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The stories of our favourite travel photos

Get ready for an epic travel prize! We have partnered with Pexels, home to millions of beautiful free photos, to bring you an amazing photography competition.

Pexels are starting Christmas early this year with their Pexelspalooza Giveaway which launched on 1st of December. We are joining the Giveaway along with photography experts Fujifilm & Polaroid Originals. Our competition is announced on 24th of December (along with details of our mystery travel prize!) so keep your eyes peeled.

As you might imagine, the team at Skyscanner love travel and are pretty good at snapping some awesome pics – whether they want to capture special moments, test their photography skills or just make the rest of us jealous. Here’s some of the best ones we’ve taken and the stories behind them.

Laurie, Associate Product Manager

My sister came to visit me when I was working in Valencia. We explored the City of Arts and Sciences and I was fortunate enough to capture the sunset over the city that evening. This was an important time of my life, because it made me appreciate my love of travel, and particularly discovering new places. When I was younger, I think I took for granted living in different countries and what an incredible opportunity it was. With that in mind, it was this love of travel that inspired me to apply for Skyscanner.

Judson, Senior Design Manager

We were in Mexico visiting the Tulum archaeological site and at a hut near the entrance, a furry creature crawled out of the jungle, pried open a drawer and started stealing tortillas out of it to eat. The tortillas had no business being in the drawer, they were obviously planted by an employee, but it was still a fascinating encounter because neither my wife nor I had any idea what the animal was. It turned out to be a tejon, a member of the raccoon family. Only by traveling could you run into a creature you can’t identify!

Oli, Senior User Research Manager

I took this photo of my wife after an astonishing 8 hour drive through California’s Death Valley and Mojave national parks. This was at the end of our 3 week road trip across the West Coast of America taking in the most wonderful landscapes we’ve ever been lucky enough to see. We pulled up to take a break and the stars simply went on forever. If you get the chance to lie on the bonnet of a 455 brake horse power, bright yellow Camaro on a warm and clear summer night in the Mojave desert, I heartily recommend it!

Eileen, Senior Designer

We stumbled across this deserted beach in the Oudekraal Nature Reserve, part of the Table Mountain National Park. We discovered this was where locals particularly enjoyed coming for their summers, until non-white visitors were excluded under Apartheid.

We felt in awe of the beauty and tranquillity, and so privileged to have this little gem to ourselves. But we also thought of what it was to be able to come here without restriction. About how we are all part of this planet, this human experience, and that no one should be prevented from enjoying such a magical place based on the colour of their skin.

Andrei, Software Engineer

I was in Bordeaux in 2018 where I was visiting a friend. The city welcomed me well with a party in the charming old town lasting long into the night. When some locals sang a famous French song called “Andy, dis moi oui” (Andy, tell me yes) to me it was our cue to say yes to sleep. The next day we ate delicious croissants, laughed, and spoke broken French. I took this shot on the breezy riverbank where children were playing in the water while people took dancing lessons in the open summer air.

George, Software Engineer

Oxpeckers graze exclusively on the bodies of large animals, eating ectoparasites like ticks.

This impala seemed pretty chilled to be munching away on the long grass with her bird buddy riding along. Every aspect of Pilanesberg is breathtakingly beautiful, and because it’s not as vast as Kruger you can often get much closer to the wildlife. It’s a real privilege seeing animals close-up in their natural environment, because you can really appreciate the intricate details of how they live amongst one another.

Jenna, Corporate Travel Manager

I stayed at this hotel in Panama and the pool and skyline views were beautiful. I knew I had to try and capture it. The challenge was, with travelling solo, how!? I got up early to make sure the pool was empty, and got to work. I wrapped my tripod and camera around a balcony on a higher level of the hotel, pressed ‘take’, then sprinted downstairs straight into the pool to jump into the frame.It took a few attempts and I was a little out of breath by the end of it. But I think it was worth it, and the memory always makes me smile!

Shaun, Senior Software Engineer

I’d been made redundant and had a few weeks until I was due to start working at Skyscanner. My partner and I wanted to get away so we visited New Zealand, hiring a car and driving from Paihia down to Wellington. Whilst driving we saw a sign for something called ‘Rainbow Falls’ – how could we not check that out? There’d been heavy rainfall so it was a bit of a trek getting down to the pool, but it was worth it for the beautiful views. We went to a lot of great places on the trip, but sometimes the best things are the ones you find by accident.

Daniel, Senior Software Engineer

This photo was taken along the Salkantay Pass. The 12 mm wide-angle lens I used couldn’t even capture the vastness of the space. This was before we started the steepest part of the trek that would take us to 4,630 m.a.s.l., where there is little oxygen. Somebody shouted “mules!” from behind, an indication to let these lovely porters pass! It was then I looked back and saw this golden and green valley in its full glory. White clouds rolling down the mountains, and the path that took us there looking very far in the distance. If there is one feeling to describe this, it would be peacefulness.

Andres, Marketing Executive

Whilst visiting a friend I had the opportunity to explore the wonderful town of Groningen. Despite its climate, I enjoyed being surrounded by its remarkable architecture and their well-known canals. After a bike ride we found Reitdiephaven, a place where the houses strip away the grey with their vibrant colours. I took this photo during the last hours of the day where the orange hues of light broke the storm. The water sat still and created a mirror like effect which multiplied its beauty. I was there, calmly sitting at the right moment and at the right time. Every place has its gem, and for sure, Reitdiephaven is the gem of Groningen.

Will, Senior Designer

Barcelona is an incredible city and somewhere I wanted to shoot from the air for a long time. The long straight streets, strict grid pattern and square blocks fill my designer soul with joy.

Soon after I joined Skyscanner, a global design summit was held in Barcelona to kickstart our rebrand project. I got up for sunrise to shoot the day side of the image then went back to the same spot late at night to shoot the other half. It took a bit of planning but I managed to successfully capture the same angle at both times of day allowing me to create this unique view of the city.

Instagram @willcheyney

Kate, Marketing Manager

Before joining Skyscanner I went for a solo trip to Indonesia. As I love outdoor activities, I couldn’t miss hiking Mount Batur – an active volcano and one of the most beautiful spots in Bali. The hike started at 4 am and took 2 hours to complete.

On the way up we couldn’t see much as we were walking in darkness with only our flashlights. The moment the sun started rising we knew it was worth it! The sky turned from black to blue and then to orange showing us the view of the surrounding mountains and volcanoes. The sunrise I saw on Mount Batur was definitely one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen.

Ellen, Copywriter

I visited my boyfriend’s family’s summer houses in Sandefjord, Norway. After getting over the remoteness and initial lack-of-signal twitches it didn’t take long to settle in.  One very early morning, still finding the silence deafening to fall asleep to, I woke before everyone else and tiptoed out of bed with my camera on my shoulder and headed towards the still water. Once I got there I knew I had to capture this moment. I tossed in a pebble and took a photograph. After that I sat and breathed it all in in silence until everyone else woke up. There was no noise. There was no movement. It was true tranquility.

Feeling inspired?

Enter the competition and share your best images. You might even win our mystery prize.

We can’t wait to see your work.