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So Why Post a Trip Report? What's the Most Useful?

So Why Post a Trip Report? What's the Most Useful?

Old Mar 30th, 2004, 01:14 PM
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So Why Post a Trip Report? What's the Most Useful?

Another current thread (on being "used" in this forum) had an interesting comment from elle: "Sometimes Trip Reports strike me as a bit narcissistic and that has held me back, although I have to say I have learned a lot from others.

I also worry a bit about posting one--the "bite" on this board can be pretty sharp (just ask any person who admits to eating at McDonald's in Paris. . . )"

Having recently returned from a fantastic trip and laboriously composing a trip report, I feel compelled to ask: what do people want from them? Why post them? What are the best ones? How does one avoid reeking of egotism?

I had planned on posting my admittedly lengthy report kind of as a way of thanking people who helped with my posts, and as a way of providing further information, but now I want to know: what makes for the best trip report? What makes for the worst?
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Old Mar 30th, 2004, 01:23 PM
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I enjoy short and concise reports..I dont care to know every detail of how a day was spent..
I like to know people impressions of a certain place or how they felt when they visited something that was spectacular , what they felt at that mpment, their emotions , thoughts..

I dont care to know how much they have spent at a certain restaurant etc...or what they ate..

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Old Mar 30th, 2004, 01:23 PM
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I think the best ones are those that are different and unique. Maybe your style would be just to post the most overlooked areas of the region you visited, or the "out of the way" places you encountered. Or maybe you just want to give reviews of the hotels you stayed at, or the restaurants you ate at. It doesn't have to entail every little thing you do, but if that's your style then go for it!
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Old Mar 30th, 2004, 01:24 PM
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(moment)
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Old Mar 30th, 2004, 01:26 PM
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Speaking as a newbie, I like to read hotel reviews in trip reports. It's good to elaborate on what you liked or didn't like about the hotel so it gives other Fodorites a basis for comparison. I know not everyone will agree on the same criteria, but at least you can figure out what's important for your travel needs and decide accordingly.

I've also liked reading updates on transportation or other events in the cities you've visited. For example, is there construction going on in the airport, train station, center of town? Is there a small art exhibit in one of the museums that others might be interested in also?

Thanks for posting this thread and I look forward to reading your report.
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Old Mar 30th, 2004, 01:26 PM
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By the way, I'm one of those people that posts every little detail! But I think that's because I tend to visit places that aren't written about so much on this board.
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Old Mar 30th, 2004, 01:26 PM
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Simple!

Posting/not posting a trip report should be your decision only. Whoever wants to read it, they will, whoever doesn't, they don't have to.
Let's not get into a debate why/why not anybody should post a trip report.
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Old Mar 30th, 2004, 01:28 PM
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Enthusiasm is what gets my attention, knowing they were excited and happy through all the ups and downs.
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Old Mar 30th, 2004, 01:46 PM
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I don't get a lot out of trip reports that merely recite what folks did every day. I've been back from my trip for a little over a week and I'm trying to post info in small portions with titles that will be easily found by someone looking for such information. (I traveled with three children, so I'm trying to put "kids" or "children" in the title, so people looking for info on traveling with kids can find my reports.)
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Old Mar 30th, 2004, 01:51 PM
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I agree that posting should be your choice and you should disregard the comments from the negtive 20%. I happen to prefer the shorter ones and those with pargraph breaks for ease of reading. We do not need to know what you had for lunch--just if you liked the place and would suggest it to others. Post away--it is your right, and some would say your duty.
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Old Mar 30th, 2004, 02:08 PM
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Trip Reports can be great fun. A trip is simply a slice of life that's "not here", wherever "here" is to you. So good things happen, bad things happen. I enjoy reading how they "got to town", their hotels reviews, restaurant reviewed, what they saw... the good and the bad of their experiences. For me, those written with such glorious senses of humor and no whining...Those I read. I also like to know EXACTLY WHAT they packed... its all pretty darned interesting! And so refreshing! <...just kidding on this bit...>
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Old Mar 30th, 2004, 02:20 PM
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I love popping into fodor's and reading travel reports of those that are lucky enough to be traveling right now..not me!
narcissistic...self indulgent? yes, but this is fodor's! we could go deeply into the topic of self indulgence, but instead how about just being thankful that we have the luxury of self indulgence?
I would say, as someone above did, write what you want, those who want to read will, those who don't won't, and as for those who post negative comments, i'd say, if it's how they chose to spend their precious time, then so be it! it's not really your problem!
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Old Mar 30th, 2004, 02:25 PM
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this is just my opinion, but I don't think that eating in McDonald's in Paris is so noteworthy if somemone had just said they were in the mood for junk food or American coffee (or even just that they were looking for a clean bathroom and decided to also buy a burger) but recently going to McDonalds was coupled in a posting with the phrase "we don't like French food" or something similar, as if all French food is the same to be disliked, and McDonald's is the solution.

Perhaps too many responses were unkind but the combination of the two ideas seems to have been pretty provocative.
Sometimes some of us jump too quickly on something that strikes a nerve, but I guess when we all post here we're taking a chance of something being criticized, fairly or un-.
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Old Mar 30th, 2004, 02:31 PM
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I enjoy reports that tell specifics about what people saw, what they ate, and where they stay. One thing that irks me is that people don't give prices, but describe things as reasonable, upscale, etc. Those descriptions are meaningless to most of us, as we don't know what your base is, and what a NewYorker may feel was reasonable may be far upscale to someone from a less pricey environment. I know being specific on prices is considered gauche in many circles, but I think in the context of giving information to people to help them plan their trips, we should overcome that feeling, and tell it like it is.
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Old Mar 30th, 2004, 02:38 PM
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Agree with Bob that whatever is written is much easier to follow if there are paragraph breaks inserted. I also prefer longer reports written as replies to the intial post on a single thread, rather than several different posts with "Part 1," "Part 2," and so forth.

Being a foodie, I like restaurant recommendations and/or remarks about places to be avoided. Adresses/neighborhoods and an idea of cost (with or without wine) are helpful. From my persepctive, the more detail re what dishes were delicious and which were disappointing, the better! Enjoy wine notes as well.

Hotel reviews are always welcome. It is helpful to know *why* a poster did or didn't like a particular place. And again, cost (in local currency, since exchange rates vary) is worth sharing, since we all travel on different budgets. I appreciate the inclusion of websites, so I can check the place out for myself (though I can usually Google one if it isn't provided.)

Day trips and off-the-beaten path sights are nice to know about. The "biggies" that are in all the guidebooks less so, unless the poster is sharing personal impressions re same.
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Old Mar 30th, 2004, 02:54 PM
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We love to travel and in 1999 my husband started to write about our trips. They're on our website and are available for anyone to read.

With that being said - why do we post a report (even if it is on our own site)? There are several reasons:

1. Journaling our travels allows us to relive our experiences.

2. Others seem to like reading about our travels, just as we like reading about the travels of others.

3. You can get great info on impressions of what/what not to see/do.

4. You get great info on places to stay/eat.

5. We've met people from all over the world who have stumbled on our site.

6. Sharing travel makes the world a smaller place and like my husband always says, when we travel, we see more of the "sameness" in people than the differences.

If you want to read our journals, go to:
www.davidandcarol.com.

Have fun!
Carol Lehrman
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Old Mar 30th, 2004, 02:55 PM
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I love reading the trip reports, particularly those on places that I have not yet visited. Two recent trip reports, from Maria and Olga, on Extremadura, inspired me to plan a weekend trip to a region that I had not even heard of before. I went and loved it and am grateful to both travelers for the introduction.

I like reports that are gossipy and those that share personal experiences and feelings; things that I could not find in a travel book. I particularly like reading about a traveler's emotions the first time he/she encounters a city or site that they have dreamed of all their lives, be it good or bad. I value the "I hated Venice" reports, as much as I do the "I loved Venice" reports - to each his own and there are no perfect destinations.

I find the hotel and restaurant recommendations valuable, as the travel book information can be dated and is usually conservative.

P.S. Thanks to all that wrote trip reports on the Dordogne. I am digging through them to plan a long weekend in April/May
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Old Mar 30th, 2004, 02:59 PM
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What makes one book better than another? One author better selling than another? And, who cares what anybody here thinks of your writing style or poor use of spell check? Write the damn report and don't look back.

Not everybody will read it or love you. But, some will. If your report helps just one person with their trip, that should be enough reward. If you need everyone's love and approval, then I suggest you seek therapy. Look what that disease did to Bill Clinton.

Frankly, the best trip report is one that stirs my attention with the first paragraph and keeps it after the second. Good luck!

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Old Mar 30th, 2004, 03:52 PM
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I enjoy reading them and have a learned from quite a few of them. I appreciate most the ones that don't get into "and then we..." in too much minute by minute detail.

Just a question to add - do people read trip reports on places they hadn't considered traveling to? Less touristed countries or regions or do you prefer reading reports about your favorite places? ie, if you're a Francophile with a few forays into other parts of Western Europe, would you still read a report from someone's trip to Russia?
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Old Mar 30th, 2004, 03:54 PM
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Hi AH,

>I had planned on posting my admittedly lengthy report kind of as a way of thanking people who helped with my posts, and as a way of providing further information...<

You have grasped the essence.

Please post.
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