Where to Travel in 2019

This is the time of year when all great travel lists are born and we spend the rest of Advent planning which part of the world map to put our finger on.

Here’s what we’ll be looking at in 2019.

You are given the window seat, on one of the last Air Berlin flights over Switzerland.

2019 Travel Notes Calendar - Cover Photo

Happy Travels.

Banned Hashtags on Instagram

Have you ever posted something to Instagram and not received 1,000 likes within a few seconds?

It must be painful to watch the heart pump out its little blood red dot and look to see who all those people are, doing the liking.

A problem many of us probably don’t have.

With a few well chosen #hashtags though, we should at least spark some interest.

Even if we don’t get thousands of likes, we usually expect to get into double digits within a few minutes, before the picture drifts out of visibility.

But nothing. Not one like?

Well, I did get one and I was wondering how the person found me; and even added a follow to the like?

The photo was not showing up anywhere; except on the @TravelNotesPhotos account page and the location page – Hanoi, Vietnam.

I deleted the photo, changed a few hashtags and tried again.


I try not to use anywhere near the (so I’ve heard) 30 #hashtag limit and I certainly don’t post enough to be considered a spammer.

Perhaps I was being penalised for making just 68 posts since August 31, 2016.

I’d heard of banned hashtags, as you do, but didn’t think my Hanoi Street Barber was doing anything wrong.

So I rummaged around, tested tags I commonly use in the search box.

Could #FineArtAmerica be the problem?

No. All clear.

Instagram doesn’t seem to be so flooded with the cross promoting brigade, as there’s no way to get to the art from the photo; unless someone goes to the profile page.

I visit other people’s profiles, but I seldom click on their link; unless it looks like it could be an interesting blog.

I read that if one hashtag is banned, the whole lot wouldn’t work.

Then I hit the jackpot.

List of Banned Instagram Hashtags (2018)
by Alexandra | Jan 15, 2018 | Instagram Tips


My ‘banned hashtag’ was #Asia. One I didn’t think to test.

Thanks for reading, and thanks to Alexandra!

Anyone interested in Instagram should look through these Instagram Tips.


If you have any Instagram Tips or questions, just post away.

I’ll be adding more of what I find interesting as we move forward.

🖼 Artists and Photographers on Instagram.


📷 Michel
🌎 Instagram.com/TravelNotesPhotos/

Meta-Travel Upgrades

Travel and Tourism Association members on Meta-Travel can upgrade membership levels to access premium features, add an accommodation listing or create a business page, and increase their affiliate commissions.

Standard Membership
Standard Membership:
Can create a member profile for free; join a group; add comments and rate content.

Promoted Member
Promotion Level:
Awarded to members with a descriptive profile, including a proper profile photo (not a company logo), a nice Cover image, and active in a regional group.

Meta-Travel Tourist
Tourists can earn more points for their general Meta-Travel contributions and helpful comments.

Verified Member
Verified Member:
Verified members can add a website and exchange community points for Meta-Travel credits.

Travel Blogger
Travel Blogger:
Travel bloggers and photographers showcase their work, for extra community points.

Travel Critic
Travel Critic:
Travel critics savour life in hotels and restaurants; the proof is in the pudding.

Tour Guide
Tour Guide:
The tour guide waxes lyrical about the places to visit and things to do there.

Travel PR
Travel PR:
Public relations is good for business and these folk know how to travel right.

Travel Scribe
Travel Scribe:
It’s all about crafting the written word; travel scribes live for the thrill of the quill.

Travel Editor
Travel Editor:
Travel Editors are highly respected members of the Meta-Travel community.

More posts will be added to cover the actions allowed for each level and feature members who work their way up the achievement ladder.

TravelNotes.org – The Online Guide to Travel.

2017 Travel Photography Calendar

If you collect our travel photography calendars, the Travel Notes 2017 Travel Photography Calendar is available to buy online; just in time for Christmas.

Individual prints are also available for that special place on your wall.

Travel Photography
Bangkok Floating Market graces the cover.

Skiing in Aspen, Colorado.

Tourists in Budapest.

Moscow Kremlin in Winter.

Forbidden City, Beijing.

Holy Cow.

Mount Aso
Mount Aso.

Suzhou Canals.

Mt Cook
New Zealand Mt Cook.

Limestone Peaks
Guilin Limestone Peaks.

Autumn in Baden Baden.

Kota Bahru
Kota Bahru Indoor Market.

Sydney Opera House
Sydney Opera House.

Thank-you for your support.

Cities Around The World Travel Photography

Over eighty travel photographers entered our Cities Around The World Travel Photography contest on Fine Art America.

St Petersburg, Russia
St Petersburg, Russia – by Michel (Travel Pics)

As picture editor, I selected the following images as best of the bunch.

I felt all images filled the frame with interest and perfectly illustrated the general theme of Cities Around The World.

Parliament House, Canberra The Flatiron Building Tokyo Panorama Boston Skyline Rio de Janeiro Chicago River View Honolulu and Waikiki
Parliament House, Canberra by Steven Ralser.
The Flatiron Building by Alexandre Martins.
Panorama of Tokyo by Jill Mitchell.
Boston Skyline by Elvira Pinkhas.
Rio de Janeiro by Carlos Amaro.
Room With a River View, Chicago by Donna Spadola.
Honolulu and Waikiki by Mary Deal.

Pay them a visit to see what else they have in their portfolios.

✈ ✈ ✈ ✈ ✈ ✈ ✈ ✈ ✈ ✈ ✈ ✈ ✈ ✈ ✈ ✈ ✈ ✈ ✈
2016 Travel Photographer of The Year Competition.
✈ ✈ ✈ ✈ ✈ ✈ ✈ ✈ ✈ ✈ ✈ ✈ ✈ ✈ ✈ ✈ ✈ ✈ ✈

Armenian Prayer Beads

Travel Up Close is the theme for Round Fifteen.

2016 Travel Photographer of The Year Contest Themes

Queen Elizabeth II Bridges Travel Photography Winter Travel Photography Landmarks Hotels and Accommodation Famous Lakes and RiversVillage LifeColourful MarketsLandscapesClifton Beach - Cape Town, South AfricaSt Petersburg, RussiaArmenian Prayer Beads

Previous Travel Photography Contests:

Beaches Around The World

Clifton Beach - Cape Town, South Africa

The 2016 Travel Photographer of The Year Competition moves toward the summer with a look at Beaches Around The World.

Not any old beach shot. Please think creatively and only submit your best photography with a beach as its theme.

No sunsets, sunrises nor seascapes will be considered. We’ll have these contests later.

I better say it right from the start, a lighthouse is not a beach.

Most of the submission guidelines are standard for our Travel Photography contests but they still get ignored from time to time.

* 1. Colour Travel Photography Only.

No Digital Art nor Paintings. No black and white, sepia nor digitally manipulated images.

We’re looking for Travel Photographers not masters of photo-editing software; although the crop tool can be your your best friend.

* 2. Fine Art America watermarks should not overpower the image.

No other text nor copyright notices should appear on the photograph either. If you’re worried about theft of images, don’t put them online.

* 3. Photos need good descriptions because not all of them are really worth a thousand words; on their own.

✈ We can’t go far wrong if we ask these questions to ourselves: Who? What? Where? When? Why? and How?

► Sponsored by the Top Travel Pics group, entries that do not follow our submission guidelines will be deleted.

Images that are considered weak will also be removed from competition.

Previous Contests:
An image entered in one of our travel photography contests should not be entered in another.

We’re looking for travel photographers who know what makes a good travel photograph and can display a variety of high-quality, travel images.

Although voting is open to the general public (for fun only), only pictures earning an Editor’s Choice Award may be featured on TravelNotes.org and earn points in our Travel Photographer of The Year competition.

It’s the picture editor you have to impress with your talent, vision and interpretation of the travel photography themes, not your family and friends on Facebook

2016 Travel Photography Contest – Keeping Score:
These are the real winners in the year-long challenge to be considered the best Travel Photographer on Fine Art America.

Beaches Around The World – Submissions Thread.

We’ll also feature some of the best Beaches Around The World pics uploaded to the Top Travel Pics Group during the fourteen days of competition; if the quality is high and the photographer posts in the relevant discussion thread.

Switch to Custom SiteFine Art AmericaPixels.

Community DiscussionsContact FormJoin the Top Travel Pics GroupTravel Pics Mailing List.

2016 Travel Photographer Scores Update

The 2016 Travel Photographer of the Year scores have been updated to include the Hotels and Accommodation (Editor’s Choice awards).

Community voting is underway and any bonus points will be updated when the results are in.

Travel Photography Contest Themes

Queen Elizabeth II Bridges Travel Photography Winter Travel Photography Landmarks Hotels and Accommodation Famous Lakes and Rivers

Autumn Travel Photography:
1 Bonus Point for Community Votes to Priscilla Burgers and Stacey Brooks.

People Travel Photography:
1 Bonus Point for Community Votes to Peteris Vaivars and Karen Wiles.

Travel and Transportation Photography:
1 Bonus Point for Community Votes to RicardMN Photography and Iryna Burkova.

Christmas Abroad Photography Contest:
No Bonus Points awarded.

Bridges Travel Photography:
1 Bonus Point for Community Votes to Jane Linders and Iryna Burkova.

Winter Travel Photography:
1 Bonus Point for Community Votes to Irina Hays and Inge Riis McDonald.

Landmarks Travel Photography:
1 Bonus Point for Community Votes to Inge Johnsson and Ivan Slosar.

Hotels and Accommodation:
Voting in Progress.

Famous Lakes and Rivers:
Accepting Submissions.

► These Travel Photography Contests are sponsored by the Top Travel Pics Group on Fine Art America.

Travel Photographer Leaderboard

15 Points
Nikolyn McDonald: Omaha, NE.
Autumn (3), People (3), Bridges (3), Landmarks (3), Hotels (3).

Field Of Gold Pluie a Chartres Glen Canyon Dam Bridge The Nubble Old Taos Guesthouse

14 Points
Iryna Burkova: Alexandria, Virginia.
Transport (3+1), Christmas (3), Bridges (3+1), Winter (3).

Foggy Voyage Twas The Night Before Christmas Lake Pontchartrain Causeway in New Orleans Winter landscape in mountains with a deer

7 Points
Inge Johnsson: Frisco, TX.
Bridges (3), Landmarks (3+1).

Westminster Bridge at Night Taj Mahal In The Mist

Inge Riis McDonald: Nanaimo, Canada.
Transport (3), Winter (3+1).

Transportation in Victoria Frozen Peblinge Lake

6 Points
Ian Gledhill: Khon Kaen, Thailand.
People (3), Landmarks (3).

Juli Scalzi: Denver, CO.
Christmas (3), Hotels (3).

Landon Spady: Portland, OR.
Christmas (3), Winter (3).

Loree Johnson: On The Road, USA.
Autumn (3), Bridges (3).

Steve Harrington: Bolton, Canada.
People (3), Transport (3).

Tony Murtagh: Bicester, United Kingdom.
People (3), Transport (3).

2016 Travel Photography Contest Scoreboard.

Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul

Commissioned by Peter the Great, the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul is located inside the Peter and Paul Fortress in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Peter and Paul Cathedral
Prints Available at http://tnot.es/Prints

Peter and Paul Cathedral

Built on Zayachy Island, between 1712 and 1733, the cathedral’s bell tower is the world’s tallest Orthodox bell tower. It also acts as a lightning rod protecting the cathedral.

The cathedral houses the remains of most of the Russian emperors and empresses from Peter the Great to Nicholas II; including Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia for 34 years.

© Michel ☛ Travel Notes Photography ► http://pics.travelnotes.org


Boy Buddhist In Bodh Gaya

Young novice monk in maroon robe meditates beside candles in the afternoon sun at Mahabodhi Temple, India.

Boy Buddhist In Bodh Gaya
Prints Available at http://tnot.es/Prints

Boy Buddhist in Bodh Gaya

A religious site and place of pilgrimage, Bodh Gaya (in Bihar State) is where Gautama Buddha is said to have obtained enlightenment; after meditating under the Bodhi tree, for 49 days.

For Buddhists, Bodh Gaya is the most important of the main four pilgrimage sites related to the life of Gautama Buddha; something akin to Mecca for Muslims.

© Michel ☛ Travel Notes Photography ► http://pics.travelnotes.org