what makes a good trip report?

Old Jul 31st, 2005, 09:32 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 251
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
what makes a good trip report?

i've been home from my 5 week stay in france for 2 weeks now and finally sat down to write out a trip report. i started it very descriptively but realized with over a month long trip it would take pages!
so i thought it best to ask what makes a report good in peoples opinion?
keb0503 is offline  
Old Jul 31st, 2005, 10:13 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 268
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I like facts and figures. Tell me if you loved or hated your hotel. Did you find a good little restaurant somewhere. I donít want to know how many onions were in that tasty little dish. Although, I have to admit Inditravel won me over by eating fois gras. What made you say wow!!!!

Did you have any problems? Hope nothing bad happened, but I canít help but wonder how did you deal with whatever may have come your way.

I am sure that I have forgotten a lot of other things, but I just really appreciate the fact that you took the time to tell me how you felt about your trip.
Simone1 is offline  
Old Jul 31st, 2005, 10:45 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 11,525
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Simone1's suggestions are good; also, it helps if you can break up your report into one- or two-day segments, and post them all in the same thread.

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Old Jul 31st, 2005, 10:47 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 801
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Also for the sake of everyones' eyes - please break it into paragraphs!
prue is offline  
Old Aug 1st, 2005, 12:19 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 1,323
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I agree about prices and paragraphs. Also, a little humor goes a long way. It makes me feel as if I know you, and want to share your travel experience.
Nina66 is offline  
Old Aug 1st, 2005, 12:22 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,159
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I want to know what you liked and disliked; where you had good food and how expensive it was; and salt it with humour, please.
sheila is offline  
Old Aug 1st, 2005, 01:41 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,385
Likes: 0
Received 11 Likes on 4 Posts
Different people respond to different types of trip reports. Some people appreciate them short and to the point; others like to read the long narrative about the day-to-day discoveries. I like them both, but the thing I really like to see is a person's impressions of their experiences. Did your trip make you think about something? see something in a new way?
Nikki is offline  
Old Aug 1st, 2005, 03:49 AM
  #8  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,699
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi K,

Your report should have a good opening line, something like "It was a dark and stormy night....".

It should have a great closing line, eg, "I walked back to the hotel in the rain".

It should have a great title, "Tale of Two Cities".

There should be romance, drama, mystery, adventure, suffering, ecstasy.

You should include vivid, accurate descriptions of the environment, character sketches of interesting people, comments on the culture (not all scathing criticisms of hypocrisy and immorality).

You should tell us about great restaurants, bars and hotels.

If there is a war, you should describe it, but not in gruesome detail.

Finally, we should all feel as if we had been at a moveable feast.



PS, please limit your essay to two, double-spaced typewritten pages, no. 11 font.
ira is offline  
Old Aug 1st, 2005, 04:12 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 288
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I enjoy hearing about all the wonderful things, but very much appreciate hearing about the mistakes, or lessons learned. I find it extremely valuable to hear about what not to do.

Also, I love little details about hotels....it helps me so much with my daydreams!
faredolce is offline  
Old Aug 1st, 2005, 05:15 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 7,142
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Evocative title.

Break it into sections by replying to your own thread.

Keep it all in ONE thread.

Use paragraphs generously.

Provide descriptions, prices, phone numbers, addresses if available.

Provide extra backgound info if you visit something less travelled to (we all that Versailles was Louis XIV's residence and that the Louvre has the Mona Lisa).

A lot of readers are quite interested in food. If you ate something worth telling about, don't assume no one wants to hear about it (I do).
bardo1 is offline  
Old Aug 1st, 2005, 05:31 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 9,232
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Well, unless you have a wonderful gift for writing (which, occasionaly does appear on here) I'd stick to the details of things people are most likely to do a search for in the future. Trip reports disappear off the radar pretty fast (especially considering the amount of work they take!) but if it can be recalled by someone searching on a restaurant or a hotel then it has a longer, more useful life. So, personally, I skip all the normal sightseeing stuff (went we to the Louvre on Thursday, Versailles on Friday, blah blah) and tell travelers what they might need to know for their trips. All problems or things frequently asked about on here should be addressed (like, how did you get from the airport to your hotel, etc).

Oh, and a link with photos is always fun!

By the way - to readers of trip reports - it's always nice if you do read the report to say "thanks." They take a lot of time to write and are a huge asset on this board. It's always satfisfying to hear if anybody is reading them!
wliwl is offline  
Old Aug 1st, 2005, 05:41 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 801
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
keb0503:

prue gives good advice.

To me an interesting trip report has:

-brevity, no long, rambling paragraphs.
-your impressions, opinions on flights, hotels, restaurants
-originality, e.g. that the Eiffel Tower is tall; that the Musee D'Orsay has beautiful paintings; etc. are banal comments.

One typed page should do it.

(Five weeks in France must have been great.)
Powell is offline  
Old Aug 1st, 2005, 05:44 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 576
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I split my report into categories--hotel, restaurants, sightseeing--rather than do a day by day report, and people seemed to appreciate that. But as someone above mentioned, some people appreciate the narrative approach.
MerryTravel is offline  
Old Aug 1st, 2005, 05:58 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 12,848
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Humor.

(Ira, are you a retired English professor from UGA?)
kswl is offline  
Old Aug 1st, 2005, 06:27 AM
  #15  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,699
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
No, kswl, I am a retired engineering professor from UMd.

ira is offline  
Old Aug 1st, 2005, 06:55 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 4,412
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I look for good writing and humour in a trip report over detailed facts and figures. I like reports which give a sense of place, rather than just the details of where one stayed and what one ate (although these can often be interesting too).

One of the best in recent months was PatrickLondon's account of a short visit to Paris: http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34635039.

St.Cirq's reports from the Dordogne are also particularly good.

One of the best in years was the recentseries of reports by SharonG and her Tennessee Trio of Terror in Rome and Paris. They rival the reports of the long-departed (from this board)elvira.

Not everyone can write reports like these, but they are a joy to find among the more routine reports on the board. They should be an inspiration to others who post travel reports.
laverendrye is offline  
Old Aug 1st, 2005, 08:31 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 14,748
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Ira

Hilarious! And I am a former writing instructor. If only my students had taken all that great advice: I might still be teaching (instead of writing) today!

Loved it!
Debbie
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Old Aug 1st, 2005, 09:06 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,682
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts

In a trip report I like a clear title, such as (for example) Berlin and Munich, not A tale of two cities, links to web sites that the traveller found useful, lines of poetry that the traveller found true, and both short reports and rambling reports, but if reports ramble I like the heading to include the word Long.

These reports are a Fodors speciality, and are rare in the similar Lonely Planet online forum.

Ben Haines, London
[email protected]


ben_haines_london is offline  
Old Aug 1st, 2005, 11:12 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 34,807
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I think different people like different things, of course.

I personally like details about restaurants and hotels for future reference, then maybe something specific about sightseeing. I don't really care about reading that someone had a great meal at a corner cafe for 20 euro if that's all they say (no name, location, etc).

I think that sometimes people write way too much about real trivia, and stuff that doesn't even have to do about the travel at the destination -- like almost a page just about getting to the airport, waiting for the flight, the drink on the plane, the movies, etc.

I like opinions, too, though, otherwise they are just like a factbook.

If I had to nominate ones for the top trip report of the year, I think Indytravel's are my personal favorites (to France). He's got everything -- humor, details, opinions, good food descriptions, and he does lots of interesting things (and writes very well). I liked SharonG's also and many others (Ger's are great, too), and think it is very good for anyone to take the time to write all that up.

Definitely keep them in one thread, though.
Christina is offline  
Old Aug 1st, 2005, 11:34 AM
  #20  
MaureenB
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I always appreciate getting the inside info. on the hotels where travelers stay. What did you like or dislike, the neighborhood it's in, and would you recommend it for the price?

Beyond that, other tips like "the shortest line for the Louvre is usually underground by the tube" and "carry cash in Amsterdam because they don't accept credit cards for purchases less than 25EU"-- that sort of detail to enrich others' experiences.

Finally, the funny anecdotes of a traveler's visit always adds life to the report. I don't need to read the hour-by-hour report of where we went-- I appreciate the personal details and advice.
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -