7 Steps to Writing a Great Travel Review

travel review
Updated: Oct 16th, 2014

Writing a travel review helps ensure that future travelers select the right destination and accommodations for them.

 

Whether you’re planning to write a professional travel review for an offline or online publication, or you’re writing a consumer travel review to submit to one of the popular travel reviews sites, follow these simple steps:

Step 1 – Do your homework

Research your destination ahead of time. Have a general idea of the layout of the property or area you’ll be visiting. Be familiar with the history of your location. Contact the Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) at least 3 weeks prior to your visit and ask them to send you a press kit including maps, brochures and a travel guide.

Step 2 – Take notes

Jot down meaningful experiences or descriptions that you might otherwise forget when you start writing. It might seem a little counter-intuitive to take notes during a relaxing vacation, but these notes will be very valuable when you sit down to start composing the review. Even if you just jot down a few key words, this will stimulate recall of details that are essential to an effective travel review.

What details should you look for at your accommodations?

  • Check in: Greeting and welcome. Are your reservations and special requests in order? If the property is large, are you offered a map or a tour?
  • Facilities.  Are they clean and well maintained?  Modern or outdated? Fitness room, pool area, bars, restaurants, common areas, sports facilities.
  • Guest Room. Does the room match the description as you expected? What in-room amenities are offered?
  • Check out: Was checkout a no hassle process? Were all your charges recorded accurately?

Step 3 – Arrange a tour

Prior to your visit, arrange a press tour of the property or destination when you arrive. If touring a hotel or other property, ask to see a variety of room types if the rooms are vacant.

Step 4 – Take pictures

Not only do pictures enhance your review and provide rich content, reviewing the photos after the visit can help you recall details when you’re writing your review. If you’re posting your review to a consumer review site, upload photos and post them with your review.

Step 5 – Don’t delay

Write the review soon after your visit is complete – even if it’s just a draft to get your thoughts down. You can refine it later. Delaying your review writing will cause you to leave out details that will make the review more interesting and thorough.

Step 6 – Get it published

?Submit your review to the appropriate outlets (newspaper, magazine, or online publication). If you’re submitting your review as a consumer, rather than as a professional travel writer, choose reputable sites that tend toward high quality content. TripAdvisor is very popular among consumers and tends to have content rich reviews. City Search and Yelp are a few others, but with less rich content.

Step 7 – Follow up

Once the review or article is published, let the business or CVB know you’ve published it. This is particularly important if the review is glowing or if you experienced problems during your visit. The property deserves to know if you’ve written a review, particularly a negative one, and may appreciate a conversation with you about the particulars. It can also be used as a tool by the property to improve their processes and business. A neutral and fair review is critical to both of these objectives. Resist the urge to be sarcastic, rude or overly critical.

One final tip: Write a review that will have mass appeal. Cover a wide a variety of travel categories within your review. My area of expertise is in writing spa reviews, but I when I write a travel article with a spa focus, I make sure to cover accommodations, dining, and non-spa activities to appeal to a wider audience.

~Michele

What are your tips for writing an effective travel review article? Share them here!

About Michele McIntyre 1 Article

Michele McIntyre is a freelance travel writer with a passion and enthusiasm for writing about spas.  She is a National Spa Examiner for Examiner.com, and her articles and spa reviews are also featured on InnerRewards.com, eHow.com, ezinearticles.com, tripology.com, tripatlas.com and ruba.com. 

Michele blogs about topics related to the spa industry at http://everythingspa.wordpress.com/

When Michele is not traveling or visiting spas, reviewing spas, writing about spas and thinking about spas, she enjoys camping, hiking, reading (yes, often about spas), boating, walking, skiing, wine and spending time with friends and family. Michele lives near Syracuse, NY with her husband and son.

You can follow Michele on Twitter: http://twitter.com/cnyspagirl
You can find Michele on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1123403038&ref=name

6 Comments

  1. Thanks for the great tips on writing a review. I’ll keep these in mind the next time I “attempt” to write a review (not my strongest writing). I stayed in a hostel in Edinburgh, Scotland…maybe I’ll write a review on it…I did enjoy my stay…

  2. I think the taking pictures tip is one of the most important! You’d be surprised at how much you forget between the time you visit and the time you write the review-even if you don’t delay. I also like to compare what they advertised on their website to the actual experience … not always the same thing!
    .-= Cherrye at My Bella Vita´s last blog post: Travel Tip Tuesday: Don’t Make These Five Mistakes When Planning Your Trip to Italy =-.

  3. Thank you for the tips on writing travel reviews..I have been writing reviews on tripadvisor for more than 5 years, and within the past few months I have created a page on shutterfly to showcase my reviews and pictures which is turning out very well.

    I especially liked your tip on writing a review with mass appeal. I actually got a light bulb moment from that. I don’t travel as much as I would like, but one thing I find most appealing are all inclusive resorts, whether it be in the caribbean, mexico etc..and your tip about covering a wide variety is a good point, because my husband and I do not confine ourselves to the resort as so many travelers do. We like to venture offsite and explore as well.

    Thanks again

    • Hi Louise – Thanks for the comment! I am thrilled that you had a “light bulb moment” on my advice to write a review with mass appeal. While you and your husband may enjoy all-inclusive resorts, your readers may also want to know some pointers on the destination itself and the surrounding area.

      Travel often and travel safely,

      Michele

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