Instagram travel models – an introduction

I first joined the community of travel bloggers in 2016. Posting photos of my travels – and of myself – on every form of social media was the least of my priorities. My main passion lay in writing about the trips I’d taken, along with capturing images that matched my words. Whether I received a ‘like’ or not on social media was irrelevant; I was simply content seeing my work published.

Fast forward a few years, and my attitude towards social media slowly has changed. I realised 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 writer to reach a wider audience. To this day, it’s still as rewarding to connect with bloggers, travelers and those who want to travel more.

Back in the day…

I was a late bloomer when it came to jumping on board the Instagram bandwagon. I’d been a happy ‘twitterer’ for a few years, but 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 industry. It was overwhelming – in a good way – to receive praise from like-minded people in the travel community.

travel bloggers: yoga on beach

Perfectly posed photos… courtesy of a professional photographer

In the last year or so however, I began noticing a growing trend on Instagram. 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 hosts sharing images of themselves in typically luxury resorts. While this may not sound like anything out of the ordinary, it quickly became clear that they weren’t travel bloggers. They’re actually models posing as travel bloggers, getting paid to promote the resort and whatever product they’re trying to sell.

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 following me.

Where I do take inspiration, is from the bloggers who share their vibrant, if flawed, images. The shot of pure happiness when trying a new experience for the first time. The photos of a gritty outdoor food market, and images of steaming bowls of deliciousness. I’m inspired by bloggers that are always smiling, natural, and clearing enjoying that moment.

Travel bloggers: my kind of travel

My kind of travel

Ultimately, they understand how travel’s the best education, and how it has the power to change someone’s 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.

To end, I wanted to share a few of my favourite travel instagrammers:

@Worldwithnoborders @victor.m.l.a @thewanderlustbug, @brynstagramming, @paulaespindolas, @thecitysidewalks @pandatheworld as well as this beautiful traveling model @1andrianna1

And this is mine – just in case you wanted to follow!

If you like, or even haven’t liked what you’ve read, then get in touch below – I’d love to hear from you.

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Why I’m over the Instagram travel models who pose as bloggers 1
Why I’m over the Instagram travel models who pose as bloggers 2
Why I’m over the Instagram travel models who pose as bloggers 3


  1. Annick

    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!

    • Lisa

      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. Hannah Stephenson

    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!

    • Lisa

      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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