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Quick Trips guidelines for writers

Quick Trips are stories about destinations that can be visited from South Florida in a couple of days. These stories should evoke ambiance and a sense of why someone would go there. They also should also be extremely useful, with specific recommendations for lodgings, activities and dining. Quick Trips can be oriented toward a certain audience: the family guide to Key West versus the couples guide to Key West, etc., or be general.

Here are the details:

  • Length: 25-30 inches (750-900 words), plus if-you-go box.
  • Trip Planner: This box should help readers to quickly figure out if this trip is for them. It should include the following information:
    • Best for: Who is this trip best for? History lovers? Nature lovers? Families? Couples? Gay couples?

    Also good for: Secondary groups

    Cost for a two-night visit in (qualify the type) of accommodations. Think typical accommodations here; if this is a place known for its historic accommodations, price it for the historic accommodations. Include what someone might reasonably spend on meals, etc. Again, think type: We might say that a budget weekend in this place costs $250 for two people; weekend in historic accommodations with visits to fine restaurants costs $600.

    Getting there: Drive time, or fly time, from South Florida. If flying is involved, tell us who goes there ("several major airlines' will do fine if that is the case, but don’t forget discount airlines such as Air Tran, Southwest, JetBlue, Spirit.)

    Information: Contact info for the destination; be sure to include Web address.

    Lodging recommendations: All Quick Trips must include a box with recommendations for lodgings that the writer has actually visited. 3-5 lodgings should be included; they should include budget, moderate and luxury options. Brief descriptions of the hotels, address, phone, website, plus rates.

    Dining recommendations: 3-5 restaurants, preferably a range of prices. Again, brief descriptions plus address, phone, website if they have one, cost (either the price of an average dinner for one, without alcohol, or the price range of entrees).

    These items are optional for the box:

      Highlights: Just list the things someone shouldn't miss; include more detail on them in your story. Maybe contact info for a museum, marina with boat rides, etc.

      Special events: Any major festivals, with dates; website for info, if there is one.