Five tips for using TripAdvisor


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.

1. Hotels:
five tips for using tripadvisor

When booking hotels, we always start with TripAdvisor. Then we cross-reference TripAdvisor reviews with This way we get two perspectives and maximize our chances of booking well. Also it is easy to use to reserve the rooms, so always nice to already have your needed tab open!

Bonus Tip: 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.

2. Activities:

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?

3. Restaurants:

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!

LocationLOCATION: Ko Phi Phi

    • Yes! Absolutely get the app and download the cities you will be visiting! It has been such a lifesaver and really helpful!

  1. Great tips! I totally agree, TA is brilliant. The one time we didn’t use it to check, we got majorly burnt and ended up at an awful hotel! I didn’t realise how much info there is on there about tours, v useful!
    Bobbyanne xxxx

    • Thank you Bobbyanne! It is so true that the few times I have not used TripAdvisor, I have also been burnt! So at least know, you are not alone!

  2. Great post. I’ve not used Tripvisor in a long time, but perhaps I will check it out again. There are so many apps these days, and since I do most travel for work I just use 3 or four apps for that. I do like as well. <3/Madison
    Vivid Impressions

    • Hi Madison :)

      Which apps do you use for work travel? I am always in the market for a new travel app and would love the advice!

  3. I really love Tripadivsor and used it when we booked our trip to NYC last summer. I did not know they had a ‘Near Me Now’ feature! That would be perfect when trying to find a last minute place to eat. I’ll have to remember that for our next trip.


    • Hi Carrie!

      The “Near Me Now” feature is the best feature for the mobile version! I cannot speak more highly of it…especially when it saves us from getting super hangry and mean to each other!

  4. I tend to use TripAdvisor for mainly hotels, however on a couple of occasions I’ve double-chekced restaurants as well. At times, I find it quite funny how little attention some companies pay to TripAdvisor (admittedly, they’re in the minority), when it’s the first port of call for many visitors – myself included! If a hotel receives disastrous reviews on the website, to put it simply.. I don’t stay there! :) Great post Chelsea!

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice


  5. I haven’t used it in forever, but I love TripAdvisor. I certainly think downloading the app is a good thing. I used to travel more and I didn’t have a smartphone yet, so it would be a different ballgame now.
    I love the idea of using as a complement.

    • Hi Tamara! It is funny thinking back to life pre-smart phone isnt it? I did not have a smart phone my first 9 months of living in San Francisco, and it required so much planning and foresight to leave the house! It was a nice upgrade getting a smart phone.

  6. Great tips! I use Trip Advisor all the time for restaurants and hotels but I’ve never used it for activities – I must check it out :) It is such a great idea to cross-reference Trip Advisor reviews with reviews! Thanks for sharing these amazing tips :)

    • Hi Jasmin! It is definitely a satisfying experience to have contributed to the site and do download the offline version! I have found it extremely helpful.

    • Hi Lala! Thank you for your kind words! Yes the photos are mine. My boyfriend, Ryan and I take the pictures using a Canon 6D and then make minor edits in photoshop.

      Thank you for reading :)


    • Hi Amfiba!

      How exciting you are traveling to South Korea soon! I have never been so I look forward to seeing photos from your trip!

      Ryan and I use a Canon 6D camera and then use photoshop to do minor editing, usually to just brighten up the photos.

      Have fun planning for South Korea!

  7. Great tips! I love the idea of getting the mix of opinions on hotels. TripAdvisor can be great but I’m always aware that not everyone is looking for the same things, so what one person loves about a place someone else may hate, for example. Your idea gets around that problem neatly! x

    Kate Louise Blogs

    • Hi Kate!

      Thank you for your thoughtful comment! I agree that everyone has different points of emphasis when using review sites..I recently came across an article that basically made up a fake restaurant, and fake reviewed it 10 times, until it became a top restaurant. Seeing stories like this is such a bummer, because as a traveler I rely on review sites and the honest opinion of the reviews. So ultimately, it just means you must read the reviews and read a few before you book :) I guess my point in sharing that story was that I completely agree with your comment!


  8. Wow, thanks for the tips! I have never tried Trip Advisor but currently planning a trip so will do! :) And thanks for the mention of signing in via facebook, I never do that either but would do so if I can see reviews from people I know and trust. Have fun in Vietnam!

  9. I also visit Tripadvisor before summer for bookings and ideas. :)

    Looking forward to see more of your posts. Do you have an instagram account? Maybe we could follow each other. Let me know by leaving a comment on my blog or sending me a request. I’ll follow back :) Thanks!

    IG: @shairangelique

    Have a nice day! :)


  10. Great tips on using as well as Trip Advisor, I never would have thought of that!
    I spend a lot of time reading the comments from others when it comes to activities too, as I like to know what kind of people like it vs. those who don’t!

  11. Great post and great blog! You’ve got a new follower! I love trip advisor and just read something about people being paid to leave positive reviews! THE NERVE!!

  12. Such brilliant tips! Looking at both and Tripadvisor is definitely a good idea as the last hotel I stayed in had wonderful reviews on Tripadvisor but wasn’t up to scratch. Definitely if I had looked at I would have got a better idea and chosen somewhere else.

    Emily x

  13. 100% agreed with this ! I always look at Tripadvisor reviews before I approach anywhere especially when it comes to Travel and hotels.
    The great thing about Tripadvistor is that the majority of reviews tend to be very truthful, and therefore a very reliable website to judge what a place is like.
    I have admittedly changed a hotel booking after seeing bad reviews listed and changed to an alternative place with wonderful reviews.
    Another tip is to look at the bad reviews too and really see what it is people are complaining about, sometimes they may be very small things that may not matter that much, however some complaints are certainly worth reading as it could be a make or break of a trip.
    I saw a review recently on a hotel we almost went with, but it didn’t have air con!!! Straight away I turned off to find another which did.
    Great post :)

    • Hi Laura!

      Thank you for the thoughtful comment. I am so with you when it comes to reading the reviews and the importance of reading the negative reviews. I recently stayed in a hotel that had just as many poor reviews as well as good reviews. But when I read the poor reviews, I noticed that were all for a few years ago. Then all the new reviews were recent and after the hotel was bought by new ownership. SO we stayed there and it was great :)

      Also so happy you avoided the bad hotel with no air con!

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