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Here's Why You Should Start Traveling With An Instant Camera

Instant camera > smartphone camera.

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I have this dream for my future house where I wallpaper an entire room with Polaroids.

Taylor Fuller / BuzzFeed

I’m fairly confident that I’m close to having enough photos to do so, but until I have a place of my own, they'll continue to hang out in my closet, neatly stored in tins.

I've had an instant camera since eighth grade; I used to be the really ~cool~ kid at high school parties taking artsy photos of people against white walls. I would snap candid photos of my friends, scan them onto my computer, and upload them to an album on Facebook. Because let's face it: There's nothing like the vintage effect you get instantly on that little piece of film as it prints out of the camera. It's just better than any Instagram filter you could ever use, IMO. These days, since I've taken up traveling as a full-time hobby, my instant camera pretty much lives inside of my carry-on bag and comes with me on all of my trips.

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If you were looking for suggestions on which instant camera to go with, you’ve come to the right place.

Taylor Fuller / BuzzFeed, amazon.com

I swear by my Fujifilm Instax Mini 70. It’s small enough to fit inside my purse so I can make sure to always have it on hand, it’s super retro-looking, and it’s just...fun! It's also available in six colors: white, gold (both pictured), black, blue, red, and yellow.

Using one of these on trips makes for the perfect conversation starter or icebreaker when meeting new people, and it simply makes for a more interesting experience than just using your phone — especially because the photo doesn't disappear after a day. (Apologies to any diehard Snapchat users, but not even a the most flattering filter on this green earth could convince me to ditch my instant camera!) It brings me back to the good old days when you picked your "Kodak moments" and didn't take 100 versions of the same photo only to share one of them with the world.

Plus, instant cameras make an excellent and thoughtful gift for creative people who enjoy documenting memories in a more unique (and, some may argue, more secure) way than using their smartphone.

And over the years Fujifilm has really stepped up its game. The Instax Mini 70 has several different automatic settings, to really help you get the perfect shot every time. The fact that I don’t have to worry about changing the settings myself means more of my photos come out the way I want them to. But perhaps the very best feature is that it has a tiny little mirror on the front and a selfie mode so you can make sure that all your friends are in the picture (aka no more wasting film!).

You can also go with a more whimsical-looking and budget-friendly version of the camera, the Fujifilm Instax Mini 9, for $57.92+.

It comes in five playful colors — ice blue (pictured), flamingo pink, cobalt blue, smokey white, and lime green — and has almost 500 five-star reviews to boot.

I suggest ordering film in two-packs so you can save a few bucks (and then storing it in your fridge so it lasts).

Taylor Fuller / BuzzFeed

Each one comes with 10 photos so you can document your favorite moments, no matter where you are. And if you buy in bulk, you won’t be as upset when people take a photo of the dirty floor when their finger accidentally slips on the shutter.

Get the Fujifilm Instax Mini 70 from Amazon for $81.49+ or Jet for $82.92 and a two-pack of film from Amazon for $12.49.

Or get the Instax Mini 9 from Amazon for $57.92+ or Jet for $59.95.

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