Travel Blog: Does Instagram Influence Your Travel Plans

St Nicholas Bell Tower hello terri lowe

On my recent trip to Ghent, I saw something quite interesting in the travel guide we picked up…

Amongst all the tourist information, historical interest spots and traditional guide-book info, there was a small section in the index that included ‘Instagram Spots’.

Which is certainly a sign of the time…

“In a world where more and more people are sharing their lives online, new research has revealed that the drive to have the perfect online life is starting to affect real life decisions. The results have shown that over 40% of millennials are choosing their holiday destinations based upon how socially shareable their holiday will be.”

– Schofields Insurance 

Seeing other people’s instagram feeds with beautiful places does inspire a sense of escapism I suppose. Which ultimately does get them likes up. But would you go on a holiday simply because it ‘looked nice’ in picture?

I feel victim to the influence of instagram hype with my trip to Berlin I guess.

In the images I saw, the cafes were lovely, the city vibrant.

In reality it was a grey, dated city with little atmosphere.

Don’t get me wrong – I can see why people like Berlin. But for me, it wasn’t what I wanted. 

In contrast, when I went to Prague I didn’t expect a great deal of ‘instagram’ opportunity, but we stumbled upon location after location of brilliant spots. 

prague food

Another part of the Schofields study, that was to 1000 UK adults aged between 18 and 33, kind of alarmed me…

When questioned why they would visit a location, the results in order of popularity were:

  • How ‘Instagrammable’ the holiday will be – 40.1%
  • Cost/Availability of alcohol – 24%
  • Personal development – 22.6%
  • Chances to experience the local cuisine – 9.4%
  • Opportunities for sightseeing – 3.9%

How can experiencing the local cuisine rank so low?!

For me, that’s one of the top reasons to go to another city or country.

I have a rule where I won’t visit a shop or restaurant if I can go there in the UK.

The only exception to this rule, is if McDonald’s has a regional special. For example, Belgium as a veggie McDonald’s option called a ‘Whacko Guaco’, which you’d never get in this country! 

Do you agree with the results though? 

Why would you visit another country and what do you really do on your city breaks?