Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Travel Tip Tuesday: The Importance of 'Trip Advisors'

A few years ago a travel agent friend of my mine – after reading one of my posts -- simply screeched, “How COULD you recommend people read TripAdvisor?!?!  That is nothing but people’s opinions!”

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Alderbrook Resort and Spa proudly displays its TripAdvisor rating 
No, I thought, it is travelers opinions – many of them so current they’ve been posted within days of their stay and our research.

With TripAdvisor, however, the key phrase is ADVISOR. We use the site to help us make a decision; it doesn’t make the decision for us.

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Hotel Electra Palace - Athens   The pool, our room and our balcony were stellar!

Take the Athen’s Hotel Electra Palace where we spent our last night in Greece, for example.  We booked it while on the road, just a few days before our arrival because of the great -- for a big city – rate of $204USD.

But we didn’t book until we’d checked maps to make sure of its location and TripAdvisor. (We found a 1,000+ reviews of which more than half were ‘excellent’ and another 300+ were ‘very good’.). And those contributing ‘Trip Advisors’ didn’t steer us wrong! We will definitely stay there again.

In the last few years we’ve noted not only a growing reliance by fellow travelers on the website, but a similar reliance by restaurants and guest accommodations on all user-review sites, such as TripAdvisor, Yelp, and Google Reviews

Have you seen the “Find us on TripAdvisor” or “If you liked (your stay, your meal) please write about your experience on TripAdvisor,” notices as you’ve traveled? Stickers on doors and windows, certificates on display?

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The growing importance of web sites was illustrated well at this restaurant in Heraklion, Crete.  While it was eye-catching and made us laugh. . .we didn’t eat there because we had another favorite place just down the street.
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Sfakia2Amster2013 260Another restaurant outside Plakias, on Crete’s southern coast, also boasted of its Trip Advisor recommendations, but we’d decided to eat there long before we noticed this sign.

(You can probably tell by the looks of this vegetarian meze plate why we chose to eat there!)

When planning a trip what resources to you use? Have a favorite 'go to' source you want to recommend? Tell us about it in the comments below.

7 comments:

  1. Jackie, the food of plate looks delicious and I'm glad you had a fanastic trip! That is great advise on TripAdvisor. Even the local traveling I do I will remember to do that :)

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  2. Glad you found the post helpful, Mike. That's what we hope happens on Travel Tip Tuesday!

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  3. Only occasionally do I use Trip Advisor. I don't like being harassed to write a review (which I have been lately) and in my experience there is usually something that needs to be improved upon no matter where I stay; if it's a small B&B I am always worried that they will take offence at a suggestion. I have been offered gifts to write a positive review so I take everything written with a grain of salt. Once I stayed in the #1 place in Palm Springs and although it was pleasant, it in my opinion wasn't #1 material but the people running the place were so good at getting people to write a report that they ended up in the #1 spot. I absolutely try to read between the lines.

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    1. Interesting that you've been offered gifts, we've never been offered any compensation for a review. We do write reviews for TripAdvisor, listing both the good and bad about the facility, the town and location - that's the kind of info we are looking for and figure that's the kind of info we should be offering as well. Reading between the lines is always important!

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  4. "I rely on Trip Advisor a great deal, and have always been pleased with the results. Glad you highlighted it." comes in an email from Mary in Washington State.

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    1. We do as well. As Leigh noted above, reading between the lines is important, but I do find the reviews helpful when deciding about a place to stay.

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  5. I try to average out the good and bad and come up with my own ideas about whether a place is worth a try, most of the time things are spot on...thanks for sharing

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So happy to see you took the time to comment. We read them all - and each is much appreciated. We hope you will be a regular here and comment often!

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