Instagram helping vacationers pick destination

U.S. & World

(NBC) – Photogenic destinations are hot this year.

“I love going all around the world, taking photos of iconic landmarks,” said Mary Kauffman, Instagram user.

“Younger generations that will literally book a destination based on how Instagrammable it is, how many likes they plan to get,” said Travelocity’s Victoria Cagliero.

And followers are increasingly relying on peer recommendations to plan trips.

“It gives me good ideas,” said Tim Harder, Instagram user.

“Who are the local foodies, who captured pics I want to see?” asked Julese Dortch, Instagram user.

Hotels and resorts are designing features specifically for social media sharing, and sometimes paying influencers to visit and share posts online.

“It really lures people in to go to their destinations, post photos on instagram, and then repeat that cycle,” said Sharon Profis with CNET.

All of those posts can lead to serious fear of missing out.

Enough for some to pay for photoshopped travel pics of a fake vacation, or spend more than they can afford for a real one.

“Even though my wallet says no, my heart says yes!” said Mary Kauffman, Instagram user.

According to Schwab, one-third of Americans say social media influences their financial habits, and they overspend as a result.

“It makes you want more, it makes you desire more for sure,” Dortch said.

And getting that perfect ‘gram can actually take away from the experience.

“Studies have shown taking photos make you retain the memory less than if you didn’t,” Profis said.

Which could lead some people to turn summer vacation into a smart phone holiday.

Instagram is also bringing attention to smaller destinations that can cause overcrowding from a big influx of visitors to places that aren’t prepared for it.

That happened recently with the Super Bloom in California, and in Iceland, where tourists now outnumber locals seven to one!

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