Best Practices for Working with Instagram Travel Influencers

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If you’re looking to take your influencer marketing strategy to the moon, Instagram travel influencers are your ticket. In this blog, we’ll discuss why you should prioritize these creators in your strategy, provide some tips and best practices for working with them, and introduce you to some of our favorite creators in the game right now. Let’s get into it. 

Why Instagram travel influencers are an essential part of your strategy

Instagram’s visual, engagement-friendly platform provides a powerful space for travel influencers to captivate audiences and add value to your program. Here are just a handful of reasons why partnering with them can help elevate your game. 

Instagram is still a social media powerhouse.

Even with the surging popularity of TikTok, Instagram is still very much a social media powerhouse. It is the fourth most-used platform behind Facebook, YouTube, and WhatsApp (TikTok is the sixth most-used) and is still the leading social media app worldwide in terms of total downloads. Having a solid mix of platforms in your influencer marketing strategy is critical—but IG should definitely still be one of them.

People spend a lot of time scrolling.

We’ve talked briefly about Instagram still being at the top of its game in the social media landscape. But let’s put that into perspective regarding how much time people spend with the app. A recent survey shows nearly 60% of people use Instagram daily. Overall, those IG users spend more than 50 minutes per day on the app. That’s about eight months of their lifetime! Clearly, with so many eyes lingering on the platform, there are plenty of opportunities to get your products the attention they deserve. 

Travel influencers are some of the most diverse creators out there. 

Because travel itself is such a multifaceted experience, people from various backgrounds and skill sets have found their place within the industry. That gives brands an opportunity for brands to partner with creators from all walks of life, ensuring that representation is available for everyone. Ultimately, this diversity enriches the travel influencer space, offering a wide array of perspectives and experiences for audiences to explore.

Travel influencers are extremely influential.

Expert advice is always valuable—especially when traveling somewhere you’ve never been. That’s why a whopping 85% of people say they have looked to travel influencers for recommendations while on a trip. Partnering with them is a great chance to get your products in the hands of travelers or your business listed on their itinerary.

You can leverage in-app shopping. 

Instagram offers shopping features, making it convenient for influencers to promote and sell travel-related products directly within the platform. This can lead to a seamless conversion process for followers interested in purchasing. 

Tips and best practices for working with Instagram travel influencers

Ready to start working with Instagram travel influencers? Here are some tips and best practices to keep in mind to get the most out of each partnership: 

Provide tips and hacks for common travel pain points.

Travel can be a stressful experience—especially traveling abroad where you don’t speak the language. But influencers can help. Partner with them to showcase how your products and services can ease travel anxiety. Or they can just share some general tips they’ve picked up on the road.  

Go live. 

Partner with travel influencers for live-streamed adventures. This can include live Q&A sessions, real-time travel updates, and behind-the-scenes glimpses of their journeys. Live broadcasts offer a more intimate look into the creators’ content and offer an exclusive viewing experience that audiences won’t want to miss. 

Five Instagram travel influencers in swimsuits hanging out on a sailboat

Tell the local story. 

Traveling is one thing, but taking the time to get to know an area and speak with the locals adds a whole new dimension to the content. Encourage your influencers to go off the beaten track and find some hidden gems. Hearing the perspective from the people they encounter along the way is a nice bonus to the authentic content you’re already getting from what your influencers are putting out. 

Hold a contest.

Holding a contest is a great way to build engagement among your target audience. Pull in your influencers and have them offer their followers a trip or some kind of product that will make their next trip unforgettable. Entering people who like, share, and comment on the post will bump up  those engagement numbers and generate some buzz around your brand.  

Keep sustainability top of mind. 

Modern travelers have become far more conscious of their carbon footprint. In fact, a recent survey found that more than half of travel consumers think sustainability is important to their travel decisions, and about 60% would rather spend money at businesses that follow sustainable best practices. With that in mind, encourage your influencers to let people know how they can travel more conscientiously.

Create travel maps.

Have your influencer create a Google map of all their favorite places they visited on their trip. Then, when the trip is over, have them share it with their audience so they can follow in their footsteps along the whole journey. Having the map, along with a library of content from the journey, will create a deeper connection to the trip and help people ease the stress of planning. 

Diversify your creator mix. 

There are pros and cons of influencers with different audience sizes. Small influencers tend to have a more engaged, targeted audience but limited reach. Larger celebrity influencers can skyrocket brand awareness with a single post but don’t often have the connection with their audience as niche creators do. 

That said, it’s best to have a combination of all sizes of travel influencers if the budget allows. For reference, here is how to categorize them:

  • Nano influencers: 1,000 to 10,000 followers
  • Micro influencers: 10,000 to 100,000 followers
  • Macro influencers: 100,000 to 1 million followers
  • Celebrity influencers: 1 million+ followers 

Top Instagram travel influencers to follow right now

Top nano Instagram travel influencers

1. Nikki on Her Way

Rather than settling into a “default lifestyle,” Nikki and her husband Colton decided to turn life into a great adventure. After saving for over a year, they booked a one-way ticket and started traveling the world. Now, they explore all kinds of amazing places, eat incredible food, and document the entire journey. 

2. Maryhia Layla

Maryhia knows how to get the most out of life and teaches her followers how to do the same. Whether it’s travel inspiration or everyday inspiration, this Atlanta-based creator always has a little something to help you make the most of every day. 

3. Eric Garced

Eric is a real estate investor and travel host at Urban Flight Collective—a company that creates spaces for urban travelers to connect through global events and trips. Follow Eric to get inspired for your next trip, or even let him plan it for you.

4. Maddie Parrish

Maddie is a registered nurse and prolific traveler. She recently gave birth to a baby girl, who is now her top travel companion. 

5. Dan Diveny Jr

Dan is a soccer coach and professional travel and lifestyle creator. If you want a healthy mix of travel and soccer, Dan is the perfect follow for you. 

Top micro Instagram travel influencers

1. Julia Carter

Julia is an internal medicine doctor who hits the road whenever she gets the chance. In sharing her journey through life and education, she hopes to inspire those who may need it most, motivate those who may need a push, and educate those who may need a little guidance.

2. Beto Aceves

Beto Aceves is a travel influencer always in search of the next good time. Always the life of the party, Beto inspires his followers to make everywhere they go a time to remember. 

3. Adam Lovick

Adam Lovick is a travel correspondent and founder of First Class Jerk. If you need some luxury travel inspiration, Adam is your man. He also produces plenty of entertaining man-on-the-street content and fun clips from his traveling adventures. 

4. Siham

Siham is a Swedish fashion and travel influencer. Follow her on her adventures from Tokyo to Qatar and everywhere in between as she showcases some of the most beautiful travel destinations the world has to offer. 

5. Nicholas Kusnir

Nicholas is a travel influencer, foodie, and internet jokester. This is a guy who doesn’t take himself too seriously and his audience loves him for it. Give him a follow if you’re looking for a down-to-earth take on the travel influencer lifestyle. 

Top macro Instagram travel influencers

1. Semaj the Poet

Semaj is a content creator from the San Francisco Bay Area, specializing in lifestyle, fitness, fashion, travel, and cooking content. He prides himself in delivering super entertaining but high-quality video content that keeps audiences coming back for more. He has worked with a number of major brands, such as Champs Sports, GotMilk, Stacy Adams, BloqUV, and Challenge Butter, just to name a few.

2. Adriana Maria

Adriana Maria specializes in “slow travel.” She believes that taking enough time to truly experience a place is the best way to connect with its culture and appreciate all it has to offer. On her page, you’ll find travel guides, outfit inspiration, and plenty of other content to inspire you to explore the world in your own unique way. 

3. Katie Scollan

Katie Scollan’s Instagram grid is awash with vibrant colors from around the world. The London-based creator travels to exotic locations across the world, mingling with local people (and sometimes wildlife) along the way. 

4. Eric Sierra

Eric is a thrill-seeking content creator whose main focus is creating travel and lifestyle content where he can promote healthy, fun, and adventurous activities. He enjoys working with brands that allow him to connect with audiences that share similar values to his. His overall goal is to inspire people to get out of their comfort zone and explore the world.

5. Meghan O’Rourke

A few years ago, Meghan dropped everything, quit her job, and went to travel the world in hopes of finding herself. Fast-forward to today, and she’s still at it. Except now Meghan has turned her wanderlust into a full-time career. Give her a follow to see how she partners with various brands and tourism boards, creating content from locations worldwide. 

Top celebrity Instagram travel influencers

1. Murad and Nataly Osmann

Murad Osmann and Nataly Osmann, a husband-and-wife duo, are Russian-born travel influencers and photographers known for their iconic “follow me to” photography series. They gained international fame for their visually stunning and romantic travel photos, which feature Nataly leading Murad by the hand into breathtaking destinations around the world.

2. Lauren Bullen

Lauren Bullen, also known as gypsea_lust, has a passion for travel and storytelling. As a self-taught photographer, Lauren has honed her skills over the years and now partners with brands that send her all over the world. She’s great inspiration for any brands looking to learn how to incorporate influencers into all different types of travel content. 

3. Jack Morris

Jack Morris is a world traveler and serial entrepreneur. From the mountains to the coast, Jack always lives his life with the utmost style. You never know where the globetrotter will end up next—and how he might get there. 

4. Chris Burkard

Chris Burkard is a photographer, speaker, and filmmaker. He travels the world capturing stunning landscapes and introducing his audience to places they’ve probably never heard of. Give him a follow for some of the most stunning nature photography you’ll see on Instagram sprinkled with some educational tidbits. 

5. Sjana Elise

Sjana is an Australian living in Hawaii, but travels the world whenever she gets the chance. In addition to being a hugely popular content creator, Sjana is a yoga and movement teacher who inspires all of her followers to live their own journeys. While some travel influencer content is strictly aspirational, Sjana embodies the “everyday” person and embraces the fact that life won’t always be perfect. 

Key takeaway: Instagram travel influencers have the versatility you need to take your strategy to the next level. 

Instagram travel influencers are a versatile bunch. With millions of creators all with diverse backgrounds and skill sets, all brands can and should find value in prioritizing them as a vital part of their strategy. As you move forward, do your due diligence to find those who align perfectly with your mission. Doing so will set the foundation for a long-fruitful partnership for years to come. 

Frequently Asked Questions

There are many different ways to find Instagram travel influencers. For a complete breakdown, check out our guidebook to help you get started. And when you’re ready to level up your strategy, check out GRIN’s Creator Discovery Suite, the most comprehensive influencer discovery tool on the market today. 

Instagram travel influencer earnings can vary greatly. In general, influencer rates can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars for a single sponsored post or campaign. Long-term partnerships, exclusive content, and additional deliverables (such as blog posts, stories, or video content) can also impact compensation. Ultimately, the specific earnings of travel influencers depend on their unique circumstances and the negotiated terms of their collaborations with brands.

National Geographic Travel is the most followed travel account on Instagram with more than 47 million followers. 

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Written by Quinn Schwartz

Quinn studied journalism at the University of Kentucky and now lives in Portland, Oregon. He’s particularly interested in storytelling in digital marketing and cost-effective creator strategies for smaller brands. When he’s not writing, you can find him at a concert, dog park, or debating whether or not to go on a run.

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