Instagram is everyone's favorite photo app but, it's also my most cherished tool to drive traffic to my blog, make money, and make real connections. I attended a travel blog conference recently and two things were discussed: social media is important now more than ever and so are the messages that you post. Instagram is one of the TOP drivers of traffic to my blog. And I also find that I spend more time on it than any other app. Instagram is a visual platform that lets you bridge the gap between words, videos, and images all in one. It's not always easy to know what to shoot, how and what will work for your account. So I've got 15 travel Instagram photo ideas and poses that will help you master the perfect shot every time.

The key to nailing Instagram is developing a theme or aesthetic that you love and makes you happy. I have a whole post detailing just how to do that! One of the key ways to grow your Instagram is to share beautiful images that align with your passions and goals. But right now, let's focus on some pictures and poses so you can create your perfect ‘gram. I advise having some “stock” photos if you have nothing to post, so you can always have something to share. After all, as far as Instagram goes, consistency is key.

So let's beat the Instagrammer's block together and share some photo ideas for Instagram that will always work.

15 Ridiculously Easy Travel Instagram Photo Ideas and Poses


1. What's in my hand

This one never seems to fail. Hold up your hand in a pretty background and BOOM, you've got a great picture. My personal favorite thing to hold is gelato, like this picture in Venice, Italy. Make it work with where you are, for example, fries in Belgium, a pretzel in Germany, a crepe in France, etc. This is a popular Instagram photo idea but it's eaasy to change up and suit your needs, no matter where you are.

Shot in Venice, Italy.

2. Hold onto your hats

I love having a central point to look at in images. I read recently that photos that have a theme that you can look at directly give your eye something to focus on, and make for a better viewer experience. Not to get too involved here on the psychology of our images, but having a hat in the photo creates a great travel photo and pulls in our focus. Whether it's on your head or in your hand, this is a fun idea for an Instagram pose.


Hat found here, can be customized! (Similar)

3. Sitting pretty

I like to play with where I am in the frame of the shot. Sometimes it's my whole body, other times it's only half of me, or a close up of my face. A good way to do that is to also sit down, so you can give the viewer a chance to see what's all around you. I often find my head might be blocking the mountains, or in this case, the rows of colorful buildings in Copenhagen, Denmark.

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Related post: The Top 15 Instagram Hashags for Female Travelers + The Accounts that Will Regram You

4. Sideways glance

I love seeing someone's face in a photo, but I think a side profile works well, too. It helps your eye follow along with what I'm looking at, while still showing you emotions on my face. I also find this to be a flattering angle for Instagram photos, like this one taken in Sofia, Bulgaria.

5. Where I'm headed flatlay

I ALWAYS find it interesting to see what people pack in their suitcase. I claim to be a fairly expert travel packer and pride myself on always carrying on. This is a great way to also introduce the start of a new trip and let people know where you're headed off to next.

Related post: How to Find Super Cheap Flights

6. Grab a pal

Whether you're with a significant other or a friend, it's always a good idea to shake up your images. A theme does NOT mean that every photo should look the exact same. Boring!! Having another person in the picture helps give more perspective to your photo and makes an image more fun. It's also a great way to introduce someone on Instagram.

Related post: How to Grow Your Instagram the Right Way

7. Looking away

I love the looking away pose because it gives the Instagram viewer a chance to literally be in your shoes. Like they too are looking out on the horizon, the pretty city, or the sea. One of the best things you can do for your Instagram is let people be part of your story. I think this type of photo does just that.

Picture taken in the mountains of Wilder Kaiser, Austria.

8. Caught in the act

Think of this as a behind the scenes or more “real life” photo of what you're doing while traveling. I really was devouring pasta in Italy and wanted to share this with my followers. It makes for a fun photo that you can easily caption for Instagram.

Related post: My Favorite Hashtags to Gain Likes and Organically Grow Your Instagram

9. Into the light

Many will tell you it's counter-intuitive to shoot INTO the light, but sometimes it can work. I love a good lens flare in a photo and I think it can make for a really unique shot. I think sunset is the best time of day to capture the light and colors. I love the way it makes images look and adds a fun alternative.

10. Magical monuments

Of course, don't forget about the main attractions. Sure, many people have photos of the Eiffel tower, but you have your own taste and way that you want to share. Instead of shooting this picture dead on, I shot it with the carousel taking up half the frame. You will have your own unique spin on it, your own style of editing, and so it will differ from the others. Don't forget to change up your view.

Shot in Paris, France.

11. Out my window

Giving viewers a more intimate view of your hotel or lodging helps them see the benefits of where to stay or what you're looking at outside. Maybe it's raining and you want to show the current weather, or you've got a beautiful view, or you love the little nook you've found.

Shot in Canal House, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

12. Rooftop outlook

One of my essentials when traveling is to get up high. This is the best way to survey a city and get that Instagram shot! When I was in Munich, Germany we headed up the New Town Hall to really get a feel for the city.

13. Hidden alleyways

I love seeing a different view of a city by heading off-the-beaten-path for some pictures. You'll usually find it's less crowded (so you can take more pictures without 100s of people in them!) and unique architecture.

Related post: How to Avoid Lines and People While Traveling

14. Walk this way

A good walking photo let's the viewer come along for the trip. It's in motion and so gives the picture more movement. Which is usually what I'm doing while traveling: go-go-go!

Shot in Vienna, Austria.

15. Resident expert

I am particularly fond of the houses and buildings when traveling. It gives you a sense of the architecture, how old a city is, and what they are all about. It usually makes for a colorful backdrop or a neatly lined photo on Instagram. Like these colorful buildings in Innsbruck, Austria.

Related post: How I Doubled My Instagram Following

So there you have it! 15 ricidulously easy travel (or whatever you like) photo ideas for Instagram. I hope this makes taking photos easier for you whenever you're in a pinch. What even more travel inspiration and Instagram photo ideas? Follow me on Instagram! I'm @heleneinbetween and I update daily with where I'm headed in Europe!

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