POSTCARDS ARE DEAD. LONG LIVE THE BOASTCARD! Top 10 Instagram Tips and Locations

Boastcards postcards

Boastcards postcards

  • 70 per cent of people from the UK have not sent a traditional postcard in the past year
  • 90 per cent of people from the UK admit to taking holiday snaps just to ‘post and boast’ to friends and family
  • Sharing holiday snaps online is more important than a holiday romance
  • Almost half of people from the UK choose holiday destinations based on social media boasting power


 New research[1] released today by cruise line Royal Caribbean International has revealed that the humble postcard is all but obsolete as 70 per cent of people from the UK admit to not having sent one in the past year, with over 50 per cent of people from Northern Ireland admitting that they never send postcards to friends and family when on holiday.

The research found that a further 90 per cent of people from the UK admit their holiday snaps are taken for the sole purpose of online boasting, as they opt for a much cheaper and more instantaneous way to share their holiday highlights via Instagram and other social media channels. Further research revealed that 30 per cent of people from Northern Ireland deliberately plan the best time to post to ensure their friends and family are the most jealous.

In fact, social media has become such an integral part of our holiday choice that nearly HALF (45 per cent) say it is now the top influence when picking a destination. A further 15 per cent of us wouldn’t even consider going somewhere on holiday if it doesn’t have internet access.

It seems that holidaymakers have also developed a mischievous trait when it comes to sharing holiday snaps; 40 per cent of local respondents admit to ‘posting and boasting’ at 9am on a Monday morning just to make work colleagues jealous. A further 40 per cent opt for posting the ultimate social ‘boastcard’ on Monday afternoon in order to hit their colleagues during the post-lunch slum.

The survey also revealed the following startling stats:

  • Sixty-five per cent of people from the UK have not received a postcard in the past year
  • Half (51 per cent) of people from the UK feel ‘brilliant’ when their online holiday snaps receive lots of ‘likes’ from people at home and say that it ‘makes their day’
  • One in ten people from the UK admit that sharing holiday photos is more important than a holiday romance (9 per cent) or even the weather (12 per cent)
  • Forty-two per cent of people from the UK take their first snap of the holiday within two hours of stepping off the plane and then post three times a day (15 per cent)
  • Twenty-seven per cent of people from Northern Ireland have been inspired to go travelling from holiday pictures posted by other people on social media

However, despite our love of online bragging, our photography skills let us down with 50 per cent of people from the UK lacking confidence when it comes to capturing the perfect holiday shot.

To help holidaymakers sharpen their social boasting skills, Royal Caribbean, the cruise line which boasts the largest cruise ship in the world, Harmony of the Seas, has teamed up with travel experts, social influencers and founders of The Whole World is a Playground, Elaine and Dave Murray, to identify the top ten tips to capture the perfect ‘boastcard’.

Elaine said: “The ultimate social postcard – or what we like to call ‘boastcard’ – starts with choosing the right holiday. Very few really deliver those stand-out moments that will make your social feed famous; anyone can post a sunset or a sandy beach but to capture the ultimate holiday snap that will generate hundreds of likes, you need to book a holiday that promises to take you on an extraordinary journey right from the start.”

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Together, Royal Caribbean and ‘The Whole World is a Playground’ have identified the following steps to capturing the ultimate, bragalicious #Boastcard:

  1. More for your money – Pick a holiday that will provide a wealth of experiences and destinations worth boasting about
  2. Pick your time – ‘Golden hour’, the hour just after sunrise or just before sunset, creates the most evocative light for holiday photos, so set that alarm clock!
  3. Shock factor – Get out of your comfort zone, go on a giant zip line, sky dive, go surfing!  Seek out new experiences to increase maximum boasting potential.
  4. R-E-S-P-E-C-T – It’s always important to treat the locals with respect, so if there’s a sign saying no photos, don’t take one.
  5. Editing – Whether you’re using a phone or a DSLR it pays to edit your photos before posting. A few small tweaks can switch a photo from good to awesome!
  6. # – Hashtags increase the reach of your images, for Instagram try 3 or 4 in the main photo caption followed by more in a comment below… and why not try a shameless #Boastcard.
  7. Location, location, location – Always tag the location of a photo when posting. This instantly increases the reach allowing others visiting to find your photo.
  8. Frequency – A maximum of two Instagram pictures a day works well without jamming up your followers’ feeds, while Instagram stories are a great way to add a post about your adventure.
  9. Do your research – To get the best shots you need to seek out the best photo locations, so plan ahead!
  10. Last but not least, have fun! –  Remember you are on holiday and surrounded by incredible and often once-in-a-lifetime scenes – so have fun and live in the moment!

Ben Bouldin, Royal Caribbean Managing Director UK & Ireland, commented: “The beauty of the ‘boastcard’ is it’s instantaneous. All our ships have high-speed broadband, so the days of having to wait to pull into port to send a physical postcard are over; people can now post from the side of the pool in the middle of the Caribbean, no postbox necessary”.

Royal Caribbean has also revealed the Top 10 #Boastcard destinations-

1 | Santorini, Greece

The spectacular Santorini is one of the most beautiful of the Greek Islands and is famous for its breath-taking sunsets, sprawling alleys, blue domed churches and colourful cliff-sides.

Best photo location: The village of Oia, set atop a colourful cliff-side overlooking the caldera, is the perfect spot to capture Santorini at its finest. Make a beeline for the blue domed churches in the village for an iconic Santorini postcard perfect image. Remember to pack a colourful outfit and accessories: against the stonewashed white buildings of Oia this will make the image really pop.

2 | Geiranger, Norway

It’s impossible to resist Norway’s charms and its stunning scenery and incredible natural beauty instantly stole our hearts. The sparkling blue waters of the UNESCO World Heritage listed Geirangerfjord, part of the West Norwegian fjords, are a picture perfect Norway scene and sailing through the still waters of the fjord is an awe inspiring experience.

Best photo location: The immense fjord has some truly stunning viewpoints, the best of which is the Flydalsjuvet Viewpoint overlooking Geiranger Fjord: from here the size and scale of the majestic fjord can truly be appreciated. Even the cruise ships seem almost toy like in comparison!

 3 |  New York

The Statue of Liberty welcomes visitors to the iconic city crammed with millions of people, skyscrapers, bright lights and yellow cabs. From the tranquillity of Central Park to the contagious energy of Times Square New York is a city that should be experienced at least once in a lifetime.

Best photo location: There’s a whole host of incredible photo locations throughout the city but our favourite involves one of New York’s most iconic bridges: walking or cycling across the Brooklyn Bridge is a must for any New York sightseer. Be sure to capture a shot halfway across the bridge where the Manhattan skyline provides a spectacular backdrop to the magnificent architecture of the bridge.

4 |  Lisbon, Portugal

The postcard perfect Portuguese capital city is famous for its cobbled streets, incredible architecture, vibrant nightlight and rich history set against the backdrop of the sparkling Atlantic Ocean.

Best photo location: Lisbon is famous for its retro trams which transport tourists and residents across the city. Have your camera ready to capture the colourful trams as they meander along the narrow streets of the city: it’s the perfect mix of quirky, vintage and colour!

5 |  Hue, Vietnam

Vietnam’s ancient capital Hue is situated on the banks of the Perfume River. A trip to Hue is filled with pagodas, tombs, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it’s incredible Imperial City.

Best photo location: The Thien Mu Pagoda, overlooking the Perfume River, is an iconic Hue backdrop and a symbol of the ancient city. The colourful 7 story pagoda, often surrounded by monks, is a popular Hue photo spot and synonymous with Hue.

6 | Rome, Italy

Rome is an incredible European city crammed full to the brim of iconic photo locations just waiting to be captured! A combination of the beautiful architecture, deep history and stunning light make Rome a must see for all photographers.

Best photo location: Once the scene of outrageous Roman sporting events the Colosseum is probably one of the most photographed buildings and is a true Roman icon. Gladiator poses at the ready!

7 | Petra, Jordan from Aqaba

It is incredible to stand in the footsteps of ancient civilization at the ancient city of Petra, one of the New Wonders of the World, and a visit should be on every traveller’s bucket list.

Best photo location: Built in the 3rd Century BC, the incredible Monastery is carved out of the mountainside at Petra. It’s a 2.5km hike with over 800 steps but totally worth it to escape the crowds of the more well-known Treasury building and capture Petra’s largest monument in all its glory.

8 | Amsterdam, Holland

Amsterdam, with its picturesque canals, fantastic eateries and all round Dutch attitude, is one of the world’s coolest cities and so much fun to explore.

Best photo location: Staalmeestersbrug, the bridge that crosses the canal at Groenburgwal, is an awesome photo spot capturing the beauty of the Amsterdam canals with the backdrop of the Zuiderkerk tower in the distance.

9 | Athens, Greece

Steeped in ancient history but with a modern and edgy twist, Athens is emerging as city with something for everyone: a contagious energy, amazing food, iconic sights and a fascinating history make it an incredible destination.

Best photo location:  The Acropolis is one of the world’s greatest treasures and the focal point of the city. For the most incredible shots of the Acropolis and the city take the funicular to the top of Mount Lycabettus and capture those panoramic views!

10 | Sydney, Australia

With its stunning harbour and gorgeous suburbs Sydney is one of the world’s most beautiful cities. Home to the iconic Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney is a city which must be experienced at least once in a lifetime.

Best photo location: It’s got to be the instantly recognisable Sydney Opera House, one of the most photographed locations of the world and an architectural masterpiece. Whether you stare wistfully into the distance or capture the landmark in all its glory, any image featuring the Opera House is sure to be a hit!

Take your perfect #Boastcard with Royal Caribbean, make enquiries and reservations for all 2018 cruises at, by calling 0844 493 3033 or visiting your local travel agent.

Book onto Elaine and Dave’s top #Boastcard itinerary with stops in Rome, Sicily, Mykonos, Rhodes, Santorini, Athens and Naples on a 9 night cruise of the Greek Isles.

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