Tips to Getting Tourist Free Selfies

I’m often asked how I’m able to get photos at such popular tourist attractions without other tourists in the photo.

The honest truth is that it takes a lot of patience (and if you know me, you know I have little of that) coupled with a lot of not giving a sh*t on a bunch of levels.

I’ve come up with 10 tips that will help you get incredible photos at even the busiest of tourist destinations! Take a look, and let me know what you think!

10 Tips to Getting Tourist Free Selfies

1. Get Up EARLY:

I’ve found that most tourists, or really people in general, are not that devoted to privacy and prefer to sleep in. This makes the mornings a perfect time to see pretty much any attraction!img_4655

2. Avoid Peak seasons, Weekends (and Holidays):

I’ve made the mistake a couple of times of forgetting it’s a holiday where I’m travelling and boy was it a mistake! The extra people at tourist attractions on weekends & holidays make it unbearable for me!

3. Get Creative: 

If you’ve seen a photo that you really want to replicate, be prepared to settle for something else. Often the main attraction spot is swarmed with people, but there are usually different vantage points or spots within the attraction you can get your own shot! Often, this is when I end up getting the best photos!

This definitely isn’t the photo I was planning on getting at the middle falls when visiting Letchworth State Park earlier this year! There were so many people because of the fall foliage I could hardly stand anywhere without being bombarded by other tourists. I compromised though, and I think the photo is still pretty great!

4. Be Patient:

Sometimes you have to wait, and wait, and waaaait for other people to get their shots so you can get one without them in it. I’ve learned though that in these case, the patience is often worth it in the end!

5. Block People Out  (with your own body):

I’ve learned to use my big hair as an advantage when there are lots of tourists around. I’ll whip it down, fluff it up, and use it to block the couple beside me from my shot! If you don’t have a massive nest like me, try a hat or even your arm!

6. Use that Selfie Stick:

Although totally embarrassing, selfie sticks can help you get some pretty epic shots! Especially if you’re short like me and have stubby arms that don’t allow you’re whole face in the shot, let alone your body!st-francis-trail2

7. Ask People To Move:

If you’re tired of being patient, I’ve found that busting out Canadian manners and politely asking someone to move for a moment works really well. Usually people are really receptive to this, and I’ve sometimes found that they had been waiting for me to leave as well…win/win!

8. Have Someone Take the Photo For You:

Even if you’ve got the ultimate selfie skills, why not ask the person lingering around to take a couple of shots for you? That way you get your shots without them in it and without having to wait around forever for them to leave. You might even make a travel friend this way, and it’s always nice to offer to take a couple shots in return! letchworth4

9. Hit Popular Attractions During Off Season:

This kind of goes along with the no weekends or holidays rule. I’ve found that there are some locations that are noticeably busier during certain times of year…although it may be the “ideal” time for most people, not for us privacy seekers!

10. Embrace Challenging Weather:

If you had been planning on a hike to a really epic spot and wake up to find it raining (or snowing)…don’t be discouraged! If anything, know that this will likely discourage everyone else and allow you to have the location to yourself…or at least it’ll be way more private than if it were a gorgeous sunny day!…plus, fog and clouds can make for really unique photos!img_0865

What tricks do you use to get the best photos at prime tourist locations?

3 thoughts on “Tips to Getting Tourist Free Selfies

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