Why I’m over Instagram travel models 

I first joined the Instagram community of travel bloggers back in 2017. 

While I posted the odd photo every now and then, my main passion was in writing about the trips I’d taken. Whether I received a ‘like’ or not on social media was irrelevant; I was content seeing my work published.

Then and now

Fast forward a few years, and my attitude changed towards social media has changed. I realise the importance of staying present in a saturated market, along with the challenges of regularly uploading fresh content.

Through social media, I saw the many advantages of using the platform as a travel blogger to reach a wider audience. To this day, it’s still as rewarding to connect with bloggers, travelers and those who are interested to travel more.

Back in the day…

Before Instagram, I’d been content sticking to Twitter and connecting with a like-minded community. However, I soon realised I was limiting my potential of connecting with more people.

Within days of signing up – and uploading pictures – to Instagram, I quickly began gaining likes as well as followers. Most were from travel-related backgrounds (bloggers, photographers), while others came from within the industry.

It was overwhelming — in a good way — to receive praise from connections in the travel community.

Instagram travel models - woman in bikini posing on the beach

Perfectly posed photos… courtesy of a professional photographer

Another group of ‘travel bloggers’ — Instagram travel models

As my account began to grow, I started noticing a growing trend on the platform.

There were an increasing number of profiles showcasing young, beautiful, mainly female ‘travel bloggers’ sharing photographs of their trips.

Most photos followed a similar pattern: immaculate-looking females sharing images of themselves in typically luxury resorts. After sifting through several of their profiles, it quickly became clear that they weren’t actually travel bloggers.

Instead, many of them were models that were posing as travel bloggers. 

Models selling products is nothing new, and my issue isn’t with them — after all, they also need to work. My issue is that while these profiles attract more attention, it’s the authentic travel bloggers/writers/photographers that potentially lose out.

 

 

 

I’m over it.

For me, these profiles take attention away from those of us driven by our love of travel, not by sponsorships.

Maybe I’m a lone case, but I actually don’t take any inspiration from the model-led travel instagrammers. I too have stayed in luxury resorts, and sipped on bespoke cocktails by an Olympic-sized swimming pool.

I’ve also taken walks on beaches at sunset — just without a professional photographer capturing my every step.

 

An outdoor food market in South-East Asia - Instagram travel models

My kind of travel

 

Candid and still inspiring — Instagram travel models

Where I do take inspiration, is from the bloggers who share their vibrant, if flawed, images. The look of sheer excitement, mixed with  curiosity when trying a new experience for the first time.

I enjoy looking at photos of a gritty outdoor food market, and drooling over images of steaming bowls of deliciousness. I’m inspired by bloggers that are always smiling, natural, and clearing enjoying that moment.

Ultimately, they understand how travel is a unique kind of education, and how it has the power to change someone’s entire perspective.

If you’re a young, beautiful and authentic travel blogger, then all the more power to you. I support anyone blogging and posting images that are solely about their passion for travel, and not just for a pay cheque.

What do you think about the flux of Instagram travel models? Do you enjoy their content, or do you prefer something a little less polished? Let me know in the comments below.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that I’ve recommended. Thank you for your support.

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63 Comments

  1. I love your honesty! I’m a 50-year old, overweight travel blogger. I’m not a professional photographer, nor does one travel with me. I also try not to hide what a place really looks like – if it’s crowded or the colors aren’t as vibrant as I’d hoped. It’s tough to compete! By the way, you’re beautiful and can give those models a run for their money!

    Reply
    • Lol aw thanks Annick! I’ll let them continue doing their thing, I’m happy to write, take photos, and keep sharing my travel photos, and not of me. It’s becoming a bit much now, but thankfully, I’m strong-minded enough to move beyond it 🙂

  2. I love this and really enjoyed your post! It gave me a ‘thank god I’m not the only one’ feeling… I’ve just started out, but sometimes I feel a bit hopeless because I know I’ll never be one of those girls!

    Reply
    • Aw thanks Hannah! Trust me, I won’t ever be one either, and that’s ok with me 🙂 Find your passion and stick to it. We can’t all be the same, so if you love taking photos of yourself on your travels, and posting them, do it! You’ll be surprised by how many ‘normal’ people like us will appreciate them x

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