Crystal-clear waters, vast mountain ranges and infinity swimming pools that appear to go on for miles - holiday staples or Instagram “like” traps?
One thousand adults across the UK were asked what they valued most about a travel experience, and 40.1 percent of them said they take "Instagrammability" into consideration. Far behind at just 24 percent was the cost or availability of alcohol, with personal development not far off at 22.6 percent.
Only 9.4 percent responded that they value the chance to taste local food, and a bare 3.9 percent said they value the opportunity to go sightseeing.
So what does this mean? For 40 percent of millennials, getting the perfect snap is worth twice as much as eating or drinking.
For Leeds native Kay Brown, Instagram helps her decide between travel locations as opposed to fumbling through blogs and articles. She said she uses Instagram when looking at places to travel within the UK as well as across Europe.
“I tend to start looking at what images have been geotagged in the location or vicinity so I can get an idea of how popular, nice or photogenic the place is and discover places that might not otherwise be written about,” Brown told the Standard. “I then move onto location-specific hashtags which tend to be populated by tourists rather than residents, so I can see how other visitors have spent their time in the place.
A millennial from Cambridge shared Brown’s sentiment. To Lucy Stevens, Instagram provides the opportunity for her to get a better perspective of a destination before she books a trip.
“I'd be lying if I said it didn't play a part,” Stevens said. “If an Instagram novice can make a place look amazing, then I am sold and probably want to go myself too!”
Others, however, see “Instagrammability” as an afterthought when planning travel. Alex Blakoe, a recent graduate from London, said although he takes pictures whilst on holiday, the Instagram pictures are just an added bonus.
“Some friends, I feel, do take it too far. I'm not sure it goes as far as to determine their destination but it can certainly seems like it's spoiling their holiday a bit when they're out there,” Blakoe told the Standard. “They spend their time counting the likes they get instead of having a bit of a digital detox and enjoying the place.”
Whether you mean to embrace it or not, Instagram's effect on the way millennials travel is just some (potentially photogenic) food for thought.
Perhaps next time you instinctively reach for your phone, you'll make a conscious effort to try to see the sights without the help of your screen.