10 Aussies share the lengths they went to for 'that' Instagrammable holiday shot.

Thanks to our brand partner, Expedia

Just a little bit to the left. No, a little more to the right. Maybe if you dangle over that ledge, twist your arm and do a handstand you’ll get us all in, with the view as well at night time with natural laughter?

You know the story. The “perfect Instagram holiday shot” is an elusive thing. It can take minutes to get. It can take ample camera settings and Instagram filters to nail. And it can take extreme levels of patience from an Instagram husband/wife/BFF/small child/person who gets stuck taking all your photos (that aren’t selfies). But the result? A humble-brag for the ages.

Yes, Instagram has changed how we travel, and document those travels, ever since it arrived on the scene eight years ago. On our feeds every single day, we get inspiration from the #wanderlust of everyone else’s holiday photos on social media. Throwback Thursday (#TBT) wouldn’t even exist without all the “take me back” holiday pics we all find an excuse to dig up.

No shame, though. According to a recent survey of more than 1000 people by leading travel booking site Expedia, 86 per cent of Aussies stay active on social channels while on holiday during that time. #thanksheavensforWiFi

Here’s the best bit: 43 per cent of us spend time and effort getting the ‘right’ shot, while 10 per cent of us try to nail the perfect ‘pose’. The average time we take to get that shot? Ten… whole… minutes.

So, what’s even better than the ‘highlights reel’ of our feeds? The stories behind getting “THE SHOT”. I asked a few friends, influencers and Mamamia readers for their stories:


Laura: The Maldives honeymoon shot (that is actually bloody hard to get).

“So we had to swim under those over-water bungalows because we weren’t staying in one, and then out to the hammock. It was windy and the hammock kept swaying so my husband had to get on it first so it would stop moving. Then we had to try and pose so it looked like we were relaxed instead of about to fall off. We took the photo with a drone, if you’re wondering!”


Leigh: The waterproof win.

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On this day one year ago. #bluelagoon #Iceland

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“The Blue Lagoon in Reykjavik is one of the most unique and interesting places on earth, so there was no way I wasn’t getting pics! Believe it or not my phone was actually inside a plastic waterproof case here that hung around my neck – they sold it at the entry to the Lagoon. So clever. That way I was able to swim and still capture memories.”

Amy: The Bali bath shot.

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“I took this picture in a villa in Canggu, Bali, and although it looks relaxing the water in the bath was freezing, the flowers were making me itchy and holding my leg up was actually such a challenge and giving me a cramp – afterwards I had to pick off all the wet petals to make sure none went in the pool. Also once you took your pictures the bath was basically unusable.”

Yours truly: The desert dehydration shot.

“While researching our LA to Vegas road trip, I saw a photo of an eerie set of swings in an abandoned spa retreat called Zzyzx somewhere in the middle of the Mojave Desert. We took the Zzyzx turn-off onto a dirt track… in a hire car not made for dirt tracks. But anyway. Seven kilometres full of pebbles later, with about a drop of water left in our bottles, we arrived in the blistering 35-degree heat at the ex-retreat, now a scientific research centre. There were cars but no one in sight. It was like a horror movie. I made my partner search the premises with me for those swings – we found them, and the mineral springs. I look so happy but I was dehydrating, burning and ever so slightly terrified.”


Joe: The ‘effortless’ champagne shot.


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“They say a picture can tell 1000 words, but it can’t tell a good backstory! In order to capture this seemingly effortlessly ‘natural’ shot, my partner cut his foot on a rock, my brand new iPhone X of only one week almost ended up at the bottom of the water. It took a good 20 minutes to capture the ‘perfect’ Instagram worthy snap. I tried the champagne two hours later after it was re-chilled again (it had a severe case of the sweats). A little filtering was applied and my partner ended up with a very wet backside from squatting down and most likely in 30 years, will contribute to the need of a knee replacement!”


Tiffany: The cruisy bike shot.

Instagram: @tiffedwardss

"I was in Amsterdam and I wanted a photo riding my bike, so I asked my boyfriend at the time to take it. He was getting frustrated and annoyed, and I was getting annoyed because he wasn't getting the shot I had in my head! I got the shot… but then crashed into a tree and got cuts all up my leg. Probably deserved it?"

Eloise: The Japanese onsen shot.

"I wanted a photo in a Japanese onsen, however I was travelling by myself. Although the photo looks calm, taking it required balancing my camera precariously at the edge, setting off the timer and running back into the water. I ended up slipping as I was running back and flailing completely nude into the onsen. Worst part was I actually caught that moment on camera, it just didn't make it to Instagram."

Rebecca: The gelato-that-got-away shot.


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"I’m in Rome and I wanted to get a photo with my gelato in front of the Pantheon. In the other countries I’ve been to for five euros and three scoops generally you can expect a very stingy little cup filled just to the brim, no more, no less - not in Rome. In Rome you pay five euros and get more ice cream than you possibly can consume. This right here happened by accident. Only I would be running down the streets of Rome with an ice cream that’s half the size of my head, in hand saying ‘WHICH WAY TO THE PANTHEON?! I NEED TO TAKE A PHOTO'. Here we have before, during (the run) and the finished product.  I think I would have been lucky to have had two mouthfuls..."

A moment later...


Posted by Rebecca Lee on Saturday, 28 July 2018


Kelsi: The escalator hack stack.

Image: @kelsi_renae89

"Being a millennial I tried to take a Snapchat of the tower at Melbourne Central thinking it looked cool. I did this while travelling up an escalator backwards and got to the top and fell on my ass, Snapchat still recording."

Melissa: The 'mermaid' shot.


Image: @m__k__s_

"I was on my honeymoon in Thailand. We were snorkelling at the beautiful Bamboo Island just off Phi Phi Island. I asked my husband (all of seven days) to take a photo of me swimming at the reef. Trying to get the best Insta-worthy photo possible, I swam backward and crashed into the coral. This photo was taken as I crashed into it. The second photo is the end result. My husband laughed and said it serves me right for trying to get an Insta photo!"



What we do for the 'gram, hey? Happy travels - and PLEASE stay safe around coral, bikes, baths, deserts, escalators and bodies of open water.

Got your own travel story like this? Share yours with us below.

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Expedia is one of the world's largest full-service travel sites, helping Australians and New Zealanders easily plan and book travel. Expedia is a one-stop-shop and aims to provide the latest technology and the widest selection of top holiday destinations, affordable airfares, hotel deals, car rentals, cruise deals and in-destination activities and attractions.