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  • 2021 IN REVIEW

These are the best travel photos of 2021

Explore the world in 18 stunning images from our contributors.

Even with an unsteady return to travel, 2021 proved to be a time of renewed exploration. The photographs we published this year reflect an intimacy that comes from staying closer to home and looking deeper into the landscapes and cultural traditions all around us.

Our National Geographic contributors shared surprising glimpses of regions they know well, from the urban trails of San Francisco to the untamed lands of Patagonia to the watery wilds of Alaska. These images reveal the enduring essence of inspiring places.  

( Best of the World: Here are 25 incredible journeys for 2022 .)

The year ahead promises a grand return to travel, and we’re eager to hit the road. We hope these photographs reignite your desire to discover, spark your adventurous imagination, and set you off on your next journey, near or far.

Grape harvesting at Cheo in Vernazza in Italy

Correction: The correct name of the Greek church is Agios Onoufrios. 


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A Look at My 20 Top Travel Photos of 2021

The clock is beginning to run out on the year 2021 and that means it is about time for my annual post on my Top Travel Photos of the year. To be completely honest, when the year started, my hope was that this post would be filled with wonderful pictures from my autumn trip to Egypt, Jordan, and Israel. However, the COVID-19 curse put a dent in my travel plans once again and left me scrambling to change my travel plans this autumn. As frustrating as it was to have to push back my trip, I was extremely blessed to be able to go on several incredible adventures this past year. From those adventures, I was able to capture several great photographs that I am very happy with. The purpose of this annual post is to share these photographs with you in the hopes that it inspires you to plan your next big adventure.

Top Travel Photos

However, before I introduce you to my favorite pictures from my travel adventures this year, let me remind you that you can still go back and review my favorite photographs from previous years in case you missed them. This is a yearly exercise that I have been doing for several years and I have linked to the previous editions of my yearly Top Travel Photos showcase for you to review below.

Follow Me on Instagram for More Great Travel Photos

Travel Instagram Photos

If you are a fan of my travel photography and you would like to know a very easy way to support me in my quest to keep bringing you travel and travel photography related content, you can give my Instagram account a follow. I post unique travel photographs and travel experiences to my feed at least twice a week and your support would mean the world to me. Like I said, it is a quick and easy way to support me without having to do too much!

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Elephant Seal Vista in California

Top Travel Photos

The travel year began for me with a trip to Southern California to visit my brother and his family. I love getting to see them, but I also love my visits because there are so many incredible things to see and do in Southern California. One of my favorite stops, when I am down there, is the Elephant Seal vista North of Santa Barbara. Seeing these huge and incredible creatures up close is remarkable.

Bull Elephant Seal

Top Travel Photos

This year when I visited, I was lucky enough to visit around mating season, so there were a lot of huge bull elephant seals on the beach. You really have no idea just how massive these seals are until you see them in person. This guy was doing his best to protect a prime piece of beach that he had staked his claim to.

Pinnacles National Park

Top Travel Photos

One of my favorite stops on my California trip this year was to a national park that I have been trying to find time to visit for years. Pinnacles National Park is one of the newer parks in the United States, and it is also one of the smallest. However, what it lacks in size it certainly makes up for in beauty. I think this shot of the jagged rock formations in the high hills of the park perfectly showcases the beauty of this incredible park. If you would like to learn more about the park, I have linked to a visitor guide I created for you to review below.

Condor Landing at Pinnacles National Park

Top Travel Photos

Without a doubt, some of the top travel photos that I took this past year were of the incredible California Condors at Pinnacles National Park. If you haven’t had an opportunity to see these incredible birds in person, you are really missing out. If you think the size and beauty of bald eagles are impressive, wait until you see these kings of the sky.

Condor in Flight at Pinnacles National Park

Top Travel Photos

If I had to narrow down the favorite of my top travel photos from this year, it would be very difficult to not choose this shot of a California Condor in mid-flight at Pinnacles National Park. Seeing this picture brings back such fond memories of seeing these amazing birds in person and just sitting mesmerized as I watched them soar above the park.

Beautiful Santa Barbara, California

Top Travel Photos

Ever since I first visited my brother and his family in Santa Barbara, California, I have been in love with the city. If you love outdoor adventure, the city of Santa Barbara couldn’t be a more perfect destination for you. With close proximity to some incredible surfing spots and the Sierra Nevada range only a short way away, there is always something to do outside. Not to mention, it is the gateway to the Channel Islands, which is one of the most incredible and underrated national parks in the United States. There is some of the best whale watching in the world off of the islands. I took the picture below from high up on the bluffs behind Santa Barbara. In the distance, you can actually see the Channel Islands off the coast. So beautiful!

Beautiful Sunset in Ventura, California

One thing that you can always count on when visiting California is experiencing some of the most vibrant and brilliant sunsets imaginable. This was certainly the case when we visited Ventura, California. The sunset off the beach was so incredible that I was able to capture a number of amazing photographs. This sunset photo is definitely one of my top travel photos of this past year. You can see the surfers trying to get in as many waves as they can before the sun sets behind the horizon.

California Sunset Dreaming

Top Travel Photos

This is another photograph that I took of the same sunset that I am equally as proud of. You can see the young family at the bottom of the screen out on the beach enjoying the incredible view. If I had the time, I would try and spend every evening chasing sunsets as it often produces some of the top travel photos and most memorable shots. If you would like to learn how to predict when there will be an amazing sunrise or sunset to photograph, I have included a guide that you can review below.

Exploring the Porcupine Mountains

Top Travel Photos

As the calendar year turned to Summer in the Midwest United States, it was time for me to head to the Great Lakes to embark on what has become a yearly tradition for me. Each summer, I try and seek out some of the best kayaking destinations to explore. This year, one of the destinations that I chose to explore was the beautiful Porcupine Mountains in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. These rolling hills (I wouldn’t actually call them mountains) are absolutely beautiful and have some really fantastic hiking trails for visitors to explore. I love this shot that I was able to get that shows the mountains with Lake Superior in the distance.

Beautiful Bond Falls in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

Top Travel Photos

One of the best parts about the Porcupine Mountains in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is all of the incredible waterfalls in the area. One of my favorites to visit when I am in the area is the beautiful Bond Falls, which is located just outside of the park. I was able to capture this beautiful photograph of the falls with the reflection in the water on my visit this past summer. Such a beautiful place.

Breathtaking Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Top Travel Photos

Without a doubt, the hallmark of my summer kayaking trip was a visit to the infamous Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. If you love to kayak, then Pictured Rocks is an absolute must-visit destination. It is home to some of the best big freshwater kayaking in North America. It is also where I took some of my top travel photos of the year. The huge rock cliffs that highlight this spectacular coastline are amazing to explore from the water. You can also hike along the top of the cliffs to get a bird’s eye view of this dramatic coastline. I absolutely love this shot that I got when I hiked the Mosquito Beach and Chapel Beach loop this summer.

Kayaking Fun at Pictured National Lakeshore

Top Travel Photos

While there might be some wonderful hiking trails at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, the claim to fame for this coastline is the spectacular giant coastal cliffs. One of the most popular ways to see and experience these cliffs is to get out on the water in a kayak and explore the coastline. That is exactly what I did this summer, and the experience is one that I will not soon forget. This photograph of our group kayaking thru the large archway on the coastline is one of my top travel photos of the year for sure. For more information on how to visit Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and get out on the water and kayak this amazing coastline, please see my Definitive Pictured Rocks Travel Guide linked below.

Pictured Rocks Kayaking Adventure

Top Travel Photos

While the kayaking at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore was cool enough, having the opportunity to do so around sunset just added to this magical experience. As I have mentioned many times on my blog, photographing around sunset or early morning around sunrise are my favorite times of day to take pictures. This shot that I got on the back end of my Pictured Rocks Kayaking adventure is one of my favorites because the soft light of the evening gives the picture a warm glow. What an amazing moment to capture!

Exploring Leprechaun Canyon

Top Travel Photos

My last big trip of the year was to Southern Utah and without a doubt, this trip ended up delivering some of my top travel photos of the year. Southern Utah is such a magical place, which is why I keep getting drawn back there to explore and photograph. On this trip, I was determined to discover some of the lesser-known spots in Southern Utah and explore them so that I could share them with you. One of these places was the beautiful Leprechaun Canyon Slot. I have explored several breathtaking slot canyons in my travel adventures, and Leprechaun Canyon ranks right up there with some of the most beautiful. However, the best part about Leprechaun Canyon is that it is not nearly as busy or crowded as some of the other slot canyons in Southern Utah. As you can see in this photograph of me, we have the canyon all to ourselves.

Exploring the Amazing Goblin Valley State Park

Top Travel Photos

While Southern Utah’s five national parks may get most of the attention, the area is also home to some truly spectacular state parks for visitors to enjoy as well. Without a doubt, one of the most incredible state parks to visit in Southern Utah is the beautiful Goblin Valley State Park. Much like the nearby Bryce Canyon National Park, the Goblin Valley State Park is known for its incredible canyons filled with amazing rock formations. I love this photograph that I took in Goblin Valley because it showcases both the area’s vastness and beauty.

The Beauty of Goblin Valley State Park

Top Travel Photos

Like most places in Southern Utah, the beauty of Goblin Valley State Park is only enhanced as the sun starts to set. I absolutely love the glow in this photograph that I took of the breathtaking rock formations in the valley that make Goblin Valley State Park such a treasured destination. It almost feels like you are walking on the planet Mars when the sun starts to set and the red rock formations in the valley start to glow with the setting sun. It’s a stunning time to see the park!

A Monument Valley Sunset at Forrest Gump Point

Top Travel Photos

Not only is this photograph of Monument Valley one of my top travel photos of 2021, but it is also one of my favorite photographs that I have ever taken in Southern Utah. If this landscape looks familiar, it is probably because it has been showcased in a large number of movies throughout the years. Most famously, this exact spot was showcased in the 1990’s classic “Forrest Gump”, starring Tom Hanks. If you don’t recall the scene, this is where Forrest Gump abruptly stops his cross-country run and decides to go home. It is a beautiful viewpoint of a breathtaking landscape. I love the glowing sunset sky in this shot I was able to capture at Forrest Gump Point this past autumn.

The Beautiful Alstrom Point in Glen Canyon

Top Travel Photos

This photograph that I took of the incredible Alstrom Point in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area in Southern Utah could have made my list of the top travel photos of 2021 for me simply because it is a destination that I have tried to reach at least a handful of times in the past and failed. I simply never had enough time and the correct vehicle to reach this viewpoint before. This past autumn I was bound and determined to get there, so I set aside a large portion of an afternoon and made sure I had a high clearance 4×4 vehicle with me. Needless to say, getting there still wasn’t easy and involved white knuckle driving on an unimproved road at night, but I was able to finally capture some long-desired photographs of Alstrom Point like this beauty here.

Posing for a Picture at Alstrom Point

Top Travel Photos

This sunset photograph that I was able to take of myself at the incredible Alstrom Point in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is one of my favorite self-portraits of all time. I am absolutely obsessed with the breathtaking viewpoints in Southern Utah and Alstrom Point is one of the most beautiful and difficult to reach. The fact I was able to make it there this year and get this photograph makes me so very happy!

An Amazing Sunrise at Reflection Canyon

Top Travel Photos

For years, the favorite photograph that I have ever taken was one that I took early on in my adventure travels of the incredible Morraine Lake near Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada. While I still absolutely cherish that photograph, I may have a new all-time favorite picture. Never before in my adventure travels have I had to work so hard to get a photograph. To get this beautiful sunrise shot of Reflection Canyon in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area in Southern Utah I had to drive 2.5-hours a mere 50-miles down an unimproved road, hike roughly 18-miles on an unmarked trail thru slot canyons and deep washes, and camp out overnight in 28-degree Fahrenheit temperatures to be ready to capture this photograph. After seeing how it turned out, it was so worth it!

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Published by Josh Hewitt

Avid traveler and photographer who loves to see new places, meet new people, and experience new things. There is so much this world can teach us, we just need to explore! View all posts by Josh Hewitt

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These are great photos!

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Thank you so much Laci!! 😄

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That Sunrise At Reflection Canyon is one of the most beautiful photos I’ve ever seen. And what an amazing place.

Thank you so very much Coral!! You made my day!! 😃

  • A Look at My 2022 Travel Adventure Bucket List January 5, 2022 • 8:31 am

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Best photos.

Thank you so very much!!!

  • A Look at My 25 Top Travel Photos of 2022 January 25, 2023 • 12:01 pm
  • A Look Back at My 20 Top Travel Photos of 2023 December 18, 2023 • 8:23 pm

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Thanks so much for the kind words Nick!!

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TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY A Journey Into The Realm of Light

There’s nothing we cherish more than our travels and if we had only one thing to say about travel photography it would be this: travel photography is the best way to capture our wanderful moments to eternity and use these memories to warm up our hearts even in the darkest of times.

Although Maria is our website’s main writer, photography-related pages and posts are researched, drafted and revised by Katerina . All Maria does is edit and proofread the copy before it goes live.

Some of the links on this page are affiliate ones. This means that if you click through them to make a purchase, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more .

What Is Travel Photography

Photography (Φωτογραφία in Greek) is a compound of the Greek words φως (light) and γράφω (write or draw). Wikipedia defines photography as the art, application, and practice of creating durable images by recording light . It’s crazy to think that all we see when we look at photos is light. Crazy yet fascinating.

If we tried to give a definition of travel photography, it would be something along these lines: travel photography is the documentation of all those components that make up any given destination. These include the landscape, both natural and human-made, the people, the culture, the food, and, ultimately, the very history of this place.

Of course, tourism photography is part of the travel photography genre, too. It focuses on shooting hotels, resorts, restaurants, and any other businesses in the tourism industry.

“Photography is a form of time travel.” — Neil deGrasse Tyson

About Travel Photography As a Genre

Travel photography is the broadest photography genre in terms of all the different subjects it covers. It encompasses numerous other areas of photography, such as street, landscape, or architecture photography. This is why it takes a lot more than mere photographic knowledge to excel as a travel photographer.

A good travel photographer must be flexible, well-organised and outgoing. Flexible to adapt to time-related challenges (e.g. waking up early, staying up late). Well-organised to plan photographic trips to the last detail. Outgoing because, well, you can go a long way with a smile if you plan to, say, take portraits of total strangers in faraway lands. Learning a foreign language or three wouldn’t hurt either.

However, there’s something unique about travel photography that makes it stand out from all other photography genres. The purpose of travel photography goes beyond just shooting a spectacular image. Travel photography is a means to tell a story, to inspire, and, above all, to educate people on the diversity of our beautiful world.

This image shows three locals hanging out at the old port of Naoussa in Paros. Depicting local life is one of the most precious things about travel photography.

Top 5 Travel Photography Tips

In the last decades, many factors have conduced to travel being accessible to more and more people. As a result, travel photography isn’t appealing to professional photographers alone. Pretty much everyone who suffers from wanderlust is keen to perfect their skills in travel photography. Here’s a handful of simple tips on travel photography to help you up your photography game.

1. Research Your Location

Your photographic trips should begin well before you even reach your destination. No matter if you are an amateur or a professional photographer, researching your location is vital if you want to snap those epic shots you’ve always dreamt of. Either you are on holidays or specifically travel for photography, a brilliant idea to help you keep track of all the places you want to visit is to create a personal map (e.g. with Google Maps ) with all the points of interest you want to shoot.

Equally important is to know in advance the best time to visit the photography locations on your list. For example, some places are best enjoyed at sunset, while others should be visited at dawn to avoid the crowds. Do your homework and adjust your day-to-day schedule accordingly.

Τhis image shows the sun rising over the Aegean Sea. In the foreground, two wooden chairs and a table. If you're serious about travel photography, you need to be patient to catch the perfect shot.

2. Choose Your Gear Wisely & Learn How To Use It

Even if you’ve decided that you want to invest time and money in travel photography, you shouldn’t buy the most expensive gear right from the start. That’s because you may eventually realise that travel photography isn’t for you after all. Furthermore, it will be easier for you to master the basics of shooting while using entry-level equipment.

Start with an entry-level DSLR or mirrorless camera and keep practising until you’re confident with using the manual mode. Let’s be honest here. There’s no reason why you should spend so much money on a camera if you’re planning to use the Auto settings alone. You’d be better off with a good smartphone if that’s the case. Moreover, always shoot RAW, as it allows you to edit your images afterwards.

Once you know your camera well, start flirting with the various lenses you can buy to achieve diverse results. For instance, with a wide-angle lens, you will be amazed at how an entire village can be squeezed in a single frame. Or, perhaps, you’d like to experiment with a telephoto lens, especially if you are into wildlife photography. The possibilities are endless. It all comes down to your preferences and budget.

If after a certain time you’re still hooked on travel photography, you can start buying other accessories, too. These may include tripods, extra batteries, a flash, or even a drone. At some point, you will know that it’s time to upgrade your camera, too.

This is a panoramic shot of the Sassi di Matera in Southern Italy.

3. Keep Practising & Be Patient

If there’s one thing about travel photography that you must always remember, it’s this: you need to practise, practise and then practise a bit more.

Don’t wait until next time you travel to test your camera and its functions. Go on a photography trip around your neighbourhood and start shooting. Shoot indoors and shoot outdoors. Shoot in bright sunlight, shoot in low light, and shoot at night. Hold your camera and shoot, use your tripod and shoot. In a nutshell, play around with all of your camera’s settings and functions (on manual mode, don’t cheat).

Once you come to terms with the importance of practice, it’s time to embrace patience, too. You can’t expect to learn everything in one go. You must invest a lot of time to finally be able to shoot superb travel images.

Furthermore, photography can be a waiting game. Very often, you will find yourselves waiting for the right time to take the perfect shot. It may be the exact moment when the sun dives into the sea or when the high tide comes. Also, bear in mind that weather conditions won’t always be in your favour while waiting. So, it takes a lot of determination, but most of all, patience to make it as travel photographers.

This is the National Observatory of Athens covered in snow.

4. Always Carry Your Camera With You

You’ve spent an entire day out shooting and now you feel it’s time you left your camera at the hotel room to go have dinner and maybe enjoy a drink or three. You’re right about the food and drinks part but think twice before you leave your camera behind. Why not experiment with night photography while taking your (probably much-needed) post-dinner stroll?

No matter how well you’ve planned your trip, you never know when an exceptional opportunity arises for a shot you won’t want to miss. It’s better to carry your camera and never take it out of your bag than to leave it behind and regret not capturing that perfect moment in time that unfolded before your eyes and then vanished for ever.

This image shows Maria and Katerina's shadows on a lit wall under a black starry sky.

5. Respect Locals & Wildlife

Whether you’re travelling within your country or abroad, you should always respect the locals. Under no circumstances should you make anyone feel uncomfortable for the sake of snapping the perfect shot. Not even a one-billion shot is worth making another person feel uneasy. If you’re dying to take a close-up of locals (and, especially, their children) or shoot during a local event, always ask for permission first.

Similarly, you should be mindful of animals and their well-being at all times. If you’re planning to shoot wildlife, you must always keep a safe distance and avoid any noises or movements that may disturb the animals. This is when a telephoto lens comes handy. On a lighter note, you can get as close as you want to super cuddly kittens or puppies who are willing to pose for you. Just make sure you reward them with a hug and/or a treat after the photoshoot.

This is a close up of a cat as he enjoys Maria petting him.

From Hobby To Dream Job: How To Become a Professional Travel Photographer

Making a living out of your passion is certainly the dream. That holds for many travel photography enthusiasts who pursue a career in this field. There are several factors in play when it comes to becoming a professional travel photographer. Here’s a list of the five most important steps to take if you’re after a career in travel photography:

  • Understand that professional travel photography is all about commitment and hard work. Therefore, make sure you are genuinely passionate about it before taking any further steps in this direction.
  • Learn photography. Attend travel photography courses, classes, and workshops. Watch tutorials, read travel photography books, and practise a lot.
  • Create a portfolio to showcase your work to potential clients.
  • Network and collaborate with photographers around the world and other content creators. Attend conferences and similar events to get in touch with travel brands and tourism boards.
  • Remember that competition is hard. Be ready to step out of your comfort zone when pitching yourself for travel photography jobs.
“I love photography, I love food, and I love traveling, and to put those three things together would just be the ultimate dream.” — Jamie Chung

My Journey As a Professional Travel Photographer

Now a professional travel photographer, I started like any other traveller who wanted a few photos as keepsakes from our travels. I always liked photography but I needed a purpose to take it more seriously. When we started this website back in 2018, I found my purpose.

As our travels became more frequent and our website grew into a business, it was time we invested in good travel photography gear. It was then that I took the plunge and bought my first DSLR camera. From that point onwards, there was no looking back. I had found my true calling and I was hooked for life.

At first, I was into landscape travel photography alone, but I soon discovered the endless possibilities of travel photography. I studied a lot. From reading books and registering for online courses to watching video tutorials, attending photography classes and joining photography clubs, I never stopped expanding my photography skills and knowledge.

I patiently learnt the techniques of travel photography and I practised a lot. I still do. Learning about travel photography is an ongoing process. One that never fails to excite those who’ve chosen to be initiated to its secrets.

At some point, I inevitably started exploring the magical world of video, too. During the 2020 lockdowns, I found myself with a bit of extra time in my hands. Therefore, I dedicated most of it to learn the secrets of video-making and YouTube. After that, the sky was the limit. Or not? Soon, aerial photography won me over and I added a drone to my travel photography equipment.

I now work as a professional travel photographer, but it’s not just a job for me. Travel photography still is and always will be my life’s passion.

“Photographing is an emotional thing, a graceful thing. Photography allows me to wander with a purpose.” — Leonard Freed

Essential Travel Photography Gear: What’s in My Camera Bag

  • Main Camera Body: Sony α7 III with 35-mm Full-Frame Image Sensor After months of tormenting thoughts and endless sleepless nights watching YouTube reviews and tutorials, I finally gave an end to two of the most haunting dilemmas I ever faced: 1. DSLR or Mirrorless? At first, I hated the idea of turning my back to DSLR cameras and entering the world of mirrorless technology. In the end, I saw the benefits of mirrorless cameras for travel photography. They’re way lighter and more compact than DSLR cameras. 2. Nikon or Sony? Once I decided to upgrade to a full-frame mirrorless camera, another dilemma started messing with my head. As a purist, I couldn’t imagine investing in any other camera brand than Nikon . However, after much thought, I succumbed to the siren call of the dark side and went for a Sony instead. I’m happy I did so and never looked back ever since. Featuring 4K video, fantastic focusing and impressive battery-life, the Sony α7 III is the camera I chose for being one of the best travel photography cameras in my budget for both photography and video.
  • Camera Lens: Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD Sony E-mount This all-in-one zoom lens has the ideal focal length range for travel photography, it’s lightweight and, most of all, quite affordable.
  • Lens Filters: 1. Hoya UV Filter 67mm for protection. 2. Hoya Variable ND Filter 67mm for cinematic video and long exposure shots.
  • Backup Camera For Video: DJI Osmo Pocket That’s hands down the best handheld camera for travel video out there. With exceptional 4K video and offering the simplest way to shoot motion lapse and time lapse, the DJI Osmo Pocket is a fantastic video camera that literally fits in your pocket. Most of all, it’s very easy to use. It’s the only piece of my travel photography equipment that Maria is allowed (and often assigned) to use.
  • Drone: DJI Mini 2 Fly More Combo When I decided to buy a drone, I went for the DJI Mini 2 instead of a fancier one for two reasons. First, I considered it prudent to test my flying skills on a drone that wouldn’t cost a fortune. Secondly, I wanted to make sure I genuinely liked aerial photography before investing in one of the most expensive drones for travel photography. With 4K video and the option to shoot RAW, the DJI Mini 2 is great value for money. Especially if you buy the combo, which comes with two extra batteries, a stylish bag and lots of other goodies. I enjoy flying the DJI Mini 2 immensely. That’s probably because my feet never stop touching the ground. At last, I can admire spectacular views from above without all the negative emotions I get from my fear of flying when travelling by plane.
  • Travel Camera Backpack: Thule Aspect DSLR Backpack I had been looking for a while for a travel backpack that would fit all my travel photography gear, my laptop and my personal items. While I researched, finding travel photography bags to love was the easy part. Finding one that wouldn’t break the bank was the hard part. The Thule Aspect ticks all my boxes and comes at a very reasonable price for what it offers.
  • Small Camera Backpack: Benro Swift 100 That’s actually my first-ever travel photography backpack and it’s still my number one choice when I don’t need to carry all my equipment around.
  • Travel Tripods: 1. Manfrotto Befree Advanced Alpha Travel Tripod This reliable travel tripod that features maximum stability and easy set-up is the best travel photography tripod you can buy without spending a fortune. 2. Manfrotto Pixi Mini Tripod Fitting literally in my pocket, I’m happy to carry this super lightweight tripod with me at all times. 3. Xiaomi Mi Selfie Stick Tripod This was bought as a mere selfie stick but it comes really handy when shooting a time lapse or motion lapse with the DJI Osmo Pocket.
  • External Microphone: Rode VideoMicro When I was just starting with video, I needed an affordable and compact camera microphone to minimise noise interference when used outdoors. The Rode VideoMicro does the job just fine.
  • Cleaning Kit : Trivial though it may sound, a cleaning kit for your camera lenses is of the utmost importance and it’s a purchase you should make right from the start. When it comes to cleaning kits, the sky’s the limit. I make sure the cleaning kits I buy include microfibre cleaning cloths, a cleaning pen and an air blower.
  • Memory Cards : Shooting RAW and video means that I always carry several fast memory cards with me.
  • Portable Hard Drives : I use fast SSD hard drives to store my images and video footage.
  • Spare Batteries: There’s nothing I fear more than running out of battery in the middle of a photo shoot. That’s why I’m obsessed with having spare batteries for my camera and drone handy at all times. Fun fact: When I went to the camera store to buy the Sony α7 III, the guy at the counter told me that I wouldn’t need to buy a second battery for it. I ignored him and bought a spare battery anyway. Soon I realised that he was right. However, I have no regrets. It turns out that peace of mind can be bought after all.

Check out our minimalist photography gear list here!

This is a panoramic view of the medieval castle town of Monemvasia from above.

What’s So Important About Travel Photography

As one of the most famous travel quotes goes, travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer . Therefore, who’d want to let these precious memories go to waste? The importance of travel photography lies in its superpower to revoke those memories long after the smells, sounds and tastes that accompany them have worn off.

However, travel photography isn’t just about helping travellers keep the memories of their past trips alive. It’s about showing the world to people who haven’t travelled as far and wide as they’d like.

Not everyone has the privilege to travel as much as their heart desires. Travel photography has the noble mission of communicating the most exotic feelings to these people, making them travel with their minds and souls and inspiring them to roam the world if and when their circumstances allow it.

Last but certainly not least, the absolutely most significant thing about travel photography is that it’s the next most powerful tool in the fight against intolerance, second only to travel itself.

As a means to get a glimpse of cultures and people in faraway lands, this superior form of art can bridge the imaginary gaps that exist between people. It can provide proof that our world is a stunningly diverse wonder. Ultimately, it can teach people that there’s nothing wrong with being different. From North to South and from East to West, travel photography captures fleeting – yet meant to become timeless – moments in the lives of people from all four corners of the globe.

At the end of the day, it makes no difference if the light that goes through our camera’s shutter records joyful or sorrowful scenes. What matters is that it takes but a look at these travel photos to know that the light shines as bright on all of us, regardless of skin colour, age, or gender. And this is what we love about travel photography the most.

“Photography can light up darkness and expose ignorance.” — Lewis Hine

It’s All Trip To Me


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30 Travel Photography Tips: Take Better Travel Photos (and Look Good in Them Too!)

Whether you are a traveler extraordinaire who hopes to take better travel photos , you want to explore the world of posting on social media, you are a mom who snaps pictures of her family wherever you go , OR you want to UP your adventure photography game, learning a few of basic tips will help to improve your photography skills AND the quality of your photographs.

Let’s get started.

Table of Contents

30 Simple Tips to Take Better Travel Photos

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Costa Rica travel tips and answers to your FAQs

Here are a few simple tips to follow as you are traveling and learning how to take aesthetic photos —especially when you visit sites that are popular and everyone else wants to visit at the same time as you!

Aesthetic definition : (adj) concerned with beauty or the appreciation of beauty. Examples of beautiful objects are:  landscapes, sunsets, humans and works of art .

1. Avoid Visiting Popular Sites at Popular Times

Maybe this isn’t the “popular” answer, but it is the obvious one.

To avoid visiting popular attractions at the busiest times, this tip might mean waking up early in the morning before crowds gather or visiting a popular site in the early evening when crowds begin to thin.

Not a morning person? Sometimes sacrifices have to be made to capture the best pic and take better travel photos!

Other busy times you may wish to avoid visiting popular sites:

  • During holidays
  • In the high season
  • On a local holiday
  • Around noon
  • On the weekend

That being said, sometimes you just have to go with the flow and recognize that your shots might be full of 500 of your “new” best friends!

2. Avoid Crowds and Tour Groups if Possible

One of my golden rules for dining while traveling is to wander about five blocks away from the main tourist area and crowded dining options to find out-of-the-way restaurants where the locals might pop in for lunch or dinner.

The same can be said for learning how to take aesthetic photos. If you find that the main tourist areas are completely overrun with tourists AND with tour groups following a guide holding a brightly colored selfie stick, wander away from the crowds and discover the photos that show local life, Friday morning markets, and beautiful architecture.

You will be amazed at your ability to take better travel photos when you can slow down and enjoy the scene in front of you.

3. Be Patient

Have you ever looked at a photo on Instagram and wondered, “ How did they manage to take a picture without any tourists in it ? When I was there it was so crowded I could hardly keep track of my family!”

Patience, my friend. Patience.

…And having your camera ready to go the moment the last tourist walks out of your frame. That’s another idea for learning to take better travel photos.

Again, patience may not reward you with a tourist-free shot. Sometimes you just have to be okay with that.

>> Related : Romantic Instagram Quotes for Couples Who Love to Travel

4. Have Your Camera Settings Dialed In and Act Fast

Having patience leads to this tip: As you are waiting for a photo opportunity, make sure that you have ALL of your camera settings ready to go. Take a few test pictures while the crowds are milling if needed so you know that your shot will be perfect. Adjust for light, change angles, or zoom in.

Act fast once your frame clears.

This spot in front of of the General Sherman tree in the Sequoia National Park in California is often besieged with tourists wanting a memento in front of the giant sequoia tree and the sign.

Take better travel photos at tourist sites such as the General Sherman tree

To capture a “tourist-free” photo of the tree, be ready for the break in the crowd and then snap away. You may only have 2 seconds. Again, have your settings ready to go so that you know the shot will turn out the way you want.

>> Related: 20 Epic Outdoor Adventures in Yosemite National Park

5. Have Your Smartphone Ready as a Backup

This may take a little fancy handwork, but have your camera open on your phone and easy to reach if you are switching between a DSLR. If you find you just can’t get the lighting right or need to shoot from a higher angle to take better travel photos, use your phone’s camera.

Don’t be afraid to use your phone for pictures.

Cameras on newer phones offer sophisticated and advanced technology for all of your travel and adventure photography.

6. Edit Your Photos Later

Edit, edit, edit.

There are free apps for your phone or even desktop options such as Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom where you can crop and remove people from your photo. A little bit of magic to help you take better travel photos.

If you have never used the Adobe products, there is a learning curve associated with those programs.

My tip : Straighten your photos. This is especially apparent if you are taking photos of the ocean. Be sure to straighten the horizon before posting online.

7. Stand So People in the Background are Hidden from View

Sometimes it will be simply impossible to wait for all of the people to clear from your shot to take an amazing travel photo .

If you can, place your subject (you, a family member, friend, or travel partner ) strategically in front of people in the distance.

Voila! It looks as though the street is empty AND that you have mad photography skills!

8. Take Day Trips to Less Popular Destinations to Take Better Travel Photos

The touristy experiences in the bigger cities, such as Rome and Venice and Paris, are great so you can say, “I’ve been there!”, but sometimes getting outside of the city and away from the crowds is awesome.

Day trips to smaller, out-of-the-way towns and villages, such as Orvieto in Italy or Riquewihr in France, can be just as magical and picturesque.

>> Related: 7 Instagram Worthy Villages in the Cotswolds

9. Simply Ask People to Move

You will find that most people will move when they see you waiting with a camera in hand to take a picture.

Sometimes you’ll just have to ask people to move and they are happy to do it. Other times, there’s no rushing some people and they are going to stand in that spot for as long as they want. Dang it! (If this is the case, you can go back to the “ be patient ” point, you can change your angle, you can try again later, or you can just move along.)

10. Use the Crowd in Your Shot to Take Better Travel Photos

Tips to take better travel photos

Recognize that sometimes you just aren’t going to get the “tourist-free” shot of your dreams when you are planning how to take aesthetic photos of a destination.

For example, the Piazzale degli Uffizi in Florence outside of the Uffizi Museum is often overcrowded with tourists. You may wish to have all of the tourists move out of the way for you to capture the amazing architecture in the foreground and the buildings in the background, but sometimes wishes don’t come true.

Take the picture anyway.

>> Related: Best Things To Do In Florence, Italy

Tips for Looking Awesome and Taking Pictures of YOU!

11. wear colors that pop.

Young girl biking in Shark Valley

Do you know what colors look best on you?

Choose bright colors that enhance your skin AND make your photos POP with color when you travel.

It may be as simple as wearing a brightly colored scarf.

Consider your destination and make color choices based on it. For example, if you’re at the beach, wear something besides blue so that you stand out from the color of the ocean.

>> Related: 27 Instagram Worthy, Insanely Colorful Destinations Around the World

12. Learn How to Pose to Show Your Best Side

  • Move to good lighting
  • Slightly push your butt out behind you to show a slimmer torso
  • Bend your arm to create space between your arm and your body
  • Turn your body 45 degrees toward the camera
  • Turn your face so one ear is closer to the camera and slightly tilt your chin down
  • Lean forward from the waist just a touch
  • Stand tall, don’t slouch. Watch your posture. Sit up to elongate and slim your waist
  • Put one foot forward—put most of your weight on the foot in the back
  • Show movement—walk, twirl, look away from camera, grab your sunglasses, tuck your hair behind your ear
  • Be confident
  • Take candid shots
  • Use props and have some fun

Plan a trip and a Girl with pink umbrella in the gardens at Versailles

13. Use a Tripod

While not one of your essential photography gadgets, you may find that a tripod for your camera or your iPhone comes in handy for family photos, still shots, selfies and travel and adventure photography.

Joby GorillaPod flexible versatile tripod

The  GorillaPod  might be a great inbetween tripod if your camera and lens fit the 6.6 pound weight specification.

Button for linking to my Amazon favorites

14. Use a Selfie Stick to Take Better Travel Photos of You!

In a world with camera phones, it is a simple task to ask your travel partners or even a stranger to take your picture.

If you go on vacation and return home without a single photo of you, hand over your camera next time or consider investing in a selfie stick.

How to Take Aesthetic Photos: Follow the Rules of Composition

If you are a new photographer and are feeling a little overwhelmed as you learn to master your camera and take better travel photos, take heart. It takes a lot of practice. The amazing thing about digital cameras is that you can take as many photos as you like , delete as many photos as you don’t like, and continue learning each time you venture out with your camera to take better travel photos.

Following a few rules of composition will enhance your photos.

15. Consider the Light

Use natural light as much as possible in your photographs. Natural light generally refers to any light created by the sun (or the moon).

While it would be nice to say, “Avoid the sun at midday,” sometimes you just can’t as you are traveling. What can you do in such a situation?

  • Use a lens hood
  • Try to find shade
  • Make a point to come back to the spot in early morning or early evening
  • Have your subject turn their back to the camera
  • Take advantage of the shadows cast by your subject and be creative
  • Shoot from a different angle

Good lighting is essential to your photographs when you are trying to take better travel photos.

Quick Tip * Do you ever wonder where the ideal position is to have your subject stand in relation to the sun? Have them stand so that when you as the photographer are facing them, you see their shadow between you and them.

16. Use the Rule of Thirds To Take Better Travel Photos

Imagine that your screen (view finder) is divided into a grid of 9 equal sections when you frame your shot. For the most dynamic and natural photos, move your subject away from the center of the photo and place them along one of those vertical lines or where the points intersect.

Rule of thirds to take better travel photos

You can turn ON the “GRID” option in your camera app or camera settings to visually see the grid as you take pictures. After practice, you will naturally begin to use the Rule of Thirds in your photos and take better travel photos.

North Carolina Fall foliage

Now, this is not to say NEVER CENTER YOUR PHOTOS! There is a time for centering your subject when you wish to create symmetry. But to generally achieve a more natural-looking photo, learn to use the Rule of Thirds.

17. Try Not to Have Objects Sprouting Out Of Your Subject’s Head

photos about travelling

Photography skills 101: If you look at the composition of your photo and notice that there is a flagpole or a sign or an architectural feature that extends smack above your subject’s head, have them move a little to the left or the right.

18. Use Natural Frames

Young girl looking out window of barn

Framing is a compositional technique in photography that draws the viewer’s eye to the most important feature in your photo and creates a frame around the subject. Using frames adds more dimension to your photo.

You can achieve this framing technique using windows and doors, an arched entryway, trees and bushes, a tunnel…even an umbrella.

Once you start finding objects that can create a framing effect, you’ll begin to see them everywhere.

19. Find Leading Lines as You Compose Your Photo

East Inlet hikes in Colorado

Using leading lines to take better travel photos is where you basically use lines from a feature in your photo to direct the viewer’s eye toward the main story, subject, or intent within the photo. Leading lines moves the attention from one element to another.

Examples of leading lines:

  • Railroad tracks
  • An aisle in a church
  • Architectural feature

>> Related: 15 Breathtaking Hikes in Colorado

20. Shoot from a Creative Angle

Different point of view to take better travel photos

The effort to take better travel photos may simply mean taking a picture from a different perspective. This may involve shooting up from a lower angle or looking down from a higher vantage point.

Move away from always trying to see your subject eye to eye. Crouch down to a child’s level, stand on your tiptoes, or hold your phone above the crowd to capture a new perspective.

If your children are playing at a play park, try standing under them as they climb the structure or above them as they as play below.

21. Try to Capture a Reflection

Some of the coolest photos come from capturing a reflection of your desired subject.

Did you know that some photographers travel with a water bottle for this very purpose? They create a puddle on the ground in front of an architectural tourist site and take a shot of the reflection in the water.

You can also look for reflections after a rain shower, in a river or body of water, or even in a pair of reflective sunglasses.

man gazing at the sky with clouds reflected in his sunglasses

22. Focus on the Eyes

Think back to the Rule of Thirds compositional tip. An important point when photographing people is to make sure that the subject’s eye that is closest to you is on one of those points. That is where you camera focus should be as well.

Focusing on the eyes ensures that the viewer engages with the eyes, after all “the eyes are the window to the soul.”

23. Make Sure Your Focus is Spot On

How many times have you taken a picture only to find later that it is out of focus or focusing on the wrong thing? Practice. Practice. Practice.

Wrong focus on hand

24. Look for Contrasting Colors

Fall bucket list adventures around the world with stunning pops of red and orange.

If you are visiting the beach, wear a color that pops against the color of the ocean. If you are in the mountains, zoom back a little to capture some of the bright blue sky to add extra dimensions. Even fall color pops more with the contrast of a little blue in the sky.

Adventure Photography Skills to Take Better Travel Photos

25. learn the basics of your camera.

If your goal is to improve your adventure photography skills AND take better travel photos, find a course that teaches the basic principles of photography. Find someone that teaches in a style that resonates with you.

Understanding ISO, Aperture, and Shutter Speed and how they all work together sometimes takes effort to wrap your head around.

Many professional photographers encourage you to get away from shooting in Auto Mode and “focus” on shooting in Manual Mode. That’s where understanding ISO, Aperture, and Shutter Speed is essential.

If you are traveling and moving from one scene to another, one tip is to shoot in Aperture Mode and let your camera figure out the Shutter Speed. This helps when you are on the go and want to be able to compose a shot quickly.

You can still achieve some nicely composed and focused shots.

Beginner’s Bootcamp Photography Course

26. Practice

There’s nothing like good old fashioned practice to improve your skills over time. Practice on your family. Practice on your friends. Practice on inanimate objects in your garden. Practice with each trip you go on to take better travel photos and improve your photography skills.

Study photos that professionals have taken to discover the angles they shoot from, where they focus and how they use light to their advantage.

27. Take a Course to Learn the Features of Your Camera

The all access bundle for live snap love photography courses

If you are looking for a comprehensive course that starts at the beginning, Audrey Ann from Live Snap Love has some amazing photography courses to take.

PS. She offers some FREE cheat sheets too!

  • Free Manual Mode Cheat Sheet
  • Free Lightroom Starter Kit
  • Free Aperture Cheat Sheet
  • Free 90-Day Starter Kit
  • Launch into Lightroom Course
  • Auto to Awesome Course

Want to learn more about these courses? Discover the 5 Best Travel Photography Courses for Beginners .

28. Study Other Photographers

Eiffel Tower in Paris France in black and white offering great reasons to visit Paris as romantic getaways for couples

One of the best ways to improve your photography skills is to study other photographers.

Follow some of your favorite photographers on Instagram and discover the Instagrammable places they shoot around the world. If you know you will be traveling to the dreamy villages outside of Florence , see what others take pictures of.

  • What time of day did they take the picture?
  • Did they stand from above or below?
  • Did they include people in their photograph?
  • What creative angle did they use?

29. Research Instagrammable Places in Advance

Sunset over the winding road with cypresses in Tuscany leading to small towns in Italy near Florence

If you spend time on social media or Pinterest, begin to take note of particular destinations and the Instagrammable places where people take pictures. Search for “ Instagrammable places of… ”

Captions for Travel Photos

Once you have captured the best travel photos, you may wish to post them on Instagram. Here are a variety of posts showcasing the best captions for travel photos:

  • 75 Romantic Instagram Quotes for Couples Who Love to Travel
  • 70 Inspiring Instagram Captions for Travel
  • 65 Awesome Travel Quotes for Instagram
  • 300+ Instagram Content and Travel Caption Ideas for Bloggers

10 Captions for Travel Photos that Combine Photography and Travel:

  • “You can always take a great photo—no matter what the conditions.” – Steve Davey
  • “The whole point of taking pictures is so you don’t have to explain things in words.” – Elliott Erwitt
  • “Travel photography is really a way of life: a way of traveling.” – Steve Davey
  • “Having a camera around your neck gives you a good excuse to be nosy.” – Martin Parr
  • “The most valuable things in life are a man’s memories. And they are priceless.” – Andre Kertesz
  • “Take only pictures, leave only footprints.”
  • “I think of myself as an explorer who has spent his life on a long voyage of discovery.” – Paul Strand
  • “Never stop looking, no matter where you are, everywhere there are good photographs.” – Art Wolf
  • “If you want to be a better photographer, stand in front of more interesting stuff.” – Jim Richardson
  • “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” – Marcel Proust

30. Book a Photography Tour

There are plenty of walking tours around the world, and many have options for photography tours as well.

My Favorite Camera Equipment

If you spend any time on social media, you may encounter people who are passionate about their brand of camera. There has long been a debate about which camera brand is the best—Sony, Canon, Nikon, etc.

The answer?  Whatever camera you have with you !!!

Point and Shoot Camera

Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III Digital Camera

Underwater Camera


Mid-range DSLR


Just remember, you don’t have to travel with ALL of your photography equipment. Pack lightly. Take only the essentials. That may mean your camera body and one possibly two versatile lenses and a few accessories. Here are a few ideas for you to consider.

A go-to lens for the Canon T8i is the  Canon EF-S 18-135 mm f/3.5-5.6  with image stabilization. It is perfect for all of your domestic AND international adventures. The Canon T8i (in the Canon Rebel Line) is a perfect beginner’s camera.

Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 with Image Stabilization Lens

If your skills have improved and you are looking to upgrade from a T-series camera to a Canon 6D Mark II or similar DSLR, note that you will also need to upgrade your lenses from the EF-S line to the EF lenses such as this lens: Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens  

Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens for Canon

Upgrading is an important consideration, as the photography hobby comes with some expensive photography gadgets and equipment!

The good news, the relatively inexpensive Canon “ nifty fifty ” lens—an EF lens—works with both camera bodies. (Be sure to pick the nifty fifty lens suited to your brand of camera).

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens Nifty Fifty

Nowadays, with the advances in smartphone camera technology, the best camera might just be in your back pocket!

photos about travelling

There are tripods that are small and flexible for travel, but if you are traveling solo (or even with a group), you may wish to have the added benefit of the  Fugetek selfie stick  in your travel gear .

The selfie stick a handy gadget complete with an iPhone and Android compatible camera stand. The stick can extend in height with an easy click-in lock and comes with a removable remote for easy one-step operation. The tripod features non-skid feet for your selfie stick to become a stand alone device.

The  Canon Wireless Remote Control  is a handy photography gadget that is lightweight and small. It allows you to take “selfies” with your DSLR!

Canon wireless remote control

Or, if your hands are full holding reflectors or if you are using a tripod, you can easily set up your camera on the remote setting and enable the remote control. 

There is a specific camera setting ! 

Don’t forget to change the setting on your camera!

There is a debate in the photography community as to the need or value of Lens Filters. For certain types of photography, filters are essential in achieving a specific look and feel to your photos. 

UV Protected lens filter

A  UV Protected Lens Filter  can be a protection to your more expensive lenses.

Be sure to purchase the correct size of filter for your lens.

While you often hear about the “golden hours” in photography, it isn’t always practical to only shoot at the first light of the morning or in the waning hours of the evening for the best light.

lens hood

As you travel, you are shooting and sightseeing all day long and need to account for the sun as best you can. A Lens Hood  can help you to take better travel photos during the daytime hours.

The lens hood blocks the direct sunlight from hitting the lens and allows you to take better travel photos in the bright light of the day.

Again, be sure to purchase the correct size for your lens.

Extra Memory Card

Be sure to have sufficient memory in your  SD Cards . If your travel extends for an extended length of time, invest in a card with enough space for all of your vacation photos.

SanDisk Extreme PRO 256GB SDXC UHS-I Card

Having a backup card isn’t a bad idea either.

Camera Battery & Charger

Powerextra battery for canon camera LP-E6N

Not only should you have a back up SD card as part of your photography gadgets, but having a back up  Camera Battery  along with your  Battery Charger  is a good idea.

Canon LC-E6 Battery Charger for Canon

An improvised backpack rain cover fashioned from plastic bags may work to cover your backpack and keep your camera and photography gadgets dry in a pinch. Invest in a Waterproof Backpack Covers  for future rainy days.

waterproof backpack cover

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes a great travel photo.

Anyone can take a nice picture of the Eiffel tower. To elevate your photography skills and take great travel photos, you will need great light and excellent composition. Learn those skills to give your photography skills an edge.

What is a good quote of traveling and photography?

“Sometimes I arrive just when God’s ready to have someone click the shutter. ” ~ Ansel Adams

Is a smartphone good for travel and adventure photography?

Yes. Your iPhone may just be your best travel camera. “While the image resolution and quality might be higher on a DSLR or other high-end camera, the iPhone wins hands-down on portability and convenience.”

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Tips to take better travel photos

Final Thoughts on 30 Travel Photography Tips to Take Better Travel Photos and Look Good in Them Too!

This is a brief overview of how to take better travel photos. The key, really, is to practice, practice, practice .

There is so much more to learn if you wish to master the features of your camera, and especially to move away from shooting in Auto .

All in the hopes that you will be able to take better travel photos.

And when you arrive home from your excursions, find creative ways to display the amazing photos you took on vacation.

Related Articles

  • Travel Photos: 12 Creative Ways to Share and Display Them
  • 15 Popular Photography Gadgets
  • 11 Instagram Worthy Beautiful Lakes Around the World
  • How to Best Journal Your Travels and Your Life
  • 10 Great Reasons to Visit Paris

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I’m a Colorado-based travel blogger with a passion for exploring the world, enjoying family time, and taking fantastic photographs. I am also a book writing, creative thinking, detail loving, frequent flying, comfort loving mom of three girls and wife to an amazing guy.

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Thanks for sharing, I really needed this article. These are some great tips. I already know about using the grid but for some reason, I still end up having photos in the center! It’s such a hard habit to break.

Great tips! I definitely try to avoid popular spots at popular times, because I am definitely not an expert at editing people out of my photos. I also really would like to start taking photos with a camera and not just a smart phone, I think that’s a great way to step up my photography game!

This is a super helpful guide! I try to use a lot of these techniques when I take photos too, but you also taught me something new with the use of the grid on your phone camera – great idea! I also swear by my selfie stick/tripod; it really comes in handy for those couple shots. Xx Sara

This is such a useful guide! I definitely need to work on my patience more as I’m not an expert at removing people from shots with software. Even using a grid, I always end up with focal points in the centre, but I guess that takes practice to break that habit. Also, love the tip on the lighting shadow direction!

Great tips Jolayne! I agree with all of these – and above all, be patient haha! Avoiding group tours is another big one for me, where possible! I’m a huge fan of Adobe Lightroom for editing. Thanks for sharing!

Patience is a virtue, especially when traveling.

Interesting idea to use the grid to take photos! Patience is definitely key when you’re trying to get photos in busy spots. We always get at least one person walking into the photo who doesn’t seem to notice we’re taking photos.

This is a fantastic post! I think so many of us are looking to up our photography game and guides like this definitely help 🙂

Thanks so much. I know I can always use helpful tips.

These are some great tips! I’m always looking to take better travel photos so I’ll be sure to test out your suggestions! And it is a good reminder that I need to spend some time getting to know my new camera too! So far it is stuck on manual mode! Thanks for the great guide!

Love all these tips! I use the Grid on iPhone camera all the time – it really helps!

It is pretty handy even if it is just a reminder.

I wished I could just ask people to move aside sometimes, but I’m so socially awkward I almost always NEVER say anything hahahah.. I like the tip about just working them into your composition though! Definitely a creative alternative way to just make the situation work for you and I’m gonna keep that positive attitude with me the next time I’m out there!

These are some great tips! I always try to get to touristy spots during off-times exactly for this purpose. I’m not a professional photographer but I can at least try to not have a bunch of people in my pictures haha

So many great photo travel tips! I especially like the ones for take better photos of yourself!

So sorry for your loss. Keep practicing on the photography and editing and you will find improvement.

A really comprehensive post, very useful. I’ve definitely suffered from photo frustration, where my mind- and even my eye- can see the capture I want but I can’t master my camera/ timing/ settings to quite get it. Practice for progress, I suppose!

On a different note, I’m glad to see the humble selfie stick getting a mention. I think they got a bad reputation at one point but used with consideration- a great tool.

WOW! This is a very comprehensive list with tons of great advice. Would be useful for everyone regardless of their skill level.

These are some great tips! I especially like the ideas for posing and wearing colors that pop.

We all want to look fantastic in our pics right?

Great tips! I am a big fan of avoiding crowds and shooting early in the morning when possible. I also love the idea of wearing items that pop – it’s great to think about contrast when shooting.

Haha i love the bit about be patient, but also simply ask people to move. So true!

Patience is a virtue as a photographer.

This guide was SO helpful! Thank you! I really appreciated the tip about shadows.

Thanks. I always love to learn more about photography.

Wait, you mean people DON’T like to see things coming out of their heads in photos?! Just kidding, but truly, that was a tip that I used to never think about, LOL! Great ideas, and beautiful photos.

Wow! Some great tips here. Thank you for sharing.

Great tips – I omitted a lot of these on my own photography tips blog so really appreciated the depth of information you put together 🙂

Thanks so much.

I love your photos! I have to start using my selfie stick!

Thanks. I am photography junkie. Just can’t help myself.

Love this post! I love taking photos and slowly but surely getting better at doing so over the years has been so rewarding. Great read <3

I like the rule of thirds– I have started using this recently and the composition is so much better!

It is where you eye tends to focus

Thanks for these helpful tips, Jolayne! Will have to try putting some of them into practice ?

Lots of great advice. I love taking photos when I’m traveling, I just need to practice with not making them on auto. We had the general Sherman tree without others since we visited at the end of April. There was another couple and we took pictures of them and they of us.

Very useful guide as I have a trip coming up! I was especially interested in the lens you recommended. Thanks!

Very helpful tips. Thanks for sharing your favorite camera equipment. That’s very helpful!

You certainly demonstrate a deep understanding and expertise. The images are mesmerizing and simply awe-inspiring. The autumn shades of the trees, in particular, capture my heart. It’s as if the leaves are giving a standing ovation to the changing seasons!

Great tips. We are constantly taking blurry pictures while running. Advice for being patient is definitely key.

Great Post! I bought myself a camera as a Christmas present a few years ago and I’m scared to death of it. So many settings to navigate through. I definitely need to take a class to get some of the basics down. Lots of great information here. Thank you!

Really some great and some easy-to-implement tips in this post! Thank you for putting this together.

Great post. Mastering photography is on my to-do list.

So many great tips here! And I definitely need to start practicing how to take better photos of myself, LOL!

Great and detailed post. This will definitely help our followers!

Great post! Definitely will give this a closer read later. I consider myself a decent amateur photographer, so really appreciate all the info and great tips!

You have some lovely photos on this post. I find these tips very useful and will try to remember them the next I am out and about. Thanks for sharing!

Awesome post!! Needed this reminder as a content creator

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The Traveling Moore

150+ Short Travelling Captions for Instagram Photos or Reels

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Wondering what to caption your latest travel photo on the ‘gram? This list of over 100 short travelling captions for Instagram is for you!

As a travel blogger, one of the most frustrating parts of my job is captioning photos on Instagram . I know that’s hard to believe, but my mind always goes blank when trying to come up with something clever.

I decided to save myself (and you) some frustration by putting together this list of hundreds of short Instagram captions. Some of funny, others serious. There are also some perfect for a beach vacay for city trip.

Keep reading for a list of caption ideas for your next post or reel.

Some links on this blog are affiliate links, meaning I may earn a commission at no extra cost to you if you make a purchase through them. All opinions are my own, and I only recommend products and services I personally use and believe in. Thanks for your support!

Short and Simple Travelling Captions for IG

photos about travelling

1. Wanderlust and city dust.

2. Life is short, travel often.

3. Adventure awaits.

4. Exploring new horizons.

5. Roaming free.

6. Lost and loving it.

7. Making memories around the world.

8. Escape the ordinary.

9. Adventure is out there.

10. Travel far, travel wide.

11. Collect moments, not things.

12. Exploring the unexplored.

13. Wander often, wonder always.

14. Lost but found.

15. Leaving footprints all over the world.

16. Wander often, wonder always.

17. Travel far and wide.

18. The journey is the destination.

19. I left my heart in [destination].

20. Life is an adventure.

Funny Travel Captions

21. Where to next?

22. Jet lag is for amateurs.

23. Salt in the air, sand in my hair.

24. A change of latitude would help my attitude.

25. Let’s wander where the Wi-Fi is weak.

26. I’m in a long-distance relationship with my suitcase.

27. I need six months of vacation, twice a year.

28. My travel budget: 10% plane tickets, 90% food and souvenirs.

29. Just a girl trying to make everyone jealous of my vacation.

30. I like long walks on the beach, especially when they lead to a bar.

Short Travel Quotes

Dubrovnik View from Water

31. “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” – Saint Augustine

32. “Adventure is worthwhile in itself.” – Amelia Earhart

33. “Travel makes one modest, you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” – Gustave Flaubert

34. “Not all those who wander are lost.” – J.R.R. Tolkien

35. “To travel is to live.” – Hans Christian Andersen

36. “Travel far enough, you meet yourself.” – David Mitchell

37. “Traveling—it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta

38. “The journey not the arrival matters.” – T.S. Eliot

39. “Travel is the only thing you can buy that makes you richer.” – Anonymous

40. “Travel far, travel wide, and travel often.” – Anthony Bourdain

Song Lyrics About Travel

41. “Leaving on a jet plane, don’t know when I’ll be back again.” – John Denver, “Leaving on a Jet Plane”

42. “I’ve been everywhere, man, I’ve been everywhere.” – Johnny Cash, “I’ve Been Everywhere”

43. “On the road again” – Willie Nelson, “On the Road Again”

44. “I’m on the pursuit of happiness and I know everything that shine ain’t always gonna be gold.” – Kid Cudi, “Pursuit of Happiness”

45. “Come sail away, come sail away, come sail away with me.” – Styx, “Come Sail Away”

46. “Life’s a journey, not a destination.” – Aerosmith, “Amazing”

47. “Two drifters off to see the world, there’s such a lot of world to see.” – Louis Armstrong, “What a Wonderful World”

48. “I’m on my way, driving at 90 down those country lanes.” – Ed Sheeran, “Castle on the Hill”

49. “She’s got a ticket to ride, but she don’t care.” – The Beatles, “Ticket to Ride”

50. “Country roads, take me home to the place I belong.” – John Denver, “Take Me Home, Country Roads”

Social Media Captions About City Travel

View of Broadway Nashville

51. Discovering the world one city at a time.

52. Lost in the city lights.

53. Urban explorations and coffee shop conversations.

54. City streets and city beats.

55. Wandering through the heart of the city.

56. The city is my playground.

57. Concrete jungle adventures.

58. Finding magic in the city’s chaos.

59. In a city full of stories, I’m writing my own.”

60. Every city has a soul; I’m here to discover it.

Short Captions About Nature

Lahaina Banyan Tree

61. Follow the call of the wild.

62. Chasing sunsets.

63. Lost in paradise.

64. Find me where the wild things are.

65. Explore the beauty of the world.

66. Into the wild I go, losing my way, finding my soul.

67. The best views come after the hardest climbs.

68. The mountains are calling, and I must go.

69. Getting lost in the beauty of Mother Nature.

70. Exploring the world’s natural wonders, one adventure at a time

Beach Vacation Instagram Captions

Beach in Oahu with people playing in the water and the sand. Jungle hill in the background

71. Living on island time.

72. Meet me where the sky touches the sea.

73. Sea you in paradise.

74. Good times and tan lines.

75. Just keep swimming.

76. Life is better in flip-flops.

77. Sunshine and tan lines.

78. Island vibes only.

79. Life’s a beach, enjoy the waves.

80. Sandy toes and salty kisses.

Instagram Captions About Cruising

explorer of the seas

81. Sail away with me, to new horizons on the open sea.

82. Cruisin’ through life one wave at a time.

83. Salt in the air, adventure on the horizon.

84. Waving goodbye to the real world for a while.

85. Life is better on a cruise ship.

86. Every sunset is an opportunity to reset at sea.

87. In love with the cruise life.

88. Cruising: where every day is a new voyage.

89. I’m on a boat, and it’s going fast.

90. Waking up in a new place every day – the magic of cruising.

More cruise captions ➡️

Short Travel Captions about Flying

bush plane in uganda

91. Jet, set, go!

92. Catch flights, not feelings.

93. Jet-setter at heart.

94. Jet-setting through the clouds.

95. In the sky, I find my peace.

96. Up, up, and away!

97. Traveling at the speed of flight.

98. Exploring the world one flight at a time.

99. Fly high, dream big.

100. In the clouds, I find my happy place.

Instagram Travel Captions For Road Trips

101. On the road again.

102. Always take the scenic route.

103. On the road to anywhere but here.

104. Endless roads and open hearts.

105. Adventure is out there, and it starts with a full tank.

106. The best therapy is a road trip.

107. Life is a highway; I want to ride it all night long.

108. Getting lost is half the fun.”

109. Road trippin’ and memory-makin’.

110. Driving into the unknown with the windows down.

Romantic Travel Instagram Captions

Capital of victoria BC

111. Let’s get lost together.

112. Our love story: written in the places we’ve been.

113. Exploring the world hand in hand with my love.

114. Traveling with you makes every journey an adventure.

115. Love and adventure go hand in hand.

116. Wanderlust and love, the perfect combination.

117. With you, every place feels like home.

118. Finding love in the most unexpected places.

119. Romance is in the air, and so are we.

120. You and me, chasing dreams and creating memories around the world.

More couple travel captions ➡️

Cute Travel Captions Instagram with Friends

girls weekend in Chelan at a winery

121. Finding paradise wherever we travel together

122. Embracing my resting beach face with my girls

123. “I have found out that there ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

124. Cheers to new adventures with old friends

125. The one place I want to be is wherever my girls are

Travel Captions for Instagram Reels

126. For a bustling cityscape video: “Where the streets are alive with more than just dreams.”

127. Showcasing local cuisine: “Taste-testing my way around the world, one bite at a time.”

128. Luxury hotel room tour: “My home away from home is fancier than my actual home.”

129. Hiking adventure: “Taking the scenic route to my next meeting.”

130. Beachfront relaxation scene: “Current status: Making waves and taking names.”

131. Cultural festival or event: “Dancing to the rhythm of new cultures.”

132. Safari experience: “Out of office: currently in a meeting with the real Big Five.”

133. Historic landmarks tour: “Walking through history, one step at a time.”

134. Sunset or sunrise view: “Chasing sunrises (or sunsets) around the globe.”

135. Thrilling adventure activity (like skydiving): “Because my business suit needed a break.”

136. Exploring local markets: “Finding treasures and bargaining in the world’s most colorful markets.”

137. Luxurious spa day: “Self-care level: Luxury Spa in a foreign land.”

138. Iconic train journey: “All aboard my journey to the extraordinary!”

139. Street food sampling: “Going where the flavor takes me.”

140. Aerial view of a destination (via drone): “Bird’s-eye view, bucket-list destination.”

141. Winery or vineyard tour: “Sipping my way through the finest vineyards.”

142. Onboard a cruise ship: “Where my office view rocks and waves.”

143. Local music or dance performance: “The universal language of music, from a new corner of the world.”

144. Snowy adventure (skiing, snowboarding): “Trading sand for snow, and loving every minute!”

145. Underwater exploration (snorkeling, diving): “Going off the deep end in the best way possible.”

146. Biking through scenic landscapes: “Two wheels, one epic journey.”

147. Luxury shopping spree: “When in Rome, shop as the Romans do.”

148. Stay in an unusual or unique lodging: “Where the wild things are – my incredible stay in [Destination].”

149. Visiting a famous cafe or restaurant: “More than just a meal – it’s an experience at [Cafe/Restaurant Name].”

150. Panoramic city view (from a high vantage point): “On top of the world, or at least [City Name].”

Summary of this List of The Best Travel Captions for Instagram

If you’re still wondering what to caption your Instagram post, I don’t know what to tell you! At the end of the day, sharing on Instagram is about connecting with others and capturing memories so don’t stress the caption too much.

Want to see some of these travelling captions for Instagram in action? Follow me on insta @TheTravelingMoore .

Related Posts:

  • 88 Unique Couple Travel Captions for Instagram
  • 135 Cruise Instagram captions For your Vacation Photos
  • 250 Best California Instagram Captions & Quotes
  • 160 Nashville Instagram Captions, Quotes, & Hashtags
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  • Best Travel Vloggers You Need To Watch On YouTube

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Lauren is the creator of The Traveling Moore blog. She's travel obsessed, having been to nearly 50 countries and all 7 continents. She has a full time corporate job, and loves showing others that it's still possible to travel the world with limited PTO hours. Lauren is also travel hacking obsessed, finding every way to travel more often and more luxuriously.

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Photos: uae sees its heaviest rains in 75 years.

Headshot of Aya Batrawy

Aya Batrawy

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Atypically heavy rains in the United Arab Emirates on Monday and Tuesday caused flooding, flight cancellations and school closures. Vehicles were abandoned on highways like this one in Dubai. Francois Nel/Getty Images hide caption

Atypically heavy rains in the United Arab Emirates on Monday and Tuesday caused flooding, flight cancellations and school closures. Vehicles were abandoned on highways like this one in Dubai.

DUBAI — Schools and businesses have been closed across the United Arab Emirates after the country experienced about year's worth of rain in one day.

The flooding also disrupted travel at Dubai International Airport, which is the world's busiest for international travel.

Climate talks end on a first-ever call for the world to move away from fossil fuels

Climate talks end on a first-ever call for the world to move away from fossil fuels

Videos posted online showed residents sweeping rainwater out of their homes and luxury cars stranded in Dubai's flooded streets, after a storm unleashed the heaviest rainfall ever recorded in the country since the start of data collection 75 years ago. That was well before the country was founded.

Dubai's high-end stores weren't spared either, as rainwater gushed through the ceilings of shopping malls. At Dubai's main airport, the runway flooded and flagship carrier Emirates suspended all departing flights on Wednesday. The local Gulf News reported more than 1,200 flights were canceled due to Tuesday's storms. The airport is expected to return to fully operational by Friday.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by NPR (@npr)

The city, known for its year-round sunny weather and beaches, saw sunshine later in the week, but schools remained remote due to road closures.

Despite some damage to cars, homes and roads, the UAE's state news agency says the rainfall boosts the country's groundwater reserves.

Rainfall in nearby Oman is blamed for more than 20 deaths this week, including 10 children swept away in a car on their way home from school Monday, according to state-owned media there.

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A flooded parking lot in Dubai on Thursday. Francois Nel/Getty Images hide caption

photos about travelling

Passengers queue at a flight connection desk at the Dubai International Airport on Wednesday. Dubai's main airport diverted scores of incoming flights on Tuesday as heavy rains lashed the United Arab Emirates, causing widespread flooding around the country. AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Cars drive in a flooded street following heavy rains in Dubai on Wednesday. Torrential rain caused floods across the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Oman. Giuseppe Cacace/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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A man walks along a road barrier on Dubai's Sheikh Zayed Road amid floodwater caused by heavy rain, Thursday. Christopher Pike/AP hide caption

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A tanker truck sits abandoned in floodwater in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Thursday. The United Arab Emirates attempted to dry out Thursday from the heaviest rain the desert nation has ever recorded, a deluge that flooded out Dubai International Airport and disrupted flights through the world's busiest airfield for international travel. Jon Gambrell/AP hide caption

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People wait for transportation on Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai on Thursday. Christopher Pike/AP hide caption

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Vehicles sit abandoned in floodwater covering a major road in Dubai on Wednesday. Jon Gambrell/AP hide caption

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Take a closer look at the plans for the main regions of Neom, Saudi's epic megacity project

  • Saudi Arabia is plowing on with its ambitious Neom project, despite reported setbacks.
  • The Kingdom has said "millions of cubic meters of earth and water" are being moved each week.
  • Here's a closer look at the main regions that officials plan to build as part of the project.

Insider Today

Saudi Arabia 's futuristic and highly ambitious Neom megacity has been billed by officials as a place where people can "dream big."

First announced in 2017, Neom is being constructed in Tabuk, located on the northern tip of the Red Sea.

In February, the Kingdom released a promotional video sharing updates on Neom's progress. The video claimed the project was "progressing rapidly," adding that "millions of cubic meters of earth and water" were being moved each week.

Denis Hickey, the chief development officer for The Line, said: "We've done a lot of the foundation work literally and figuratively. We are ready to go. I think the construction of The Line is unique in terms of its industrialization and its modularized approach."

"We think there's an opportunity to create a better model for a city to interact with the landscape and nature and the environment and we think The Line is going to be an example to the rest of the world," Hickey said.

The kingdom has been funneling money into the 26,500 km² megacity, with costs projected to reach around $1.5 trillion for the development . The Line — a key part of the project — was planned to be finished by 2030, but recent reports suggest developers may be facing financial difficulties.

In February, The Wall Street Journal reported that Saudi Arabia was borrowing to help fund an array of ambitious projects, including Neom. A month later, Bloomberg reported that the Gulf kingdom has significantly reduced estimates for the number of people expected to settle in The Line .

Neom is the flagship project of the Vision 2030 plan announced by Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Saudi wants its Vision 2030 projects to boost residency, provide better opportunities, and help the nation diversify beyond fossil fuels — but it remains to be seen whether expectations will match up with reality.

Neom is designed to comprise several regions. Here's how officials say the city will be laid out.

The Line is the most well-known section of Neom.

Officials say the city is set to be contained within two 1640-foot-high mirrored skyscrapers positioned 656 feet apart. According to Neom's website, the city will have no roads, cars, or emissions and run on 100% renewable energy.

The city was originally planned to accommodate nine million people by 2030. However, Bloomberg reported that this estimate was recently downgraded to less than 300,000 people by the same deadline.

US studio Morphosis is reportedly working on the glossy city, with several more architects on board to design smaller sections .

Related stories

Several e xperts have raised ethical issues about the city, claiming it could be fitted with Chinese technology to gather data on residents as part of a sweeping surveillance program.

Located on the coast of the Red Sea, Neom officials have announced plans for an octagonal city, which they claim will house a "next-generation" sustainable port.

If completed, the plan is for Oxagon, as it's being called, to spill partly into the sea, with a section set to float above on the shore. Neom officials have made the bold claim the floating part of the city will be the "world's largest floating structure."

Planners have also claimed the city will cover 48km² and house 90,000 people by 2030, as set out in the Vision 2030 plans .

Saudi officials claim Sindalah, a luxury island resort, will be the first region of Neom to be completed.

Developers have said they want the island to act as an "exclusive gateway to the stunning Red Sea," adding that they planned to welcome the global yachting community and luxury visitors.

The resort is set to feature several luxury spots, including a beach club, a spa and wellness center, and a yacht club.

Located in the mountains of the Tabuk region, Trojena has been designed to be Neom's ski and adventure resort.

Neom's website says the region will host 36 km of ski slopes. The site is also aiming to generate 10,000 jobs, per Neom's promotional site.

Saudi plans for Trojena to play host to 700,000 tourists annually by 2030.

The Gulf Of Aqaba

Saudi plans for the Gulf of Aqaba coast include several of Neom's main tourist destinations, including Epicon.

Plans for Epicon include an "ultra-luxury" hotel and resort and include a residential offering. Official statements say it will feature two towers, one 738 feet tall and another 902 feet tall.

If completed, the Gulf of Aqaba will include Leyka, a natural valley with three boutique hotels; Xaynor, an exclusive beach club; Siranna, a "luxury hospitality experience," and Aquellum, a community built inside a 1,476-feet high mountain range.

There are plans for the region to also host several other luxury escapes and wellness retreats.

Watch: Death toll in Morocco earthquake rises to 2,700

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What Guests Wore to the Japan State Dinner at the White House

From Lauren Sánchez's revealing corset dress to the First Lady's sparkling Oscar de la Renta gown, take a look at the fashion on display at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

a group of women in dresses

Every item on this page was chosen by a Town & Country editor. We may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy.

Last night, President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden hosted their fifth state dinner, welcoming Japan's Prime Minister Kishida Fumio. "Well, we are the same, Japan and the United States," Biden said in his remarks last night. "We may be divided by distance, but generation after generation are brought together by the same hope, the same values, the same commitment to democracy and faith."

Here, see what all the guests wore to the state dinner:

President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden

president biden hosts japanese pm kishida for official state visit

The First Lady wore a sparkling, ombre Oscar de la Renta gown, while President Biden kept it simple in a black suit.

Read more: Dr. Jill Biden's Best Fashion Moments

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and First Lady Yuko Kishida

president biden hosts japanese pm kishida for official state visit

Japan's First Lady, Yuko Kishida, opted for a bold purple gown.

Robert De Niro and Tiffany Chen

us japan diplomacy biden kishida

Actor Robert De Niro arrived with his girlfriend, Tiffany Chen, who chose an elegant white column gown for the event.

Naomi Biden and Peter Neal

us japan diplomacy biden kishida

Biden's granddaughter Naomi Biden wore a Bernadette gown. She was joined by her husband, Peter Neal , in a classic tuxedo. (The two wed at the White House in November 2022.)

Lauren Sánchez and Jeff Bezos

president biden hosts japanese pm kishida for official state visit

Sánchez opted for a revealing red Rasario dress, while Bezos wore a tuxedo.

Kristi Yamaguchi

president biden hosts japanese pm kishida for official state visit

Olympic figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi looked lovely in a navy, floral gown designed by Jason Wu.

Ashley Biden and Finnegan Biden

us japan diplomacy biden kishida

Jill and Joe's daughter, Ashley Biden , chose to wear a Reem Accra gown, and their granddaughter, Finnegan Biden , arrived in a red off-the-shoulder gown.

Maia Harumi Shibutani and Alex Hideo Shibutani

us japan diplomacy biden kishida

Olympic figure skating siblings Maia and Alex looked elegant with Maia in a blue Ralph Lauren off-the-shoulder gown and Alex in a tuxedo.

Bill and Hillary Clinton

us japan diplomacy biden kishida

Former First Lady Hillary Clinton wore a pink and purple caftan, and former President Bill Clinton wore a tuxedo.

Lilas Ikuta

president biden hosts japanese pm kishida for official state visit

Singer-songwriter Lilas Ikuta looked stylish in a black dress.

Vice President Kamala Harris and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff

us japan diplomacy biden kishida

Vice President Kamala Harris attended the dinner in a black, long-sleeve gown by Valentino. She was joined by her husband, Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff.

William Burns and Sarah Burns

us japan diplomacy biden kishida

William Burns, director of the Central Intelligence Agency, brought his daughter Sarah Burns for the dinner.

us japan diplomacy biden kishida

Japanese musician and record producer Ayase looked cool with an oversized bowtie.

Antony Blinken and Evan M. Ryan

us japan diplomacy biden kishida

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his wife, White House cabinet secretary Evan M. Ryan, were among the guests. Ryan wore a spring ready Carolina Herrera pink and orange color block gown.

Alejandro and Tanya Mayorkas

us japan diplomacy biden kishida

Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of Homeland Security, attended with his wife Tanya Mayorkas. Tanya appeared to wear a lace Tadashi Shoji gown .

John and Mae Podesta

us japan diplomacy biden kishida

John Podesta, the Senior Advisor to the President for Clean Energy Innovation and Implementation, and his wife, Mae, who wore a strapless Amara gown.

Rahm Emanuel and Amy Rule

us japan diplomacy biden kishida

US Ambassador to Japan, Rahm Emanuel, was back in D.C. for the State Dinner, joined by his wife Amy Rule. Amy's light pink dress appears to be by Japanese brand CFCL—their Pottery long sleeve puff dress.

Jerome Powell and Elissa Leonard

us japan diplomacy biden kishida

Powell, the Chair of the Federal Reserve of the United States, walked in hand-in-hand with his wife Elissa Leonard. Barbiecore is still in: Check out Elissa's pink shoes!

Tim Cook and Lisa Jackson

president biden hosts japanese pm kishida for official state visit

Tim Cook, Apple CEO, chose a classic tux, whereas Lisa Jackson, Apple's vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, wore a printed purple dress.

Senator Mazie Hirono and Leighton Kim Oshima

us japan diplomacy biden kishida

Japanese-American senator from Hawaii, Mazie Hirono, wore a black pantsuit, and smiled wide as she entered the State Dinner with her husband, Leighton Kim Oshima.

Headshot of Emily Burack

Emily Burack (she/her) is the Senior News Editor for Town & Country, where she covers entertainment, culture, the royals, and a range of other subjects. Before joining T&C, she was the deputy managing editor at Hey Alma , a Jewish culture site. Follow her @emburack on Twitter and Instagram .

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us japan diplomacy biden kishida

Meet Finnegan Biden

joe biden ashley biden

Who Is President Biden's Daughter Ashley Biden?

president biden hosts japanese pm kishida for official state visit

Dr. Jill Biden's First Lady Fashion

a group of people posing for a photo

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Dubai flooding hobbles major airport's operations as "historic weather event" brings torrential rains to UAE

Updated on: April 17, 2024 / 5:57 PM EDT / CBS/AP

Dubai, United Arab Emirates  — The desert nation of the United Arab Emirates attempted to dry out Wednesday from the heaviest rain ever recorded there after a deluge flooded out Dubai International Airport, disrupting travel through the world's busiest airfield for international travel. The state-run WAM news agency called the rain Tuesday "a historic weather event" that surpassed "anything documented since the start of data collection in 1949." 

The rains began late Monday, soaking the sands and roadways of Dubai with some 0.79 inches of rain, according to meteorological data collected at Dubai International Airport. The storms intensified around 9 a.m. local time Tuesday and continued throughout the day, dumping more rain and hail onto the overwhelmed city.

Flooding impacts Dubai International Airport

By the end of Tuesday, more than 5.59 inches of rainfall had soaked Dubai over 24 hours. An average year sees just 3.73 inches of rain fall at Dubai International Airport, a hub for the long-haul carrier Emirates.

At the airport, standing water lapped on taxiways as aircraft landed. Arrivals were halted Tuesday night and passengers struggled to reach terminals through the floodwater covering surrounding roads.


The airport said in a  series of social media posts  that all operations were halted for about 25 minutes on Tuesday afternoon and that all arrivals would be diverted after that "until the weather conditions improve." Late Wednesday morning, the airport and the flagship carrier Emirates were still warning travelers not to come to the airport unless absolutely necessary, saying all flight check-in was still suspended.

"Flights continue to be delayed and diverted. Please check your flight status directly with your airline," the airport said in a tweet. "We are working hard to recover operations as quickly as possible in very challenging conditions." 

One couple, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity in a country with strict laws that criminalize critical speech, called the situation at the airport "absolute carnage."

"You cannot get a taxi. There's people sleeping in the Metro station. There's people sleeping in the airport," the man said Wednesday.

They ended up getting a taxi to near their home some 18 miles away, but floodwater on the road stopped them. A bystander helped them over a highway barrier with their carry-on luggage, the bottles of gin they picked up from a duty-free store clinking away.


Paul Griffiths, the airport's CEO, acknowledged continued issues with flooding Wednesday morning, saying every place an aircraft could be safely parked was taken. Some aircraft had been diverted to Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Central, the city-state's second airfield.

"It remains an incredibly challenging time. In living memory, I don't think anyone has ever seen conditions like it," Griffiths told the state-owned talk radio station Dubai Eye. "We are in uncharted territory, but I can assure everyone we are working as hard as we possibly can to make sure our customers and staff are looked after."

Did "cloud-seeding" contribute?

Rain also fell in Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. However, the rains were acute across the UAE. One reason may have been " cloud seeding ," in which small planes flown by the government go through clouds burning special salt flares. Those flares can increase precipitation.

Several reports quoted meteorologists at the National Center for Meteorology as saying they flew six or seven cloud-seeding flights before the rains. The center did not immediately respond to questions Wednesday, though flight-tracking data analyzed by the AP showed one aircraft affiliated with the UAE's cloud-seeding efforts flew around the country Sunday.

The UAE, which relies heavily on energy-hungry desalination plants to provide water, conducts cloud seeding in part to increase its dwindling, limited groundwater.

Flooding closes schools across UAE

Schools across the UAE, a federation of seven sheikhdoms, largely shut ahead of the storm and government employees were largely working remotely if they could. Many workers stayed home as well, though some ventured out, with the unfortunate ones stalling out their vehicles in deeper-than-expected water covering some roads.

Heavy rains over Dubai

Authorities sent tanker trucks out into the streets and highways to pump away the water. Water poured into some homes, forcing people to bail out their houses.

The country's hereditary rulers offered no overall damage or injury information for the nation, as some people slept in their flooded vehicles Tuesday night. In Ras al-Khaimah, the country's northernmost emirate, police said a 70-year-old man died when his vehicle was swept away by floodwater.

Fujairah, an emirate on the UAE's eastern coast, saw the heaviest rainfall Tuesday with 5.7 inches falling there.

Authorities canceled school and the government instituted remote work again for Wednesday.

Rain is unusual in the UAE, an arid, Arabian Peninsula nation, but occurs periodically during the cooler winter months. Many roads and other areas lack drainage given the lack of regular rainfall, causing flooding.

Meanwhile in neighboring Oman, a sultanate that rests on the eastern edge of the Arabian Peninsula, at least 19 people were killed in heavy rains in recent days, according to a statement Wednesday from the country's National Committee for Emergency Management. That includes some 10 schoolchildren swept away in a vehicle with an adult, prompting condolences from rulers across the region.

Heavy rains over Dubai

Climatologists have warned for years that human-driven climate change is fueling more extreme and less predictable weather events across the globe.

Parts of southern Russia and Central Asia have also been dealing for days with unusually damaging amounts of rainfall and snowmelt, forcing tens of thousands of people to evacuate to higher ground and killing more than 60 people in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

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Flights ramp back up at Dubai airport after historic rains inundate UAE

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Train driver 'violated' passenger by taking photos up her skirt as she slept

Paolo Barone was travelling home from his shift when he took a series of images of the woman in what was described as a 'vile and disgusting' act

  • 18:15, 19 APR 2024

Paolo Barone, aged 51, of Brackley Road, High Wycombe, Bucks

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A train driver took photographs up the skirt of a sleeping passenger in what was branded "a vile and disgusting violation". Thamselink driver Paolo Barone was travelling home from work when he targeted his victim on a train from Blackfriars to St Albans.

The 51-year-old was still wearing his work uniform when he repeatedly took photographs of the woman throughout a 45-minute journey. Then as he was about to get off the train, he took more photos, positioning his phone so it was directed up the woman’s skirt.

He was later identified by his employer and arrested at his home. Investigating officers seized three phones and a computer with one phones found to have five pictures of the woman.

Now he has been sentenced to three months in prison suspended for 12 months after being convicted of voyeurism, British Tranport Police said. Barone, of Brackley Road, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, must also complete a 55-hour rehabilitation activity requirement and sign the sex offenders register for seven years.

Investigating officer, Detective Constable Daryl Keogh, said: “Wearing his work uniform meant Barone was in a position of trust when he committed this vile and disgusting violation. Seeing the woman was sleeping and vulnerable he took the opportunity, not to watch out for her, but to commit this hideous act.

“The woman was horrified when she learned what had happened as she slept. We will stop at nothing to deter, pursue, arrest and bring sex offenders on the railway network to justice.

“Every report is important. See it or experience it, you can report anything that makes you uncomfortable. We urge everyone to save 61016 to their phones and download the Railway Guardian app before you travel so you can discreetly get in touch with us if you need us.”

Paolo Barone, aged 51, of Brackley Road, High Wycombe, Bucks

Jean Cockerill, people director for Govia Thameslink Railway, said: “We were shocked and appalled to learn about this incident. “As soon as we were made aware, we followed our internal procedures, which included suspending the individual as soon as he was identified.

“We hold our colleagues to the highest standards of conduct and this type of behaviour will never be tolerated. We thank the person for their courage in coming forward and reporting this crime, and we encourage anyone who experiences or witnesses this type of behaviour on the railway to report it to the British Transport Police.”

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Middle East conflict

April 11, 2024 - Israel-Hamas war

By Heather Chen , Antoinette Radford, Tori B. Powell , Aditi Sangal and Elise Hammond , CNN

Our live coverage of Israel's war on Hamas in Gaza has moved  here .

UN committee fails to reach consensus on full Palestinian membership, Security Council president says

From CNN’s Richard Roth and Michael Rios

A specialized UN committee failed to reach a consensus Thursday on Palestinian membership in the United Nations, according to the president of the UN Security Council.

Two-thirds of the committee members were in favor of moving on with membership, with many countries arguing that “Palestine fulfills all the criteria that are required” to be granted full state member status, Malta's Ambassador and Security Council President Vanessa Frazier said. 

She added that no one explicitly objected to the membership qualifications.

Frazier also said she would circulate a draft report on the deliberations as soon as Friday. If the committee doesn’t agree on the report, it could hold another meeting to iron out any differences.

Asked whether the process of deliberating Palestinian membership in the committee is now over, Frazier said, “Unless the next step of agreeing (to) the report of the committee warrants another meeting to iron out the differences, it’s not foreseen that there would be any further committee action.”

But she noted that any UN Security Council member can still table a resolution to vote on Palestinian membership at any time, regardless of the committee's report.

The US and Middle East brace for a possible Iran attack that could escalate the conflict. Here's the latest

From CNN staff

People attend the funeral procession for seven Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps members killed in a strike in Syria, which Iran blamed on Israel, in Tehran on April 5.

Concerns about a possible Iranian attack against Israel has prompted many diplomatic conversations around the globe.

Here are some developments on diplomacy around the threat of an attack:

  • Iran's statement: The imperative for Tehran to "punish" Israel for the deadly strike on the Iranian consulate in Damascus last week might have been avoided if the attack had been condemned at the United Nations, Iran’s Mission to the UN said Thursday.
  • US and UK diplomacy: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with the foreign ministers of Turkey, China and Saudi Arabia on Wednesday night and Thursday morning to tell them that countries should be urging Iran not to escalate the conflict in the Middle East after  threats made by Tehran against Israel,  according to a State Department spokesperson. The top US general for the Middle East is also in Israel . Additionally, Britain's foreign secretary warned his Iranian counterpart on Thursday that Tehran “must not draw” the Middle East into a wider conflict .
  • Israel receives US support: Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant spoke with Blinken and US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. The US officials expressed the country's support for Israel against Iranian threats. Gallant warned that such an attack could lead to a regional escalation.
  • Travel restrictions: The US State Department restricted the travel of US government personnel in Israel in the wake of public threats against Israel by Iran. “The security environment remains complex and can change quickly depending on the political situation and recent events,” the alert noted. US officials  are on high alert  for a potential retaliatory strike by Iran or its proxies against Israel.

Meanwhile, here's some other updates:

  • Hamas on hostages: A member of Hamas' political bureau said   a prisoner-hostage exchange is being discussed as part of larger ceasefire negotiations. "Part of negotiations is to reach a ceasefire agreement to have enough time and safety to collect final and more precise data" on the hostages held in Gaza, Basem Naim said in a statement on Thursday. "Because they (hostages) are in different palaces, (being held) by different groups, some of them are under the rubble killed with our own people, and we negotiate to get heavy equipment for this purpose."
  • Updates on aid to Gaza: It is clear that Israel is working to ramp up humanitarian aid to Gaza, but it has not yet implemented all of the measures it has announced, a top United Nations humanitarian official said. Aid coming in trucks from Israel has to be "segregated from water, from food, from medical items" before it goes into Gaza, said Jamie McGoldrick, the UN’s humanitarian coordinator in Jerusalem. “Getting 400 trucks from Kerem Shalom doesn't mean 400 trucks go into Gaza,” he said, adding that the logistical complications are numerous, and take time to resolve. He also said Israel’s restrictions on movement inside the strip complicate matters.

Anera charity resumes work in Gaza after pausing when Israeli strike killed 7 World Central Kitchen staff

From CNN's Tala Alrajjal and Mohammed Tawfeeq

American Near East Refugee Aid (Anera) has resumed Gaza operations "after a temporary pause" following an airstrike that killed seven World Central Kitchen (WCK) aid workers on April 1.

"As you know, the decision to temporarily pause our operations was not an easy one. We followed the direction of our staff in Gaza, who've faced death, loss, and destruction since the start of the war," Sean Carroll, the president and CEO of Anera, said in a statement on Thursday. "After the killing of Anera staff member Mousa Shawwa , followed by the attack that killed seven aid workers from World Central Kitchen, we made the difficult but necessary decision to pause aid operations on April 2," Carroll added in the statement.

Carroll said Israeli authorities informed him during a meeting Thursday that "certain measures would be taken to protect humanitarian aid workers in Gaza – including Anera's staff."

"With the full support of our Gaza team, we have determined that the circumstances have changed sufficiently to resume our vital humanitarian work in Gaza," Carroll said. 

Anera on Thursday resumed "full operations in Gaza to deliver meals, food parcels, hygiene kits, tents, medical treatments, and more to families in dire need," according to the statement.

Iran says its imperative to punish Israel could have been avoided had UN Security Council condemned attack

From CNN’s Natalie Barr and Adam Pourahmadi

Emergency services work at a building hit by an air strike in Damascus, Syria, on April 1.

The imperative for Tehran to "punish" Israel for the deadly strike on the Iranian consulate in Damascus last week might have been avoided if the attack had been condemned at the United Nations, Iran’s Mission to the UN said Thursday.

“Had the UN Security Council condemned the Zionist regime’s reprehensible act of aggression on our diplomatic premises in Damascus and subsequently brought to justice its perpetrators, the imperative for Iran to punish this rogue regime might have been obviated," the  mission said on X.

The UN Secretary-General António Guterres condemned the attack on April 1, according to a statement from the UN spokesperson Stephan Dujarric. A Security Council discussion was held on April 2 to discuss the attack, but differences among members prevented any formal action or condemnation from taking place.

The United States is on high alert and actively preparing for a “significant” attack by Iran targeting Israeli or American assets in the region  in response to the strike in Damascus  that killed top Iranian commanders.

UK foreign secretary warns Iran not to draw Middle East into wider conflict

From CNN's Natalie Barr

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron speaks during a joint press conference with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Washington, DC, on April 9.

Britain's foreign secretary warned his Iranian counterpart on Thursday that Tehran “must not draw” the Middle East into a wider conflict following a series of escalating threats made by Iran toward Israel.

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron told Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian that the United Kingdom was "deeply concerned about the potential for miscalculation leading to further violence. Iran should instead work to de-escalate and prevent further attacks," according to a post on X .

Iran's state-aligned Tasnim news agency on Thursday reported that Amir-Abdollahian had told Cameron that the silence from the UK and the United States following Israel’s attack on the Iranian consulate in Damascus last week only served to encourage Israel to continue waging war in Gaza and expand its conflict in the region.

US and Israeli defense leaders discuss fears of Iranian attack

From CNN’s Michael Conte in Washington, DC, Tamar Michaelis in Jerusalem and Larry Register in Atlanta

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin spoke with Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant today to “reaffirm the US ironclad commitment to Israel’s security against threats from Iran and its proxies,” according to a Pentagon spokesperson.

The call comes a day after Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Israel " must be punished and it will be" following a strike on an Iranian embassy compound in Syria that killed seven Iranian officials.

Israel “will not tolerate an Iranian attack on its territory,” the statement read, adding that the two defense leaders also discussed detailed preparations “for an Iranian attack against the State of Israel.”

Gallant said an Iranian attack on Israel could lead to a regional escalation.

It is the second discussion held between Gallant and Austin over the past week, according to the statement. Gallant expressed his appreciation for Austin’s personal commitment to the security of the State of Israel and for the deepening cooperation between the defense establishments of both countries, as well as between the Israel Defense Forces and US CENTCOM.

State Department restricts personnel travel in Israel amid concerns over Iranian threats

From CNN's Jennifer Hansler

The US State Department has restricted the travel of US government personnel in Israel in the wake of public threats against Israel by Iran.

“Out of an abundance of caution, U.S. government employees and their family members are restricted from personal travel outside the greater Tel Aviv (including Herzliya, Netanya, and Even Yehuda), Jerusalem, and Be’er Sheva areas until further notice,” a  security alert  posted by the US Embassy Thursday said. “U.S. government personnel are authorized to transit between these three areas for personal travel.” “The security environment remains complex and can change quickly depending on the political situation and recent events,” the alert noted.

State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said he would not “speak to the specific assessments that led to us to restrict our employees and family members’ personal travel, but clearly we are monitoring the threat environment in the Middle East and specifically in Israel.”

“We have seen Iran making public threats against Israel in the past few days,” Miller said. “Israel is in a very tough neighborhood and we have been monitoring the security situation. You saw us slightly adjust for travel warnings at the beginning of this conflict and we conduct ongoing assessments all the time about the situation on the ground.”

US officials are on high alert for a potential retaliatory strike by Iran or its proxies against Israel.

Hamas says ceasefire with Israel is essential to collect data on hostages held in Gaza by different groups

From CNN's Abeer Salman and Mohammed Tawfeeq

A member of Hamas' political bureau said   a prisoner-hostage exchange is being discussed as part of larger ceasefire negotiations.

"Part of negotiations is to reach a ceasefire agreement to have enough time and safety to collect final and more precise data" on the hostages held in Gaza Basem Naim said in a statement on Thursday. "Because they (hostages) are in different palaces, (being held) by different groups, some of them are under the rubble killed with our own people, and we negotiate to get heavy equipment for this purpose," he added.

Naim's statement was in response to questions from media outlets about whether Hamas has been rejecting the latest proposal, which was made in Cairo over the weekend, because it can not release 40 hostages in the first phase of a three-stage ceasefire deal.

According to an Israeli official and a source familiar with the discussions, Hamas indicated it is currently unable to identify and track down those 40 Israeli hostages, raising fears that more hostages may be dead than are publicly known. 

CNN's record of the conditions of the hostages also suggests there are fewer than 40 living hostages who meet the proposed criteria.

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