How not to be an Instagram travel cliche

Funniest South African travel blog

(9 creative ideas for your next post)

Two months ago I posted a blog about Butt-stagrams and the cliches that people will resort to in their pursuit of Instagram fame. I have given it some more thought, and I decided that instead of criticising people for their lack of creativity, I should give people ideas on how to take more unique photos on their travels. I’m pretty sure some of these may become cliches soon, so take and post these pictures now.


1. Instead of 'butt-stagrams' the 'nutscape' is the next big thing: 

It’s time for us to stop objectifying women and give men a chance. Instead of photographing their butts though, certain men have chosen to (partially) display another part of their anatomy in an array of diverse locations. If you are like me and are a lady (or you identify with some other gender that does not physiologically have the necessary bits) you can always use almonds. I did. 

Woman's back view instagram
A butt-stagram

Funniest South African travel blog
A nutscape

2. This can also add a whole new dimension to your inspirational travel quotes: 

Instagram travel quote cliche

Today's mighty oak is just yesterday's nut that stood its ground

Dr. Seuss nutscape

Just go in the woods


3. Instead of being so overwhelmed by the magnificence of the location you find yourself in that you have to raise your arms, try being underwhelmed instead: 

No:

Rear view of person arms up in the air

Yes:

Unconventional travel instagrams
St. Petersburg, Russia

Unconventional travel instagrams
Roatan, Honduras 

Unconventional travel instagrams
Geiranger, Norway


4. Instead of making the photo about you, make it about your location by drawing attention to what’s around you:

Lady in dress in street


There are many ways to do this. For starters, you can take inspiration from art and become a human statue. We used to play a game in improv class where someone would pretend to be a statue and adopt a specific position. The rest of us would respond to their stance and join the sculpture. There is no reason you can’t play this game with actual statues. 

You can do this by copying them:

Paseo de la princessa - Puerto Rico
San Juan, Puerto Rico

Unconventional travel instagrams
Tallinn, Estonia

Unconventional travel instagrams
Helsinki, Finland

Unconventional travel instagrams
Rostock, Germany


Or reacting to them:

Unconventional travel instagrams
St. Petersburg, Russia

Unconventional travel instagrams
Copenhagen, Denmark


Unconventional travel instagrams
Stockholm, Sweden

Unconventional travel instagrams
Johannesburg, South Africa

Unconventional travel instagrams
Rostock, Germany

You can make it a group activity:

Unconventional travel instagrams
Copenhagen, Denmark

Unconventional travel instagrams
Copenhagen, Denmark

Unconventional travel instagrams
Dublin, Ireland

And, you can even incorporate travel toys:


Unconventional travel instagrams
Venice, Italy

Unconventional travel instagrams
Cape Town, South Africa

Unconventional travel instagrams
St. Petersburg, Russia

Unconventional travel instagrams
Halifax, Canada

5. Forced perspective is almost always a hit (except if you are holding your finger to the top point of buildings... 


Unconventional travel instagrams
Paris, France

...or holding up the Leaning Tower of Pisa:

Unconventional travel instagrams
Pisa, Italy


Here are some more creative ideas:

Unconventional travel instagrams
The Azores, Portugal

Unconventional travel instagrams
St. Petersburg, Russia

Unconventional travel instagrams
La Baie, Canada 
(This one got me a lot of followers)

Unconventional travel instagrams
Miami, USA

Spires, columns and obelisks of any sort can always be used as unicorn horns. (I can’t believe this hasn’t caught on yet!)

Unconventional travel instagrams
San Juan, Puerto Rico  -  Miami, USA  -  Havana, Cuba


6. Instead of trying to look natural, just own your awkwardness

Instagram cliche


Unconventional travel instagrams
Nassau, Bahamas

7. If that isn’t awkward enough, you can reinvent the ‘leading your boyfriend around the world’ pose,  to become the ‘leading your imaginary boyfriend around the world’ pose:


Unconventional travel instagrams

Unconventional travel instagrams
Hartbeespoort, South Africa


8. Face-planting is so the new jumping:

Unconventional travel instagrams
Chacchoben, Mexico


Unfortunately, if you thought getting everyone to jump at the same time and taking the picture at exactly the right millisecond was hard, this is even harder to convincingly pull-off. 


Unconventional travel instagrams
Brandon's Beach, Barbados

Unconventional travel instagrams
Berlin, Germany


9. And finally, if you want to be really unique, you could just not post a pic of yourself (or your travel mascot) with the national landmark that was just severely damaged by a fire:

Unconventional travel instagrams
Notre-Dame, Paris 

Paris's 'other church'
Paris's 'other' church



If you have implemented any of these ideas into your Instagrams or photos, we'd love to see the results. Feel free to post them below.

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Comments

  1. Oh my goodness! These made me laugh so hard. Thank you for putting this out there!

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Sharon Waugh

Sharon is a writer, cruise ship entertainment host and freelance unicorn wrangler. She is currently taking a break from her seafaring adventures to explore some more landlocked locations from her homebase in Johannesburg, South Africa. She likes to photograph a plastic lawn flamingo 'Rodrigo' on her travels because it seemed like a good idea ten years ago and 53 countries later, it’s probably too late to turn back now.

 Sharon greatly dislikes reading 'travel blogs' by people who are just rephrasing press releases or composing lists like '15 ways to travel the world for cheap', specifically formulated for SEO, with absolutely no evidence that the writers have ever left their bedrooms. (This is not one of those blogs.) Sharon also dislikes bigotry and referring to herself in first person, apparently.

To find out more about Sharon and Rodrigo’s travel aspirations read this.

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Practical travel tips and destination guides for anyone visiting any of the places I have been.


My thoughts on travel mascots, photographing your butt in exotic locations and the addictive nature of cruise ship employment, among other things.

True stories about trying to find trolls in Norway, toilets in Denmark and getting flashed in Cuba, to name a few.

Tips for cruisers and crew members, as well as anecdotes from a variety of experiences at sea.