Instagram fail: your feet at a beach

Let's Stop Posting These Kinds of Travel Instagram Pics NOW

Instagram is a handy social media tool when it comes to researching, daydreaming, and humble-bragging about vacations. But come on, travelers, we can all do better. For every breathtaking shot of a majestic waterfall or glittery skyline, you'll find a host of awkward selfies, unappetizing foodstuffs, and, during swimming-pool season, more bare feet than a podiatrist sees in a year.

We humbly submit that the time has come to dump the following tired and, in some cases, downright offensive (just you wait) archetypes from your feeds. We've blurred the identities of the travelers in these shots—all of which were posted publicly on Instagram—because we're not here to shame anybody, however much they might deserve it (just you wait). 

The coffee aerial
The Coffee Aerial
Your overpriced beverage isn't even interesting to you after you finish drinking it, yet Instagram is awash in glamour shots of coffee. Arranging your latte along a grid and shooting it from an unnatural angle teaches your followers nothing except 1) you paid $5 for a coffee that we can't taste and 2) you'd rather be styling a place setting somewhere.
Instagram fail: #Blessed
Let's admit this up front: Instagram—and the rest of social media, to be honest—was invented because of the intense need human beings have to brag. But we want to be liked, too, so when we show off our perfect bikini bods or seats in first class or vacations on private islands where butlers fan us with Apple stock certificates, we slap on a #blessed to suggest that we are merely, what? the beneficiaries of divine grace? Pretty sure the Almighty or karma or the Universe or whatever has bigger stuff to worry about than your airline upgrade. 
Instagram fail: Dissing the locals
Assumptions About the Locals
Let's not assign negative narratives to every local we see, mmkay? For all we know, these men could be awaiting delivery of their gold buillion or round-tabling a cure for cancer. Instead, they've been tagged as impoverished loiterers. And even that gets second billing to the kind of film the photographer used. We've got news for you: In some countries, taking surrepetitious pictures of strangers from across the street is a lot more suspicious than hanging out on your porch with your friends.
Instagram fail: Hot dog legs
Hot Dog Legs
Hot dog legs! Your knees look like wieners. Hot dog legs. Just don't.
Instagram fail: Anatomical gags
Monument Envy
We feel like we should be grownups and say this is awful. But okay, yeah, it's kinda funny. Still, this is a naughty tourist! Naughty! Don't Instagram like this! (Chuckle. Nice one.)
Instagram fail: First Class bragging
Covert First Class Bragging
The caption seems innocuous: "Welcome on board." But really, this photo was taken to crow about the lavishness of first class, and the rest of us don't appreciate being left out.
Instagram fail: Overt First Class bragging
Overt First Class Bragging
Then again, you can say outright that you're bragging about first class and we still won't appreciate it. We're glad that you feel validated by sitting in the most expensive cabin class, but can't you do that without making les misérables in economy feel inadequate? Why don't you look out the window and take a shot of the sunset instead? Everyone loves a sunset.
Instagram fail: Desecrating graves
Desecrating Graves
The only thing worse than desecrating graves? Joking in the caption about how you saw the signs asking you not to desecrate graves. Oh, wait, there's one thing that's even worse: Posting it online.
Instagram fail: Desecrating graves
Desecrating Graves, Continued
Just in case you thought this kind of thing didn't happen very often. And commenters, don't encourage her!
Instagram fail: Desecrating graves
Making Out with Graves
Aw, hell no! No one wants to see girl-on-skull action, and besides, it's non-consensual.
Instagram fail: Memorial Duckface
Memorial Duckface
Duckface is never okay. At a concentration camp, it's just gross beyond words.
Instagram fail: Blocking the Point
Blocking the Main Attraction
Even pixelated, they look like a lovely couple. We'd like to know them. But we'd also like to see the thing they're supposedly taking a picture of. A dismaying number of travelers think we'd rather be given an umpteenth selfie than an icon they traveled halfway around the world to show us.
Instagram fail: Imitating Statues
Imitating Statues
No matter how clever you think you're being, you weren't the first person to take this picture—and the sculptor did it better. Insta game weak! 
Instagram fail: Staff on blast
Putting Staff on Blast
So she wasn't polite when your niece asked for a pen and now you want her to lose her livelihood? Does that seem reasonable to you? If you have an issue with an airline, write them an email. What good does it do to air your petty squabbles in public?
Instagram fail: Memorial Frolic
Memorial Frolic
We have a hunch why it felt "strange" to treat a memorial like your personal selfie playground.
Instagram fail: Sneaky abs
Sneaky Abs
Everyone knows why you posted this photo. Let's not pretend you're simply celebrating summer. We admit it's not a bad view, but how about a little truth in advertising? Please re-caption with "Everybody look at my abs!"
Instagram fail: Poverty Mining
Poverty Mining
Know what else isn't easy? Being used without your permission by some out-of-towner with an expensive camera and the gall to make pretty pictures about how awful your life is. Nice single-tear emoticon, though. Really hits us in the feels.
Instagram fail: Itchy Neck
Itchy Neck
Didja ever notice how buff guys always get itchy behind the head at the exact moment that their shirts fall off? Itchy and wistful—what fascinating object always captures their attention just out of camera range? A vision of more followers?
Instagram fail: Program Cover
Program Cover
Posting a pic of your Playbill is just about the most overdone, least compelling way to announce your cultural savvy that we can think of. At this point, we're pretty sure Hamilton has appeared on as many Instagram feeds as on $10 bills.
Instagram fail: Objectifying the Homeless
Objectifying the Homeless
This image was actually tagged #follow4follow. Can you see why this sort of photo might be a negative way to interact with the places you visit?
Instagram fail: Feet
See? It's not any better when it's a man's feet. 

Still, the platform isn't all bad—we promise! To see how to do travel posts well, check out our feature on the 25 Best Instagram Accounts worth following.