26 Ideas for Writing the Perfect Travel Blog Post!
People ask me all the time;
“But what should I write about?”
If you’re a travel writer or a blogger, you can probably relate. If you’re a small hotel or B & B owner or you’re running a vacation rental website or property management company, the question can seem much more pressing.
First, decide which of the following covers your area.
- There are places where the tourism scene is too upscale, and people need a break.
- And there are busted places where people need a guide to find the good stuff because there is no way of finding it otherwise.
- In between there are relatively over-rated tourist locations where there’s just too much noise but people are going to come anyway – even if they’re not totally satisfied.
- Lastly, there are locations where people might be convinced to add on a night or two, but most likely they’re traveling for reasons other than leisure.
Travel Blogs come down to the following. I call this “the boring list” of travel blog topics.
- Local attractions
- Local events
- Facilities improvements
- Calendar, weather and directions.
The above may be necessary. They’re almost certainly better covered on Trip Advisor. And they’re not going to put your blog over the top, or even into the running, but go ahead and write them.
Far more interesting – and smarter to do – are stories on the following.
- Local attractions and when to visit them and why. What are the times or seasons to be avoided and what are the biggest reasons they’re not to be missed.
- Better yet, how exactly can I get there from your location – or from somewhere else – and what else should I expect when I’m there? How long should I plan to spend there and what else can I do before or after?
- Is it really somewhere you recommend? Or is it just another listing to fill out your site?
- Is it some holdover from the 1950s that’s still open, but just for art students and somehow they’ve got a kind of internet site? Is the internet site better than the actual location? Be nice.
- Why do you own and operate a site like yours? Or a hotel like this? And how long have you been in the business, anyway? Did you do something else interesting before?
- Why do you think most people visit your city? Are there expectations met? If not, why not?
- What could the local government or tourism authority realistically do to support more local tourism?
- What’s the difference between your location and your biggest regional competitor?
- Let’s talk calendar. What do the locals really look forward to, besides a night on the internet or drinking at a local pub.
- Wait! Can out-of-town people visit one of these locals-only pubs? What should they know?
- But year round, there’s a calendar of things that happen. What are the highlights? How are occupancy rates?
- Good travelers want to know. Bad travelers need to know. Should they come? Should they avoid the whole thing and come back when things have calmed down?
- What’s life like when the big events are not happening?
- How much planning goes into them, and how does that change life for people in the industry? Does the event affect everyone?
- Imagine it’s your 21 year old niece and 23 year old nephew. Are you going to send them off without worrying that they lose money? Probably not. Plan one itinerary where you accompany them, and another for sending them along on their way. Discuss both itineraries.
- What can I expect to do in a day?
- What can I expect to do in three or four or seven?
- Have you had actual family stay in your hotel? Tell your readers. Was it different? Better? Worse?
- What kind of guests are happiest? What kind do you want? Who should not stay with you and why not? Where should they go instead?
- How do they compare with the general tourists who come to your region?
- Is the perception of people who visit your area accurate? Why or why not?
- What’s the best thing you can say about all of them?
- What about TripAdvisor.com though? It has this way of attracting nut jobs. It’s sort of becoming like fly-paper for the worst kind of travelers. Do your readers need a reminder to check the dates on the terrible reviews, or a grain of salt to go with the many excellent reviews?
- Facilities? Where did you get the mattresses? The sheets? The bedding? The finishings? The decorations? The furniture?
- What about plumbing and windows and all the extras? Is the place maintained by a management company? Excellent! They must do a terrific job.
- The menu, the kitchen, the kitchen staff and the grounds people?
Obviously, there are loads of pitfalls and even delicate subjects that may need to be handled with care in all-of-the-above. I’ll cover that in a later post to be titled “The Brutal and Subtle Art of Omission.”
The main point is to teach, instead of telling. Show instead of selling. I’ve read blogs by way-too-stinky hugging ladies and cynical, know-it-all lawyers running “investment properties.” But mostly, I’m looking for helpful, local, but not too local information. And I always need more of it!