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Old 03-02-2008   #1 (permalink)
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What Makes a Great Trip Report?

We all love trip reports, right? But what makes one more enjoyable to read than another? I'm going to list some of my reasons for enjoying a trip report... what are YOURS?
  • Descriptive writing - Enough detail to make it seem like the reader's right there with you, but not so much that we know where you keep your toothbrush between brushings.
  • Personal asides - Funny, silly, crazy, unbelievable things happen on vacation. The best reports share these stories.
  • Some degree of language mastery - If it's hard to read, most people just won't read it. Punctuation and paragraphs are your friends! You don't have to be an English scholar, but easy to read is good, and sometimes... less is more.
  • Difference - when you do something that most people haven't done before or go someplace a little uncharted or any of those "off-the-beaten-path" experiences, please tell us! (Even if it's in... like... Kansas or someplace! )
  • And most important, PICTURES! - I prefer shots used to illustrate the writing around them or, if not, that have some sort of caption that explains them. And you know we all love pictures so the more, the better! ('Cept those blurry ones that no one can decipher or 29 different versions of the same shot or ones we have to stand on our heads to see or or or...)
  • Finally, just do it! Even if you're not a great writer, post the pictures and SHOW us your trip. Or if you don't have fantastic pictures, let us live your vacation vicariously through your words and descriptions and put in the best of the pictures you do have. Everyone will appreciate the effort, whatever you can pull off!
So, even if it's not of Playa, if you did it and it was fun and you've got pictures, share!
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Old 03-02-2008   #2 (permalink)
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doesn't sound too difficult.... I may try this trip report thing in a couple of months....... you have to promise to be easy on me though
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Old 03-02-2008   #3 (permalink)
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How about adding 'starting a TR and not finishing it?' There are so many TR's out there that were completly enthralling, but never got finished.

(I'm guilty of the above though...so I'll make sure I finish my latest even if it is taking me 4 weeks to do it )
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Old 03-02-2008   #4 (permalink)
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I love the under water shots. Seeing those turtle pictures before we left was one of the reasons we went snorkeling in Akumal, something I personally was afraid to do but SO glad I did.

I also like funny stories that make me feel like I know the people writing the report. They usually begin, "So and so would kill me for including this, but..."

Lastly, little details. I love to hear about a favorite waiter or bartender, a slip up in translation that made everyone laugh, a great souvenir find, the price of the bill, etc.
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Old 03-02-2008   #5 (permalink)
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Pictures!
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Old 03-02-2008   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Susie Q Roo View Post
We all love trip reports, right? But what makes one more enjoyable to read than another? I'm going to list some of my reasons for enjoying a trip report... what are YOURS?
  • Some degree of language mastery - If it's hard to read, most people just won't read it. Punctuation and paragraphs are your friends! You don't have to be an English scholar, but easy to read is good, and sometimes... less is more.
  • !
Uh-oh!
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Old 03-02-2008   #7 (permalink)
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Pictures are worth a 1000 words.

After a week or two let it go(when done) so that the people just returning get their opportunity/spotlight they deserve. Just my opinion.
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Old 03-02-2008   #8 (permalink)
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Pictures are worth a 1000 words.

After a week or two let it go(when done) so that the people just returning get their opportunity/spotlight they deserve. Just my opinion.
So I shouldn't go back and pull up my last May's Playa and last November's Cabo reports and finish them???
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Old 03-02-2008   #9 (permalink)
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So I shouldn't go back and pull up my last May's Playa and last November's Cabo reports and finish them???

When done
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Old 03-02-2008   #10 (permalink)
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When done
Don't roll your eyes at me young man. (I saw the when done, I was just kidding. I don't think Ive ever finished one)
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Old 03-02-2008   #11 (permalink)
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For me- esp. at the moment as my brain is constantly fried it seems- lots of pics. And more pics. And pics. With only little words inbetween- fried brain can't concentrate.
Many words only when something really OMG happened- like the pyramid in Chichen suddenly standing upside down.

But that is just me. And my fried brain.
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Old 03-02-2008   #12 (permalink)
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Great thread Susie!! Way to make me feel like a weeny for not yet finishing my Ambergris Caye trip report. Aaarrgh. It's especially bad as we return to Belize in two weeks. I should prolly get that done, huh?

Oh, I too am in favor of more pictures and only the important (and funny) words!!
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Old 03-02-2008   #13 (permalink)
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Pictures of course !!

But there are the "Masters" - who write such great reports (Bumper, M. Holmes, JimmyMN, Krazy4Playa and many others) - who just take you away with their reports/pics/humor and really let you see the trip from a whole other perspective.
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Old 03-02-2008   #14 (permalink)
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Continuity

I don't know if this is always possible but I like when it is pulled off successfully.

One time, someone started a trip report and "reserved" the next 4 or 5 response boxes in order to post the trip report continuously. The post came up in 4 or 5 running segments and all of the remarks (which are very important to the person writing the trip report, IMHO) came after the trip report. I thought it was brilliant. Sometimes, the trip report is page after page of comments (this is good) and it's hard to weed out the actual report. If it was all at the beginning of the thread, it would be easy to keep up with.
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Old 03-02-2008   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Susie Q Roo View Post
We all love trip reports, right? But what makes one more enjoyable to read than another? I'm going to list some of my reasons for enjoying a trip report... what are YOURS?
  • Descriptive writing - Enough detail to make it seem like the reader's right there with you, but not so much that we know where you keep your toothbrush between brushings.
  • Personal asides - Funny, silly, crazy, unbelievable things happen on vacation. The best reports share these stories.
  • Some degree of language mastery - If it's hard to read, most people just won't read it. Punctuation and paragraphs are your friends! You don't have to be an English scholar, but easy to read is good, and sometimes... less is more.
  • Difference - when you do something that most people haven't done before or go someplace a little uncharted or any of those "off-the-beaten-path" experiences, please tell us! (Even if it's in... like... Kansas or someplace! )
  • And most important, PICTURES! - I prefer shots used to illustrate the writing around them or, if not, that have some sort of caption that explains them. And you know we all love pictures so the more, the better! ('Cept those blurry ones that no one can decipher or 29 different versions of the same shot or ones we have to stand on our heads to see or or or...)
  • Finally, just do it! Even if you're not a great writer, post the pictures and SHOW us your trip. Or if you don't have fantastic pictures, let us live your vacation vicariously through your words and descriptions and put in the best of the pictures you do have. Everyone will appreciate the effort, whatever you can pull off!
So, even if it's not of Playa, if you did it and it was fun and you've got pictures, share!
Whew! Glad you added that "whatever you can pull off!". I was beginning to feel like a putz with my "abbreviated" report. I don't write real well and I don't take tons of photos.
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