Cool Travel Guide’s Posting Policy

While the vast majority of comments I get on Cool Travel Guide are wonderful and warmly welcomed, I’ve received a few comments over the last year that have caused me to reflect upon what Cool Travel Guide is all about and what I’m prepared to post and what I’m not and to come up with a posting policy. Here it is: while I welcome comments in response to posts I’ve published on Cool Travel Guide and other comments that might be slightly off-topic but touch on subjects this blog covers (see this post ‘What is Cool Travel Guide?’ to find out what those are), there are some comments that I won’t post and won’t address and they are:
1) spam, including friendly on-topic comments across multiple posts where it’s obvious you’re just leaving comments to try to sell your timeshare apartments or cheap flights. The only exception is where I know you and you are writing from a business address, but even then if you’re spamming, I’m sorry I won’t post your comments.
2) comments that are abusive, defamatory and obscene. If you have a problem with me or something I’ve written, then email me directly. But unless you identify yourself and write in a reasoned, calm and considered manner, don’t expect me to answer. Life is too short and I don’t have time to write to my friends, so don’t think I’m going to waste my precious time answering abusive emails.
3) persistent off-topic comments, especially those across multiple posts that verge on stalking. If your comments are off-topic *and* anonymous, then there is no way I’m going to post them. Again, if there’s something you want to discuss then email me directly and identify yourself. Bear in mind I’m not going to respond to people who accuse me of being an apologist for Dubai, for example, nor am I going to get into discussions about things like the human rights of construction workers there. This doesn’t meant I don’t care, it just means I don’t care to discuss the subject with you on Cool Travel Guide.
4) comments that relate to content I’ve written for other publishers that has nothing to do with Cool Travel Guide content. For example, an anonymous person recently left an angry comment in relation to a review I wrote on a hotel for a Lonely Planet guidebook because their experience differed remarkably to my own. If you have a bad experience at a hotel, my advice is to complain to the hotel manager during your stay. There’s nothing they can do about a noisy hotel room after you leave or if you leave an anonymous comment on Cool Travel Guide. If you’ve maintained your anonymity, I can’t even follow it up with the hotel manager to find out what happened. Complain to the manager at the time of your stay and they can probably move you to another room or help find you alternate accommodation. If I didn’t mention the noise in my review, then I obviously didn’t experience it myself, but don’t question and criticize my reviewing skills nor expect that I’ll upload an anonymous comment that does so. Note that I have not written for Lonely Planet in years, so complaining to me isn’t going to change the review in the next edition of their guidebook. Have a problem with a review? Write to the publishers.

HOW YOU CAN EMAIL ME: click on VIEW MY COMPLETE PROFILE under ABOUT ME (right column) and click on ’email’ under Contact, however, I can’t reiterate enough: don’t expect a response unless you identify yourself honestly and provide real contact details.


About the Author:

Lara Dunston is a Cambodia based Travel & Food Writer and has regular gigs with: The Guardian, CNN, Australian Gourmet Traveller, Feast, Delicious, The Independent, Telegraph, National Geographic Traveler / Traveller, Get Lost, Wanderlust, Travel+Leisure SEA, DestinAsian, AFAR. Read more here.


  1. Lola December 14, 2009 at 8:05 AM - Reply

    Great that you've laid this out Lara!

    For those anonymous or offensive commenters, flat-out ignoring them works best. Not worth it at all.

    I also had a similar issue with #4 where someone tracked down my email address because of a piece I wrote for Hemispheres and wrote a lengthy borderline sarcastic email. My reply was courteous of course.

    Keep doing what you're doing. No one is owed an explanation.


  2. Holiday Accommodation UK December 16, 2009 at 5:57 PM - Reply

    nice blogging .like ur view thanks for sharing with us.

  3. Alexander Santillanes December 23, 2009 at 10:33 AM - Reply

    One every three months or so I get a comment from someone taking major issue with my name, 'Primitive Culture.' I can at heart sympathize– I think it's important to speak out against prejudice, and were someone to actually label another culture as 'primitive', they would deserve to be called out for it. But the people who leave these comments on my blog never actually take the trouble of reading any of my entries, or looking at what I'm doing– to see that I'm using the term with irony, and that I don't generally stomp around the world labeling other cultures as primitive. Of course, these comments are always anonymous, so I can never direct a response to the person to say any of this. -X

  4. Anonymous January 19, 2010 at 12:39 PM - Reply

    I would like too take time too Thank all the people for doing what you do and making the community what it is im a long time reader and first time poster so i just wanted to say thanks.

  5. Anonymous February 19, 2010 at 12:52 PM - Reply

    Hey all of you!

    I just wanted to to say hello to all of you. I am hoping that that we all will have great conversations together!

    So Hi!


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