Since summer is in full swing, and everyone is gearing up for their big trips, I wanted to share our five tips for using TripAdvisor when planning each new destination.
When booking hotels, we always start with TripAdvisor. Then we cross-reference TripAdvisor reviews with Booking.com. This way we get two perspectives and maximize our chances of booking well. Also it is easy to use booking.com to reserve the rooms, so always nice to already have your needed tab open!
Bonus Tip: Booking.com works especially well as a complement to TripAdvisor because it distills ratings down to the category level (i.e you can see how other guests have rated the property, the property’s wi-fi and cleanliness and location). I pay particular attention to wi-fi, no surprises there.
At times, some of the top tour companies can be more pricey. Unfortunately, that inverse relationship of price and quality usually holds true when traveling but we have also been lucky enough to find some gems.
When using TripAdvisor, we spend time reading the comments. This can be time consuming, but it also allows us to move past the top tours and potentially find a quality tour with a fair price. When reading the comments, this is what we look for:
-Small tours with a maximum amount of people
-Timing is important when visiting sites, so comments mentioning that the tour began an hour before the crowds is always a win!
-Does the tour take you to local places?
-Is breakfast or lunch provided?
-If photos are taken, what is the cost?
“Near Me Now” – The “Near Me Now” function only works when you have a data plan or can use wifi. However, it has been most helpful after days of long travel, when your eating schedule has been disrupted by airports, planes and traffic. We has used it most after checking into our hotel, and wanting to go somewhere quick before hitting a level of hangry that you cannot return from.
4. Sign into TripAdvisor with your Facebook account to see friend’s reviews:
TripAdvisor has finally shown me the light for signing into a site with your Facebook account. When you sign into TripAdvisor with your Facebook account, TripAdvisor will show you if a Facebook friend (and friends of friends) has left a review on something you are interested. I find that this feature gives an added touch of authenticity and further creates a level of trust when using TripAdvisor.
5. Off Line Download:
Prior to arriving in any city, always download the TripAdvisor mobile version to you phone. That way, when you are offline, you still have access to all the information TripAdvisor has to offer. The only functionality that does not work offline is the “Near By Now” function mentioned above.
These five tips for using TripAdvisor are not where the benefits end when using this amazing travel resource, but have solidly become our go to process when booking each new destination.
We are currently in Vietnam, follow along on Instagram here!