Guidebooks Writing

Making Photo Exposé of Hotel

Making Photo Exposé of Hotel
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Wednesday, March 28, 2007

How to make for me.

I have made a list of photos to take of a hotels, it is an annoying list of photos, and quite a bit of work.

I think though, if I took all these photos, I will have collected easily all the information about a hotel that I would need to explain briefly. More than what a guidebook gives, but really probably about the same as a guidebook collects, but cannot give because the price of paper is high to print a guidebook of 10,000 pages for every country.

COMMON AREAS
Collect printed advertising for Hotel
Common room with Television
Destinations
Reception desk or check in counter
Television in Common area to view

DIRECTIONS
Business Card Collected for Hotel
Landmark - Something large, like the bar name next door.
MAP - Travelers Nest
Map or graphics with directions to Hotel
Street Sign

FOOD
Bars
Kitchen free to be used by guest
Restaurant or Bar Attached to Hotel

LAUNDRY
Laundry Service and Prices

MONEY
Prices posted on wall for rooms
Receipt for payment of room for the night
Receipt for payment when they only write in the book and do not give a receipt

FRONT AND OUTSIDE OF HOTEL
All Signs on Hotel
Bums or Annoying people in the area
Down the road to right that includes the Hotel
Entrance to Hotel
GPS Coordinates take a photo of the GPS
Sign of Hotel name on front of building
The back that includes the Hotel
The complete Hotel from the front
Address on front of building or the whole building in one photo
Down the road to left that includes the Hotel

ROOMS
Bed
Best Value for a room in the Hotel
Door Locks
Examples of all Services
Fitted sheets
Heating and Cooling
Locks on doors
Mattress without the sheet
Pillow with the cover off
Toilets and showers

MANAGEMENT AND STAFF
Manager
Owner
Person that cleans my room

Photos Miscellaneous

I am working on the site,
http://www.hobohideout.com

I think I will have a few hotels I recommend, but keyed in on the manager and the price,, if they change, the recommendation ends.

What does expose mean?
Defined:
- declaration of facts: a formal and systematic statement giving facts about something

Yes, good, I used the word correct, then wanted to check if I was sure I used it correct.

It is not easy to collect information on hotel, it take a lot of time, and invariably something is forgot, this photo list is a checklist or tick list to make sure all information is recorded, notes are fallible.

Making Photo Exposé of Hotel





Hotel Guide Photo Standards

Hotel Guide Photo Standards
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Wednesday, April 4, 2007


Question, what is included with the room?

What a lot of work this is to collect the information and photos needed to make a great webpage about a Hotel. In the back of my mind, I am always thinking, how can I set up the standards needed if I was paying someone to collect this information.

The impossible problem to solve is the problem with the hotels. When a person goes to a Holiday Inn or Sheraton Hotel or Hilton Hotel or a big resort, I hope for standardization, I want globalization to take over my room. I do not care if 95 percent of the toilets in India are squat, I still want my western style toilet.

I want every room to come with a towel, soap, small towel for in front of the shower, toilet brush and many other selected accessories.

When in a Mom and Pop Hotel every room is unique, it is possible on room has a big couch, while the one next door for the same price, has nothing. Then you have the cleaning person that remember to put the bar of soap, and then cleaning person that never does anything good. I truly do not see any standardization on the planet enforced in the hotels under 100 rooms.

Hangers and closets, what a waste of space, the average closet has zero hangers, and two if they are great, why give me a closet or dresser with no hangers to utilize.

However, in a hope… of collecting the basic idea, I have thought of this strategy today. While I was taking photos of another idea it popped into my mind.

PHOTO
PHOTO

This is a photos of all the miscellaneous smaller items in my room in one photos. I have added this to my master list of photos to take to show an accommodation.
http://www.hobotraveler.com/2007/03/making-photo-expos-of-hotel.html

Aagh, I spelled expose wrong, I really should back in a perfect world and add to this page.

Nonetheless, to make standards for little Hobo blogger is the idea, to supplement their incomes by taking photos. I need to give easy to follow standards or guides on what photos to take.

This is quite easy, take all the small stuff, put in a pile. The truth though is this, I know the next room over does not have the same list. Sadly the hotels of the planet work on this system, come and ask, and I will give it, but if you do not ask, it is not included. I gave up a long time ago asking for towels. I do ask for toilet paper sometimes, just because I am cheap. Soap, I carry my bar, I am never short on soap as there is always a couple of extras in my bag from the hotel where I did not use, and I packed it away.

I laugh in the Philippines, they always give me a an extra toothbrush and toothpaste, I think they assume some babe is always coming over and they need to brush their teeth. The system is designed in the Philippines for night visitors. He in Togo, what is it designed for, I suppose lying around and them having beer to bring to the room.

Note, here is a funny, do you really want to look under a bed anywhere in the world? I truly think, the only solution is to not have an under the bed or under the mattress. I get nervous in an hotel when I look under the mattress, or bed, I am thinking, maybe I will want to move out of the hotel if I really know.

Hotel Guide Photo Standards





Brave Travel Writers Write Real Budgets

Brave Travel Writers Write Real Budgets
Lome, Togo West Africa
Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I do not like to read about travel, I become too annoyed as the travel writers avoid or do not know the real budget costs of travel.

I will admit, I have never tried to tackle the job of explaining global travel budgets. I write about specific costs, I do not go global; I stay in the specifics and have not tried to explain how to travel the world in one areas of the site. I feel I maybe think I need to travel to the Stan Brothers, Russia, Australia, Japan, Korea and parts of the Middle east before I can say, I know, or am close to knowing the planet.

The sad part is, let us be real, who has really traveled the whole planet, there are not many who have traveled on a backpacker budget, some who traveled on a Business Budget know the most places, not the cultures. However, off the top of my head, I know only one couple who I would say, comes close to knowing he world.
http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/forwood/country.shtml

Why does a travel writer need to be brave to write about real budgets?

Easy, if you say or recommend Hotels for 500 US dollars per night, you just excluded about 95 percent of your readers. The same is when I talk about finding a room for 4 dollars; I have just annoyed about 95 percent of the click, browse, and click away readers. Say any specific dollar amount and some reader is annoyed and stops reading.

Recommend anything cheap and people complain, they want a Five Star Hotel on a minus One Star budget, geez grow up.

Why am I annoyed with travel writers, they normally only take the fantasy writing route. The fine dining restaurant, dream what I would do if I was rich and famous, Princess Diana, become a King fantasy adventure too safe to be an adventure trips. And a reader has to be brave to say a Five Star Hotel is bad.

I am laughing to myself; do you know why there are not very few travel writers in West Africa? It is because they cannot afford to travel here. Price an air ticket to Lome, Togo from your home round-trip and see if you do not get a little weak in the knees.

99 percent of Travel Writers make 1 percent of the money and 1 percent make 99 percent of the money. It is the rich who get richer and the poor get poorer scenario in as a nut you eat.

Annoyed readers is not a way to sell Books, Magazines, Newspapers, Expensive Tours, Hotels and Airplane Tickets.

I annoy more readers by talking about a 5 dollar room, then I talking about a 50 dollar room, I would annoy even less at 100 and start to annoy more at the 200 level and again to start really annoy if I say good valued rooms for 5000 per night.

Explaining how to cook rice with an alcohol cooker, buying bananas, how to cut up a pineapple in your room, or how I got sick eating does not make prime time travel readers happy.

If I talked about drinking wine on the French Riviera or having dinner in a with the USA Embassy workers in Togo French Restaurant, complete with wine testing, and clean table clothes, this would entice the fantasy travel reader more.

How could I write about real travel budgets? I first have to define the budget of my readers, and then write for them.
(I really thought first the words stereotypical tourist.)

I feel most wanna be travel writers dream about writing in one of these price ranges, and wanna be famous with some of these example of travel market stereotypes.

National Geographic Traveler Magazine Online

Rick Steves' Europe

Conde Nast Traveler on Concierge.com

New York Times Travel T Magazine

American Express

Journeywoman Travel magazine for women

Frommer-s Budget Travel Guides

Visa Everywhere You Want to Be

BRITISH
Thomas Cook

GERMAN
Geo Magazine

These groups are all focused on very specific markets, they are trying to appeal and write to a group with X amount of money, with this X amount of education and has this much time vacation and spend X amount of money per trip.

To write about a global real budget, I then make some general broad comment or copy that somehow appeals to each of ten price levels for real budgets, and then explain how to live within their budgets.

I would the need to explain all ten budgets to adequately explain how much it cost to travel the whole planet. Ergo, think, 10, this is why these magazines only try to manage one to three budget levels and normally where they can make the most money from the most people, it is about money, not about travel.

Learn a budget, ask a Business Traveler, and he will tell you,
- The company gives me this much per diem and I have this much money for room, they require that I normally stay in this Hotel Chain and kiss this mans wife. I can travel with these airlines and they allow me to get the Frequent Flyer miles so I can get a bonus. -

The will tell you their budget, this is what the writer has to keep as the top and bottom of their writing budget, they write about things to do inside this price range… hehehe If this was the groups you wanted to focus on, I would recommend you learn the per diem allowance for hotels for various cities of the planet as dictated by the US Internal Revenue, and have a laugh when you read about Lome, Togo.

I am a stereotype, however, the truth is, I fit in all the above categories better than I do in the one normally write about and truthfully everyone fits into all and none at the same time.

I be Hobo, who cares, I can do what I do, and be anything I wanna be, today, tomorrow or yesterday, because nobody pays attention to a tramp.

Which stereotype do you wish to be today? or maybe go Hobo...

Brave Travel Writers Write Real Budgets




African Guidebooks

African Guidebooks
Bobo Dioulasso or Bobo, Burkina Faso, West Africa
Monday, September 17, 2007

I have listened to enough people traveling in West Africa to know there is guidebook confusion, 99 percent of the people came to volunteer in a country, then decided to go visit neighboring country. Semi, saying, I will never come back, so I am going next door to look, just to see if I should come back, before I make the final decision.

I have listened to people explain why they did not buy the West African version of Lonely Planet or Rough Guides or whatever else is on the market. I have listened to a few explain why they purchased one of the Bradt Guides to one country, then NEED to borrow my Rough Guide to West Africa.
http://www.bradt-travelguides.com

Most say the book the West African versions are too big to carry, so they refuse to be informed to go to some of the most dangerous countries on the planet, which does not make sense.

There is some mysterious guidebook vacuum here, I have now used the Lonely Planet and the Rough Guides, the Rough Guides is making a serious attempt, and I feel Lonely Planet is putting books on the shelf to capture their loyal readers like me, who started with Lonely Planet and are too lazy to learn another guidebook. A good way to make money, not the best person to write a guidebook.

I think about writing a guidebook, however, my reasons are wrong, I do not love any country enough to devote the time needed to one country. I would write a guidebook to make money; this is not a good reason. However, being I continually read guidebooks, and continually muse on this annoying thought in my head, I keep searching for a reason to write a guidebook, I think I am bored, maybe feel a project is needed. It much easier to criticize guidebooks than to write one.

Africa takes last place for places Backpacker want to go and this is probably the last place anyone should go, not the first.

I am slowly convincing myself that Africa is easy to travel, the people in spurts can be more annoying than India, after I think about it, most of Africa is flat, this makes Bus travel easy, it is too expensive, and that makes the average backpacker want to not stay long. French is the big obstacle, however 50/50 on French and Spanish, there has to be just as many people who want to learn French as Spanish in Schools, people go to South America in swarms.

I know people are afraid of Africa, and like I said, this should be the last place on your list to come, not the first. However, most people who come here have never traveled farther than the Church or their University.

I think I am thinking about Craig of Travelvice.com.
http://www.travelvice.com

I talk, write, ask push and shove, and this person just doe not want to come to West Africa. I have offered free places to stay, even more or less said I would give him some money if he helps make some pages.

I have tried with Mark of the site
http://www.itinerantwitness.com

Hmmm Wade? He is presently in Morocco I think.
http://canciondelvagabundo.googlepages.com/

I do not know Wade, I have met Craig and Mark, Wade as I wade around in my thoughts is more of a long-term traveler. Mark is back at home in the USA, and does not seem to have an exit strategy. Craig just got some girl pregnant from Peru and is going to Peru; I need to keep my mouth closed on this, as it is his choice of lives, not mine.

Wade, what is he up too?

I guess I think I need partners in Crime, I think writing a guide needs balance and one person just is too skewed, it is very easy to not like a country, and there is no clear reason, just something about the country is annoying.

Money, money, and more money, how to buy time, this is the problem with a guidebook.

There is this guidebook by Lonely Planet I saw one time, a book more or less how to travel from England I think to Katmandu, Nepal I think by land. I have some ideas about this type of book and more or less think some people who are counting countries would buy a guidebook about Africa that would explain the cheapest way to go from Morocco to somewhere by land, I am not sure where, Nigeria is a problem.

I have not met anyone who wants to travel across Africa, however, I think the people who are counting countries or the ones bored with the easy stuff like Southeast Asia or South America would want to do a cross Africa trip. I have not met anybody who wanted to go and stay a couple of months in one country as a tourist, the Volunteers are a Romanized, sanitized, idealist never never land then need spanked and sent home, the NGO need shot, or tortured and shot, not people I will associate with in this life or the next.

What is that British saying, something about giving it a lick? There are people who would like to do a taste test of Africa, before they gave it a serious time investment. I am trying to calculate the time needed to go on an India style trip of Africa, just the main spots and out the door, and the jumps people make in India are amazingly long distances.

There is so little to see in Africa it is also annoying, I love ethnic cultures, therefore I love to see the cultural distinctions, the sudden change in languages and how they look. This is not normal, to make a list of why to come to Burkina Faso is a problem. What should you go and see in Togo, I do not know, nothing pops out as a good reason to go to Togo. Ghana has some great Castles, and Cape Coast is for sure a good place to visit, I think the Village of Yeji is special.

This is the reason why a taste of each Africa country, the persons counting countries can add a lot to their list, I think a person could travel the majority of West Africa easily in two months and strangely see the majority of tourist attractions.

I do not know, there is nobody I know wanting to come to Africa, I do not get reader saying, I am coming to Africa, ok, one couple, but this is not normal. If I go to Thailand, I get many, and if I go to Europe, the numbers of people who KNOW… hehehe are bothersome, however to blog about Africa is annoying to most readers. The ones that think Africa needs help are abundant, but this is also crazy, I think Africa is doing very well, they just need a kick in the butt and the world need stop helping or giving them money, making welfare babies does not help them.

A Taste of Africa…

I am thinking of turning the speed up, and taking some just the cream off the top taste of Mali, Guinea, etc up to Morocco in a quick sprint. Morocco is not my favorite country, so more or less in the way, and obstacle.

I always want a guidebook to be fatter, more, now I am saying less, smaller, strange how I must never hold to one consistent way of thinking or it causes problems. I must continually adapt, and change, to say something, and then do it the say as I say is foolish.

How far am I from Morocco? The Kilometers is not important, it is the bus time that counts, the on the seat time. I am going to the one long-distance bus station today, see what my options are.
African Guidebooks





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