What makes a good trip report?
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  1. #1
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    What makes a good trip report?

    We clearly are lucky enough to have some very talented members on Talk Disney who write some fantastic, entertaining trip reports.

    Because of this, I thought it'd be a good idea if we all share our thoughts on what makes a great, well written and entertaining report.

    It doesn't matter if you haven't written a trip report yet - your opinion is still as valid as everyone else's.

    Let's not just think about the content of the report but also the presentation and structure of it too.

    Our members can then use this thread to give them ideas to help make their future trip reports even better!
    There's a great big beautiful tomorrow
    Just a dream away!

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  2. #2
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    I think that the most important aspect to any trip report is the layout. By that I refer to using a readable font in a pleasant color, keeping paragraphs relatively short, even if its not grammatically correct to do so...by the fourth or fifth sentence in a large paragraph reading on screen I have difficulty...and, closely related to that is using the enter key for spacing in the post.

    Nothing is harder to read then a post that doesn't have line spacing and goes on and on like one large run on sentence.

    I love it when people add pictures to their report...but I don't like the "all pictures" style of report I see elsewhere. Rather, I like to read about someone's day, and then view the pictures to affix the mental image of their fun in my mind. Love it!

    I think a conversational, sort of first person journal / blog style is my favorite to read. Most of the trip reports I read are like that. I don't like ones that just say "first we went here, then we went here, the. We went here....etc. I want to hear the what's and whys as well!

    I can personally credit trip reports on TD for offering me hours of entertainment as well as great insight and ideas into how other people do "the World". Heck, tip of the hat to Winkster, but I would NEVER have tried Jikos had it not been for his excellent description of it which enticed me to go.

    Every report I read I enjoy, but since this was a tips sortof page, I thought I'd share my opinion as to things that I find important in a well created trip report.
    Last edited by englanddg; 10-11-2012 at 08:01 PM.
    B.C. (Before Child) '82, '87 - '95, 2004
    A.D. (After Daughter)
    2010 - 2 weeks @ CBR
    2011 - 3 in DC, 14 @ CBR
    2012 - 3 @ Uni Royal Pacific, 12 @ Pop
    2013 - 3 @ DLR | Contemporary, DCL Fantasy, POFQ
    2015 - 2 in DC, 3 @ Uni Portofino, 3 @ AKL, DCL Fantasy, 4 @ AoA

  3. #3
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    Re: What makes a good trip report?

    I never thought about the spacing. When typing on here, I tend not to write in paragraphs because I'm not used to doing that on the internet. I just went back and edited mine to include better spacing and paragraphs. Thanks!
    Laur

  4. #4
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    I have to admit, use of paragraphs and punctuation is a biggie for me too.

    It makes reports so much easier to read as a huge chunk of text with no breaks can be daunting and very difficult to read.

    I love "conversational" reports too - written as if you're talking to someone, rather than just a list of places visited.

    And both humor and anecdotes are brilliant to personalise a report and make it fun to read.

    I'm sure I'll think of more soon!
    There's a great big beautiful tomorrow
    Just a dream away!

    TALK DISNEY ADMINISTRATOR


  5. #5
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    Re: What makes a good trip report?

    Quote Originally Posted by Winkster View Post
    It makes reports so much easier to read as a huge chunk of text with no breaks can be daunting and very difficult to read.
    They literally drive me nuts. And I've read some great trip reports that are in that format! I end up using the mouse to highlight lines and read it that way since I can't just let my eyes dance down the screen!

    Quote Originally Posted by Winkster View Post
    And both humor and anecdotes are brilliant to personalise a report and make it fun to read.
    Oh, a must! Great point! I think that some people are afraid with trip reports to make it "too personal" and get stuck in the "I need to keep it to the facts", but to me, it's the personality that involves the reader!

    As I said, WHY did you do what you did, and WHAT was your reasoning? They used to teach WWWWW (Who, What, When, Where and Why) in US english classes, dunno if they still do...but I suspect not. But, it's supreme. And, tossing in where your mind was at in the piece certainly helps it along.

    I literally tore my eyelids out some nights doing my trip report, and many nights I didn't want to do them. I only did so for two reasons...one, I knew that a lot of our UK members wouldn't have entertainment during their morning tea (grin), and two, I really wanted to try a freestyle blog during this trip, to get things down while they were fresh. Something for me to look back upon later, and reference, and remember.

    Were I to do it again, I can't say I would. I have already thought about how I can plan better for incremental updates for next years trip, which I also want to Trip Report, but have no interest in spending an hour to two hours a night doing so (first hour is conception, next hour is editing...and even then, I did a poor job at editing/proofreading)...

    Anyhow, I'd love to hear what other ideas people have, because, in retrospect, as much as it stunk to do those trip reports some nights, I'm glad I did them. In addition, I'd like to have them more polished (picture attachments in line with the report) at time of posting, rather than at a later point where I'm editing the post.

    So, continuing the thread...I'd add, what not only makes a good trip report to read, but how do you put them together? (if that's ok Winkster?)
    B.C. (Before Child) '82, '87 - '95, 2004
    A.D. (After Daughter)
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    2013 - 3 @ DLR | Contemporary, DCL Fantasy, POFQ
    2015 - 2 in DC, 3 @ Uni Portofino, 3 @ AKL, DCL Fantasy, 4 @ AoA

  6. #6
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    I agree with Winkster and Englanddg,
    and I specially loved the TR or updates when people were still in the World, made me feel like I was there too (a little bit )

    As english is not my birthlanguage I feel like I 'fall back' using same words over and over again when I write a TR, but as I do speak and write more english lately (right Oswald ) I see improving I'll do my best in 3 weeks, maybe I'll do my eveningnotes already in english (we will not bring a laptop, so dayly updates will not happen )

    O and I hope I'll find some time for a TR from our last trip to DLP and our meetings with Oswald, have to practice right
    Looking forward to our Disney vacations

  7. #7
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    Re: What makes a good trip report?

    Waarom spreekt u slecht Engels? Ik spreek slecht Nederlands?

    It's very similar to German, a neat language. I'd hate to translate a whole trip report though...

    I look forward to your trip report when you go!
    B.C. (Before Child) '82, '87 - '95, 2004
    A.D. (After Daughter)
    2010 - 2 weeks @ CBR
    2011 - 3 in DC, 14 @ CBR
    2012 - 3 @ Uni Royal Pacific, 12 @ Pop
    2013 - 3 @ DLR | Contemporary, DCL Fantasy, POFQ
    2015 - 2 in DC, 3 @ Uni Portofino, 3 @ AKL, DCL Fantasy, 4 @ AoA

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by englanddg
    Waarom spreekt u slecht Engels? Ik spreek slecht Nederlands?

    It's very similar to German, a neat language. I'd hate to translate a whole trip report though...

    I look forward to your trip report when you go!
    Lol
    Yeah, I know, but I feel like my Dutch TR have more 'feeling' in it than my english ones so far
    I'll do my best
    Looking forward to our Disney vacations

  9. #9
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    Re: What makes a good trip report?

    Quote Originally Posted by englanddg View Post
    So, continuing the thread...I'd add, what not only makes a good trip report to read, but how do you put them together? (if that's ok Winkster?)
    Fine with me - and great idea too!

    Personally, I love writing the reports when we get home.

    I have a notebook of reminders and literally hundreds of photos which act as a chronological reminder of what happened.

    I also take photos of silly things to jog my memory - a sign, a label on food, a bus escape hatch - silly irreverent things that amused me at the time that I want to recount in my report.

    I'd never write my report while at WDW - I'm too tired and I like to give it "full beans" when I do start writing. I don't want to squeeze it in somewhere before bed. Plus, writing at home afterwards is a great way to re-live the memories!
    There's a great big beautiful tomorrow
    Just a dream away!

    TALK DISNEY ADMINISTRATOR


  10. #10
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    Re: What makes a good trip report?

    I'm sure I sounded like a 3 year old in your native tongue. It's literally been years since I attempted dutch...I don't speak any language well, but I speak a lot of them poorly!

    I'd recommend doing it all in your native language first, privately, then translating it. That way you get all of it out in your native language, and even if the translation is wonky, you still have that source to go back to.

    Once you post, if your english is a bit off, I don't think anyone will really care. But trying to translate and post, is a huge ordeal. I'd start by doing it in your natural language, and then translating later. Just my thought.

    Plus, TD is a fairly international forum. I highly doubt anyone here is going to pass judgement!

    Just have fun, and tell us about it!
    B.C. (Before Child) '82, '87 - '95, 2004
    A.D. (After Daughter)
    2010 - 2 weeks @ CBR
    2011 - 3 in DC, 14 @ CBR
    2012 - 3 @ Uni Royal Pacific, 12 @ Pop
    2013 - 3 @ DLR | Contemporary, DCL Fantasy, POFQ
    2015 - 2 in DC, 3 @ Uni Portofino, 3 @ AKL, DCL Fantasy, 4 @ AoA

  11. #11
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    It was quit good, not many people speak Dutch (!)

    I think you are right to do it in Dutch first, goes quicker and sometimes I use a translation site when I have doubts how to write a word (or can't come up with the word at all) I don't do whole sentences though as it translates often wrong

    And yes, the TD friends are not judgemental at all
    Last edited by Winkster; 10-12-2012 at 04:57 AM. Reason: Excessive smilies deleted
    Looking forward to our Disney vacations

  12. #12
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    Re: What makes a good trip report?

    I agree with what everyone's said so far. I like it when things are broken up into short paragraphs, and good punctuation is a plus. Like others have said, it just makes it easier to read. Typos...eh, they happen. They only bother me if they are my own, lol!

    I also like more of a story rather than "just the facts". I like to feel that I've spent the day with that person, and to get a lot of visuals from the report. I love pictures, too!

    Live trip reports are great, or even just live mini-updates, but I know how hard and time consuming that is! Even just writing down my thoughts at the end of the day can take quite a while, but I'm always glad to have it when I get back and have the time to write out a full report.

    As far as how I put it together...I like to start a few days after we've returned and settled back in. Even though I have my notes to refer to, things are still fresh and that makes it much easier to write. I also try to do it when I won't have many interruptions. It bothers me when I'm deep in thought and have to stop. But hey, that's just me, lol. Then I post, preview, polish it up and voila! There you have it.
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  13. #13
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    Re: What makes a good trip report?

    I'll have to remember all this, as I hope to do a TR after my upcoming cruise
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  14. #14
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    Re: What makes a good trip report?

    Quote Originally Posted by joanna71985 View Post
    I'll have to remember all this, as I hope to do a TR after my upcoming cruise
    We'll give you marks out of ten Joanna!
    There's a great big beautiful tomorrow
    Just a dream away!

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  15. #15
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    Re: What makes a good trip report?

    Winkster and englanddg said pretty much everything I feel. But I'll say my piece anyway...

    Break your report into paragraphs. When I see a giant chunk of text I usually don't read it.

    Use proper grammar and punctuation. Do a spellcheck. Use capital letters correctly. I don't like when people type in all lower case.

    When you're done, read through your report to make sure it reads well. Also, check for typos that spellcheck couldn't catch (e.g. "United States," not "Untied States"). I always let my DH read it before I post it.

    As far as style goes, I agree that conversational is good. Throw in humorous anecdotes and/or funny observations.
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