As a traveler, you have basically two expectations placed on you: enjoy the heck out of your trip, and share the story of your trip with others. The first one is easy – after all, that’s why you travel, right? The second one can be a bit challenging, but is so important, especially in today’s hyper-connected social culture. Odds are, when you were shopping for your flight, hotel, or things to do, you read reviews along the way. As such, when you get back from your trip, it’s a good idea to spend a bit of time posting a review of your own, to pay it forward and help future travelers know what to expect, questions to ask, or things to avoid.

This can be daunting if you’re not a writer by nature. Don’t worry – we’re here to help! Below are five tips to get you started.

  1. Be quick about it – a best practice is to take a small notebook to keep notes during your trip. This will help you remember small details, and can make your review more useful to future travelers. You can also use our Remember This Place feature to capture things during your trip, and include special details in the “notes” field. Many seasoned travelers use the plane ride home to review their notes and reflect back on their trip while it’s still fresh in their minds.
  2. One and done – nobody expects you to post a review of your hotel on every travel website out there. We recommend Gogobot as a great place to both contribute and discover. Most hotels, resorts, and travel agents will send you a reminder to do this after your trip – pick one and consider yourself done.
  3. Honesty is the best policy – your review doesn’t have to focus on just the positives, or just the negatives. In fact, it can be helpful to include both, as well as the reasoning behind it. Instead of simply stating that the food was terrible, try to explain why – was it overcooked, undercooked, or just bland? What exactly made the hotel so awesome?
  4. Be specific – including details such as the type of room you stayed in, the time of year, or the dish that you ordered makes your review much more helpful to future travelers.
  5. Include photos – it’s one thing to drool over the picturesque brochure-quality photos of a resort. It’s another thing entirely to be able to look at traveler-posted photos of the actual rooms. This is also much easier if you’ve already organized your travel photos.

Remember, reviews aren’t just a place to air your grievances – they’re also a great way for you to help future travelers enjoy their trip as much as you just enjoyed yours!