View from horsecart, Bagan

See: On Instagram

“A gilded city alive with tinkling bells and the swishing sounds of monks’ robes…” That’s how Marco Polo described Bagan.

We sailed from Yangon to Bagan on the Belmond Orcaella luxury river cruiser, and while you don’t see any monks in this picture, you can see how we explored Bagan’s ancient pagodas – by riding in a horsecart. Fun!

6) Elephant love

Elephants drinking

See: On Instagram

We have a thing for elephants.

So we just had to include this “ellie” pic in our list of best travel Instagrams.

7) All is sunny on the Sunshine Coast

Sunshine Coast

See: On Instagram

People who live on the Sunshine Coast – a 112-mile stretch of coastline northwest of Vancouver – swear they have sunnier weather than Vancouver’s.

They’re probably right.

Visit in the summer, and the weather gods will likely smile on you.

The Sunshine Coast is also one of B.C.’s best-kept secrets (Salt Spring Island and the Gulf Islands probably attract more visitors).

For us, it makes a great getaway, with swimming lakes, sea-kayaking coves, forest trails and funky villages. The ride with B.C. Ferries to the Sunshine Coast is also very scenic.

And when you get there, you’ll find plenty of pretty patios like this for summer sipping or reading…

8)  Dream weaver

Best travel instagrams - weaver

See: On Instagram

Baseket weaving thrives on the Indonesian island of Lombok. The hands of this villager were so quick and nimble as he worked on this basket!

We were quite taken by Lombok’s attractions.

The beaches in Lombok are quieter than Bali’s and it offers some lovely, reasonably-priced, oceanfront boutique hotels. (Luxe for less? Sign us up!)

If you plan to visit Bali, it’s worth tacking on time to visit Lombok too.

9) No monkeying around now!

Monkey family with baby monkeys in Ubud

See: On Instagram

They’re oh-so-cute, especially the tiny babies like the little thing watched over by her (his?) protective mother here.

But you do have to watch out for your jewelry and water bottles and cameras when visiting the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary in Ubud.

If you’re not careful, these mischievous monkeys in Bali will grab them and scamper off with their loot in tow.

10) Stepping back in time at Ephesus

Best travel Instagrams - Ephesus

See: On Instagram

Speaking of Ephesus… Just scroll back up to the Aphrodisias picture (#3) if you can’t remember.

(You’re forgiven if you don’t remember, because we probably should have put this picture underneath the Aphrodisias picture if we really wanted you to remember, but we also wanted to give you a break from ruins, so we’re putting the Ephesus picture here.)

Anyway, speaking of the ancient city of Ephesus in Turkey, the facade of its famous Celsus Library never fails to be a photographic highlight.

Do you like Instagram?

What’s your “handle”? What are your favorite Instagram apps? Who are your favorite travel Instagrammers?

Do tell!

About the authors:

Janice and George Mucalov

Luxury travel journalists and SATW, NATJA and TMAC “Best Travel Blog” award winners, Janice and George are the publishers of Sand In My Suitcase. Between them, they’ve traveled to all 7 continents.

Find destination guides, global food-and-wine stories, luxury hotel reviews, articles on cultural explorations and soft adventure trips, cruise reviews and information, insanely useful travel tips and more!

Suzanne Fluhr

Sunday 6th of September 2015

I'm a relatively new Instagrammer, but It's a great way to share photos with the folks back home while on the road. Of course, it's easy to find oneself spending time ogling photos when one should be working (she said ruefully raising her hand) ooohin and ahhing over other photos. These photos are great. If someone forced me to choose a favorite, it might be the dream weaver, but I'd also have to insist on picking the monkey photo-----because a baby monkey. :)

Suzanne Fluhr

Sunday 6th of September 2015

And oops, my Instagram is

Becky Padmore

Thursday 6th of August 2015

Beautiful! The elephants and the monkey shots are my favourite!


Monday 3rd of August 2015

Your insta photos are beautiful! My favourites are the expressions of the monkeys in Ubud - I really enjoyed watching them when I was there last year and Aphrodisias looks stunning too but perhaps the most alluring is the patio on the sunshine coast, which truth be told, I didn't know about at all before reading this post. The patio looks picture perfect ☺

Janice and George

Tuesday 4th of August 2015

Well, that's nice that now you know about a place in our part of the world, that's a bit of a secret and really worth visiting (in summery warm weather!) if you come to Vancouver :-).


Saturday 1st of August 2015

Wow! A great collection of awe-inspiring images and travelogue.

Wandering Carol

Wednesday 29th of July 2015

Okay - these photos rival anyone's. Really really good. And the monkeys!!!!! Fun post. The monkeys!!!!