Myths About Travel Blogging: Trip Reports are Easy/Filler Posts

I write a lot of trip reports. I mostly write trip reports because I personally find them helpful when I’m preparing for trips, and I enjoy reading well-written, well-photographed reports by other people even if I’m not. I’m not going to lie: it also helps for SEO, and some of my most frequently visited posts over the lifetime of my blog are trip reports.

But I’ve been told that some people think of trip reports as easy/filler posts. This is false. You might not like them, but trip reports are some of the most time-consuming posts to write. When I brought up trip reports amongst a group of bloggers at BACon, there were groans and the collective sentiment was that trip reports were helpful for readers but took way too long to do.

Think about it: not only do you have to make sure that you’re taking good photos while you’re on the trip, you also have to take good notes so that you can write about the trip coherently and comprehensively at some point in the future. And then the actual write-up can easily take an hour or more when you consider choosing the photos, doing any sort of edits necessary, the writing, and fact-checking to fill in any gaps that you forgot to record.

Yes, there are lots of bad trip reports out there. But I am totally forgiving of occasionally bad photos and inane captions (the only reason I usually put captions is because my formatting can get messed up if I don’t include them) because it’s frankly hard. And yes, we don’t need yet another trip report of Cathay Pacific or Lufthansa first class (although the latter will likely become much more rare now that the rest of the United tickets have been flown). But there are tons of products out there that I think are underreviewed, and if you’re not interested in a given product, just don’t read the post. I essentially x out any hotel reviews on my Feedly since they’re almost always irrelevant to me as I very rarely stay in hotels.

Summary: don’t read a trip report if you don’t like it, but don’t underestimate the amount of time and effort that goes into a decent trip report.

6 thoughts on “Myths About Travel Blogging: Trip Reports are Easy/Filler Posts

  1. Points With a Crew

    I agree that a good trip report is really enjoyable to read. I don’t travel much super-aspirationally, but I do find that reading reports on such travel can be quite entertaining.

    Though even a trip report to a mundane place can be a good read, if the writer is good…

    Reply
  2. sam

    Totally agree with you.!!! It take me almost half day to finish trip report. I find trip report helpful and fun to read like newspapers that I have to read everyday in the morning. My daily newspaper include a lot of your trip reports.

    Reply
  3. Everybody Hates A Tourist

    I agree 100%. I’m about 3 major trips behind at this point. Fortunately, I’ve taken some good notes, so I’ll get to them eventually. I use Evernote so I can take notes on my phone on the go and then have them synced everywhere.

    Even when I manage to sit down for a few hours to write, I find myself writing only 1 or 2 trip reports. If I end up with at least 1 report per day, that time really adds up.

    One mistake I made on the first trip I wrote about was to try to write and post everything as I was traveling. I made it to about day 5 before I realized I couldn’t keep up, which resulted in my parents thinking I was dead because I’d stopped writing.

    Nowadays, I’m waiting until I have all the posts written, even if it means I don’t post until a couple of months after the trip is over. Hopefully people will like reading about Oktoberfest in December 🙂

    Reply
  4. alex

    you mad bro?

    lol. i’d love to know the person that is bothering you about being lazy in doing an extracurricular activity like blogging. they probably should find a better hobby.

    Reply
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