Travel Hacks

This is how I grew my Instagram from nothing to 20k+ followers

A few weeks ago I was on an influencer shoot with Contiki - riding hot air balloons, swimming with stingrays, sharks and eating my way through Latin America. How did I get there? A love of travel combined with the power of Instagram.

My Instagram growth all began with a story. The story of an LA girl who quit her job to start a new life in Australia and Instagrammed all her experiences along the way.

I share a lot, including the not so nice stuff like the month I got deported from Australia and had a few weeks notice to move to a new continent. Sometimes travel isn’t all glam, and that’s okay, because I always learn something from it – and get to share those lessons with my followers.

Ps- Being deported actually turned out to be a pretty positive experience.

I took a trip to Australia in 2014 and thought I was just crossing another continent off my list. Never would've guessed that a year later I'd be flying over 7,000 miles to the same spot and calling it home. I was actually going to Thailand that year instead, but one of my friends asked me to join her on her Aussie trip so I opted for that instead. Had it not been for that, I might still be in LA right now. Crazy to think you're always one decision away from a completely different life. . . . . . . . . . . . #worldtraveler#travellife #me #travelingtheworld #igtravel #instatravel #travelling #travelblog #travel #travels #travelstories #wanderlust #motivation #mytraveldiary #mytravelgram #traveler #traveling #girl #janettearacely #traveling #traveladdict #love #globetrotter #explore #sydney #bestoftheday #beautifulday #travelplans #Australia #brunette #throwback

A post shared by Janette Aracely Travel Blogger (@janettearacely) on

The Nitty Gritty


Timing: I always check optimal posting times on my Instagram’s analytics and try to post at the best times.

Color Palette: Chose a palette that you think you’re images will consist of. I’m always outdoors on sunny days, so my color palette is green (trees/grass) and blue (sky/ocean). So now, when I’m traveling, I try to take quick snaps of scenery that fit those colors.

Consistency (Aesthetics): I keep my profile consistent by setting a picture pattern. I alternate one image of me with one of scenery.

Selecting Photos: Even if you have a beautiful collection of photos, sometimes they don’t look nice when posted together – so I like to use “Unum”, which is an awesome (and free) app that lets you visually plan out your Instagram grid.

The Camera That Changed It All

“Invest in what makes you happy.”

I had mainly used my iPhone 5s for Instagram or a large bulky canon for special occasions, but when I found out about the Contiki shoot, I bought a Canon G7x Mark II to do my first ever travel vlog. My only thought, “Why didn’t I do this sooner?!?!” The selfie mode on it is perfect for solo travel.

Take a look at the video quality of the camera here. As you’ll see, there aren’t many videos on there – this is because I never planned on vlogging until this camera entered my life. I’m so excited to start using video as a new way to share a ton of travel experiences, starting with none other than the Contiki Shoot. I have a “How To Move Abroad” travel series on the way too.

The Followers

“Listen to their stories.”

I’ve had some people reach out to me, being incredibly open about their lives, saying they're not happy, want a change, and are thinking of traveling or moving abroad.

Others just message to saying “thank you for the inspiration” and tell me how excited they are to go on a brand new travel adventure they’ve just booked.

I love having conversations with them because many that I speak with have a raw adventurous spirit, a lust for life, and don’t want to settle for the ordinary, which is something I can relate to.

Sometimes days can get hectic and I can’t reply to everyone, but I always try to respond to someone asking for advice (travel or non-travel) or someone on the verge of moving abroad, since I feel it’s an area I can help in.

The Passion

“Go after what you love.”

I love travel and I love Contiki for being the inspiration behind my move to Australia. One day I decided I wanted nothing more than to work with one of my favourite brands, and to share my story with other travellers right here, on six-two.


I reached out to the Contiki marketing team and they made my year when they asked me to send over an article. I wrote a second one shortly after. When I emailed about a third, I got an offer to go on a shoot with them instead! After my fangirl moment was over and I was thinking clearly again, I said “yes!. Three weeks later I was on a plane to Mexico to meet the crew.

The Lesson

What I’ve taken away from this whole adventure is that investing in your passion is investing in your happiness. I don’t mean money investments, I’m talking about that even more scarce resource: time. It does take time to build, but if you’re passionate and persistent, it’s well worth the effort.

Are you an aspiring blogger, Instagrammer, vlogger or travel writer looking for an opportunity to get your work out there?

We want to hear from you! Head here to find out how you could get your content published right here on six-two and who knows, maybe you’ll find yourself travelling with Contiki (for free) sometime soon…

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