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  • Kaitlin McMillan

How to Travel to Instagram-Worthy Locations but Avoid the Crowds

Let’s admit, we have all been there. We all want that Instagram-worthy capture that we see flooding our feeds tantalizing us with solitude and out-of-this-world scenery.


Imagine spending an exhaustive amount of time planning to visit your dream location only to show up to a massive crowd greeting you with their selfie sticks and iPads. The next couple hours you spend fighting to get a glimpse of the turquoise waters of Lake Louise or the red rooftops of Croatia and everyone is battling it out, waiting in line to take that #wanderlust selfie. What would you do? Do you get in line or do you take another direction? Do you really want that same selfie we see time after time like a tired out movie reel? All you want is to take little solitude and enjoy the view.


Here, we round up some alternatives for destinations that are perennially overrun by tourists and suggestions on how to get that insta-worthy capture without being discouraged by the massive crowds getting the same one. Look at the choices and get off-the-beaten path.


Dubrovnik, Croatia



If you are a Game of Thrones fanatic, Dubrovnik must be on your bucket list. And if you're not a Game of Thrones fanatic, then what have you been doing with your life for the past 6 years? No seriously, tell us we want to know.


If it's on your bucket list, it's probably on list of the 19.3 million fans of the hit show as well. Congratulations, you're not original. But let us help you BE original. Thousands of tourists come the city to snap selfies at King’s Landing, so before you book your once-in-a-lifetime GOT tour, consider an alternative to this crowded Croatian city but get all the same feels. So skip it.


"Whaaat did she just say?" Yes, skip Dubrovnik. Trust us, you've seen it on Instagram and you've seen it on the show - the only difference between the screen and the real thing are the crowds.


If it's really the historic limestone buildings, red rooftops and the ancient aesthetics you're after, may we suggest Tel Aviv, Yafo. Haven't heard of it? That's the point. This city makes for the perfect throwback to Dubrovnik. The beaches, the bar services, palm trees, and the solitude make it an ideal alternative where you can unwind and enjoy and still harass your partner to take that perfect capture.


Banff




Banff and Lake Louise might be the biggest disappointment of them all. At least in a city you expect some crowds but in nature you expect serenity. Instead, people are imported by the bus loads just to come and capture this one shot of the turquoise waters and wooden canoes. The popular destination is one of the must-visit places in Canada and we can't fault people for visiting. It's truly stunning. So how do escape the buses? The best way to ditch the crowds is to choose the right time of year. Go in the shoulder-season between the summer rush and the skiing frenzy. Try to visit between late September-November but understand that the weather won't be it's best. If you must visit in summer, be an early bird get there when the sun rises . Johnston Canyon, for example is a hiking destination that usually only has a handful of people trailing in the morning.


We will admit, the Canadian Rockies are some of the best photography spots this side of the Mississippi. We want you to enjoy their beauty but still capture the memories - we suggest hiring a local adventure photographer to come with you to take some brilliant shots of you and your loved ones while you do the exploring. You shouldn't have to worry about getting the shots, leave that to someone else. Prices can range from $200 - $1000 for the day but if it's the imagery that you're after it will be so worth it.


Positano Italy



When did Italy get so popular? Specifically Positano? It used to be quite the escape in the 2000's and now this beach seems to appear on everyone's honeymoon wish list. Italy is becoming more and more crowded due to its cute alleyways and enchanting winding stairs. The crowd is heavy during the summers so plan your trip during the winter. Temperatures average 60 degrees which sounds like beach season to us Seattlites!


Alternatively you can choose to hike Path of God instead of Positano to enjoy the natural views of the Amalfi Coast. Though you might not get the exact experience like Positano, you will be away from the crowds which is what we're after all together.


Iceland



Raise your hand if you've wanted to visit Iceland because you've seen shots like this circulating your feed? <raises hand slowly> yea, us too. We're guilty. So how do you do it alongside the other millions of people just as guilty. Well, there's not necessarily an "off-season" for Iceland as it's pretty much all one big off-season. So you, along with the millions, must make your way to Iceland during the short-lived summers. Hence, avoiding crowds the crowds depends on your choice of location. The entire country is one big instagram worthy picture so choose places like” the Westfjords”, the least visited region of Iceland. Forget Thingvellir National Park and visit Ásbyrgi Canyon instead. Here, you'll get all the green meadows and fresh waterfalls you could ask for.


Key Takeaway


There is no denying that Instagram is an excellent platform when exploring the must-see places across the world. However, when the platform becomes the major motivation tool for booking a vacation trip, it leads to over-tourism. We want you to be the best adventure photographer you can be and live out all your checklist locations. Getting off the beaten path or hiring a local photographer for the day will help you reach your true instagram potential.

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