Sara Savage is a freelance writer, editor, broadcaster and jack-of-a-small-handful-of-trades…
Think back to days of old, when holidays were – as decreed by Madonna – just one day out of life. Now our holidays don’t feel like holidays unless we’re sharing them with the rest of the world. Whether it’s scrolling through your Instagram feed on a poolside banana lounge, taking 46 selfies on top of a mountain to find the one where you’ve just got it or complaining to the concierge about the precarious state of the free guest Wi-Fi, travel is now as interconnected as the rest of our existence. And when travel photos are taken and shared by all, you’re bound to come across a few replicated frames in your feed. Here’s the ten typical photos you’ll see on any holiday-makers Instagram.
#1 The view from the plane
It doesn’t matter whether you’re flying to Abu Dhabi or Avalon Airport – if you don’t post a photo of the view from the plane, no one will believe you ever travelled anywhere. The more visible the wing of the plane, the more likes your photo will get. For extra credibility, add between zero and thirty cloud emojis.
#2 Sunset, #nofilter
Authenticity is everything in the online age. But forget Heidegger, all it takes is a simple #nofilter hashtag to let all your followers know that the sunset pictures you posted daily during your holiday are the real deal – no doctoring required. I mean, who needs Valencia or Mayfair when real life is this good? #Blessed
#3 Writing in the sand
Because a postcard is never enough.
#4 Hot-Dog Legs
It’s been a trend since the dawn of inbuilt phone cameras, but in 2013 a humble Tumblr (humblr?) account identified arguably the most ubiquitous style of travel selfie by posing a deep philosophical question – “hot dogs or legs?” – and at that moment, like Rihanna at the Met Gala, the #hotdoglegs concept truly arrived. Despite criticism for being a probbo trend that allows only those with hairless footy-frank-esque quadriceps to participate, Hot-Dog Legs consistently rear their oiled-up heads on Instagram feeds worldwide – with holidaymakers undeniably the main culprits.
#5 Food porn
The only thing better than eating a great meal on holiday is posting a picture of that meal on Instagram. Just kidding! ‘Food porn’ is the worst. Not even Martha Stewart knows how to take good photos of her food, so what makes you think you’ll be able to nail it? It doesn’t matter how many likes your photos get; scientists have proven* that 84.7% of Instagrammers’ faces look like this when mindlessly double-tapping your food photos:
#6 Famous landmarks
Some things look great in pictures from every angle – the Pink Lake in Western Australia, lightning, Kim Kardashian – but others, no matter which angle they’re captured from, are so excessively documented that their presence on Instagram is little more than shrug-inducing. This is especially true for a number of famous landmarks (think the Eiffel Tower, Strawberry Fields at Central Park or the recently stripped-back Pont des Arts), each one rendered increasingly soulless with every photo taken. That said, Eiffel Tower photo fails are a genre of their own thanks to this guy, and definitely have their rightful place on the internet.
#7 Selfie-stick selfies
They’re banned at Coachella, the National Gallery in London, the Guggenheim and even at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne. But that hasn’t stopped selfie stick (sorry, ‘monopod’) enthusiasts from using them all over the world. And why not? Disgruntled op-ed writers love nothing more than to deride millennials for their love of everything selfie-related, but in their dismissal of the ‘wand of narcissism’, they’re ignoring a critical question: if a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to take a selfie in front of it, did it ever really happen?
#8 Jumping in mid-air
It doesn’t matter whether you’re standing in front of the Golden Gate Bridge or a dumpster in Reservoir – if you’re jumping in the air for the photograph, everyone will know what a great time you’re having. In all seriousness, though, if you can catch a good photo of dogs jumping mid-air, you automatically win the internet (kind of like this photographer did in 2014).
#9 iPhone weather report
The height of smugness.
#10 Bubbles at the airport
Nothing says ‘going on holiday!!!!1!1!!’ more than a picture of you and a glass of bubbles at the airport. Nevermind the fact that you just paid $18 for a glass of champers – the important thing is that everyone knows you’re going on holiday (and just how stoked you are about it). I should know:
(Lead image: Marjan Lazarevski/Flickr)
Sara Savage is a freelance writer, editor, broadcaster and jack-of-a-small-handful-of-trades currently based in Singapore after eight years spent living and working in Melbourne, Australia. She is originally from New Zealand and grew up in Singapore.