Summer officially begins next weekend and I expect that many of you have travel plans. It’s no secret around here that I love to travel. And, while I love being by the sea and can occasionally be tempted to wide open spaces, it’s cities that really capture my interest. I love the busy-ness and the buzz. When I’m planning to visit a city I tend to have 3 priorities in mind: photo opportunities, eating well, and getting in some good shopping.

About a year ago I discovered that Instagram can be a really useful too for travel planning, especially in cities. I was planning a trip to New York City and I realized that some of the people I follow on Instagram – food stylists and photographers – were geotagging their photographs of the restaurants they were shooting (and eating) in. This was fantastic as while I love to eat well, if given the chance I prefer to eat well in an attractive setting (tell me I’m not the only one!). I started a collection of screen caps.


This is a screen cap of a photo by Nicole Franzen, a well known food and restaurant photographer in New York, and below is a screen cap of the geo-tag for the restaurant Navy


And this is a photo that I took during dinner at Navy in April (not for nothing, this is a great restaurant and I highly recommend it).


One of my favourite things to photograph when I visit cities is street art. On our last trip to New York, Meghan, Lindsey and I spent a good amount of time researching street art and its locations. I remembered having seen a photo of the mural by Bradley Theodore of Anna Wintour and Karl Lagerfeld.  Fortunately I had taken this screen cap.


And I got to shoot it myself.


So as you plan your travels, think about searching out people in the city you plan to visit on Instagram. If you see something that interests you, take a screen grab and note the geotag. Also, as you’re out and about in your own city or on your travels, think about geo-tagging photos you take in the places to go and of the things to see in your own city. Who knows, you may be helping someone else get the most out of their vacation in your hometown.