Or is it better to put a little Jungle-Fever in your guest’s suitcase?
This is probably the single most cynical blog post I will write (today).
When you work as a writer in fields like travel, tourism, vacations, resorts and hotels, you’re constantly confronted by the experts of “travel writing.”
Perpetually 35, travel writers have been to every former Soviet republic a half dozen times, they shave once a month and they’ve never been to an All-Inclusive resort – EVER. They publish, at least sometimes, in the New York Times, and they’re never going to settle down again.
That paradox is OK for a lot of us.
The writing of travel writers saves the rest of us the trouble of having to go.
We can meet Ozzies and Kiwis when they pass through our own neighborhoods. They’re certainly good people to know. Like travel writers, they’ve been just about everywhere.
But for the rest of us, a week or two every year is enough, and often enough, it feels like too much.
The problem for us is that we’re only going to go for two weeks, and that’s already way too much.
I don’t need to know about fine wine in Indonesia. I can’t picture my husband’s father zip-lining anywhere. I don’t read the Times travel section, though it is impressive that they know the trendy district in every single little town on the planet.
What I need to know is about tickets with two kids for the best possible price, in a place that may be distant but that is familiar enough.
The fact is, I need you to do most of the planning for me.
I need to have a couple of itineraries.
I need them to include most of my possible options, for eating, for sight-seeing, for not wearing myself out in the space of a couple of days, and still feeling like I got something (a lot) out of it.
I need one itinerary to be exhaustive and another to be realistic.
While not looking down on me for never having visited southeast Asia, I’d like you to understand that this trip is a pretty big outlay for me.
Maybe we only do this once every two years. We’re still respectable. We don’t want to be treated like insignificant guests cause we’re limiting your sales potential. To us, we are spending, and not looking to spend more.
If you want to put all of that into a slide-show, I might see some of it. Better if it’s a simple list.
Here’s the point, just like with stock photography, travel and adventure is only half of the seduction equation. If you want to close the deal, don’t forget that all of the wow from your palm trees and beaches need to be followed up with “This is how you can do it, simple, fast, affordable and easy.” Your palm tree photo needs to be followed up with a clean attractive room. Your casual trip across shark infested waters, or your red-eye trip from Moscow to Hong Kong needs to be followed up with how this is real and now, and you can do it with your kids, or your extended family and here’s exactly how.
Now, who’s being cynical?