For a lot of people—us included, tbh—Instagram Influencers are the scourge of travel. But, there are good ones out there, too. Actually, better than good. There are some truly inspirational, beautiful, hilarious accounts on the Gram. Here, we give snaps to those who motivate us to explore, impact the landscape of travel in a positive way, and make us smile as we scroll.


The Visibility Award



Started by travel enthusiast and influencer Annette Richmond, Fat Girls Traveling is an Instagram community that showcases a diverse array of women having the times of their lives abroad. Not only is it fun to scroll through, it gives an underrepresented group of travelers a voice. It helps everyone say a little louder, “No one should be afraid to travel, or to look good doing it.”

The Intrepid Traveler Award



Tasteful nudes aren't something we ever thought we’d love about an Instagram travel account. But The Magdalena Experience has proved that once in a while, even your favorite travel site can be wrong. Her images showcase beautiful, bucket-list worthy corners of the world that seem that much cooler because they were visited by someone with the cojones to travel in the buff.

The Storyteller Award



Nomadic Mom’s surreal, ethereal travel photography is our favorite way to dream about the places we’ll go. Each photo is like a love letter to the magical moments you can have at your next destination. We gave photographer Corinne Rice our Storyteller award for creating dreamy landscapes that showcase the beautiful moments that inspire her followers to hit the road.

The Ambassador Award



The best travel advice comes from someone who’s been there before. And we love Sara White’s Instagram @sara_ because she’s a Canadian transplant in Rome, Italy, with big wanderlust and expat industry. She wins this year’s Ambassador award for giving us a traveler’s view of everything mesmerizing about seeing a new country from a visitor’s vantage point.

The Advanced Degree Award



How Not to Travel Like A Basic Bitch educates her audience and helps us all be a little less basic while we're out there exploring. We all need guidance checking our privilege and traveling on a deeper level, and Dr. Kiona is always here to keep us woke.

The Squad Goals Award



Companera Chronicles, made up of travel buddies Marissa and Courtney, reminds us that with a good friend by your side, seeing the world is a lot more fun.

The Family Fun Award



The world has fallen in love Travel Babbo, the Instagram account starring dad Eric Stoen on the road with his three kids in tow. His photos are breathtaking, the kids are adorable, and he’s putting adventuring with little ones on the map which is Family Fun we can get behind.

The Travel Romance Award



Frankly, there’s just something super adorable about a photogenic couple who travels the world together taking amazing photos. And these guys do it on a budget, occasionally dropping hints on how their followers can do the same. So if you like to get your #couplegoals off the Gram, The World Pursuit makes it fun to follow Cameron and Natasha on their adventures.

The Itinerant Artist Award



Eat Sketch Go wins our Itinerant Artist award because we love how he depicts everywhere he goes. In a sea of similar Instagram photos, it's refreshing to get another, more watercolor view of the world.

The Style Award



Scrolling through Spirited Pursuit gives us fashion, destination and hair goals all at the same time. This Style award is in honor of all the places curator Lee Litumbe has inspired her followers to (fabulously) go.

The Travel Buddy Award



This year, Suki Cat wins our Travel Buddy award for not only being adorably photogenic but for showing her human Marti Gutfreund some of the most beautiful corners of the world.

The Pioneer Award



Instagram influencer Pattie Gonia is an Eagle Scout, LGBTQ+ advocate, able to scale a mountain in 6-inch heels, and the world’s first backpacking queen, which made it impossible not to give Pattie Gonia our first annual Pioneer Award.

Best LOL



Stefdies travels all over the world and “dies” hilariously in every photo. And if that doesn’t deserve an award, we don’t know what does.

In Memoriam



There comes a moment in every awards ceremony when we take a moment to remember those that have passed on. This year, our In Memoriam award goes to the hedgehog Mr. Pokee who brought pure joy to our hearts with adorable photos from his travels around the world. And although he has gone to the great hamster wheel in the sky, he will always live on in our memories. There is a light though: his successor, Herbee the rescue hedgehog, looks to be following in Mr. Pokee's joyful wanderlusting steps.
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