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Best travel Instagram accounts: The most captivating accounts for instant escapism

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Christobel Hastings
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Currently wishing you were anywhere but your cold, rainy homestead? Grant yourself a temporary reprieve by diving into these escapist travel Instagram feeds

Let’s face it: the weather’s grim, three quarters of the turkey’s been consumed, and we’re now on the wrong side of Christmas. What you really want is a five-star, all-expenses paid getaway to somewhere blissfully hot and tropical. In reality, what you can afford is a wistful scroll through Instagram

Ah yes, Instagram. Although many of us will be practising a digital detox in a bid to stay present in the moment, the festive period is a great time to curate your unruly social media feed in time for the New Year. It’s the sort of job that remains on your mental to-do list for ages, and yet somehow, you never actually get a moment to weed out all the accounts that serve you with nothing but glamorous selfies and FOMO-inducing vistas, and follow all the accounts that really capture your imagination.

Which is why we’re rounded up five of the best Instagram accounts that do exactly that. From philosophical musings on minimalist living to captivating abandoned places around the world that will go straight to the top of your wanderlust list, consider these accounts your brain food for the comings day ahead.

  • For a new angle

    Scrolling Instagram can sometimes feel like you’re looking at the same old panoramas – but not with Tommy Clarke’s feed. The English photographer hangs out of a helicopter to capture bird’s-eye images of some of the world’s most beautiful destinations, and they really do inspire a different perspective. Expect tropical beaches dotted with sun loungers, hairpin roads winding over snow-topped mountains and magical, painterly sunsets.      

  • For dazzling dereliction

    Urban exploration is a thriving photographic subculture, with intrepid snappers like Matthias Haker and Benji Hultsch filling our feeds with crumbling castles, dusty theatres and overgrown glasshouses. Perhaps not the cheeriest of subjects, but one that reminds us of the beauty to be found in desolation. Beautiful Abandoned Places offers a breathtaking array of rack-and-ruin gems, running the gamut from faded grandeur to downright eerie.

  • For fantasy fuel

    The Instagram account @74escape is a favourite of Gemma, Stylist’s deputy editor and the office’s most accomplished globetrotter (her current record is 17 holidays in one year). It’s a deeply relaxing, pastel-toned digital scrapbook of luxury travel inspiration, ranging from an architectural hotel in the Alps to a South African lodge where elephants amble by the pool. Chic and enchanting. 

  • For travel philosophy

    Ever wondered what it’d be like to quit your job and hit the road? @idletheorybus is an unfailingly cheerful account run by Kit Whistler and JR Switchgrass, who are currently travelling around the US in a VW camper van. The couple use Instagram to share their adventures, as well as their philosophies on everything from minimalist living to the art of being idle. Escapism guaranteed.

  • For leafy greens

    Follow Sheffield-based photographers India Hobson and Magnus Edmonson if you like your travel inspiration muted and wild, rather than sunshiny and luxurious: they post snaps from their trips to places like Tokyo, Norway and Berlin via the feed Haarkon Adventures. They’re also fans of a UK staycation – and their beautiful photos of places like Scotland, Cornwall and Wiltshire will remind you that we’re not all bad.

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Images: Getty, Instagram

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Christobel Hastings

Christobel Hastings is a London-based journalist covering pop culture, feminism, LGBTQ and lore.