The Art of Guestbooking

How often do you fill out the guestbook when you stay somewhere away from home?

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Many people may shy away from filling out the guestbook simply because they aren’t sure what to write. If you clam up when it comes to words, at least jotting down where you came from and what brought you to your current location will be appreciated by the guestbook owner!

As writers (and generally goofy people) we have a lot of fun taking our guestbook entries one step further. For example, instead of saying “the goats were cute, but the bugs sucked” in this entry from our stay at Horseshoe Canyon Ranch, we opened with, “We were much pleased with the use of goats in your meadow; the use of bugs, however, left something to be desired. (With the exception of the Lunar Moth package we received.)”

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Even in the face of occasionally crummy circumstances, we always make light of it in the guestbook! (Serious concerns and issues can be addressed later to the owners directly. You can often email or call the same place you made your booking through to inform them. Remember, everyone who stays in that room or cabin later can read your entry.)

The cabin we called home while in Mena, Arkansas, was phenomenal. We were all alone on the top of a mountain and had a full 2+ story wall of glass windows that let us enjoy the view to the fullest. Bugs, however, were not our friend on that trip. Rather than complaining (we did choose to stay in nature again, after all), we simply declared Night #2 “The Great Ant Invasion” and (full) Day #2 “The Great Wasp Encounter”. These were clearly part of our experience on vacation, but the choice of how we described them was on us. (We did later inform the owner of the ant invasion because that instance was rather absurd.)

The key to fun-to-read guestbook entries is keeping a positive attitude, even over the absurdities you might encounter. Such as the portion of our entry from Mena that reads “The strange measuring spoon configuration also made baking an adventure in arithmetic. The refresher in our college math skills was appreciated.” <– The measurements didn’t make sense in metric OR imperial systems!

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Whatever you write, don’t be afraid to be yourself. We weren’t afraid to tell the guestbook owner of the cabin we chose in Broken Bow, Oklahoma, when they asked who we met, “No one. It was lovely.” We came to hide away from people and that’s exactly what we did! Couldn’t have been better.

If you’re unsure what to write, skim through the entries in the book before yours. Do you notice any trends in the ones you enjoy reading the most? Try to mimic their style, while being honest about your trip.

We’re writers. We love to get creative any chance we can get, and that includes our entries in the guestbooks from our vacations. Whether you are the type of person who only wants to jot down where you’re from and why you are where you are now, or whether you want to give it a go at being silly, keep an eye out for the guestbook on your next vacation!

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2 thoughts on “The Art of Guestbooking

  1. I love the guestbook! When we stayed in a condo in Maui last summer there was one that had gone back 6 years. It was wonderful to read and to add our own experience to it!

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