Trip Advisor is a user review site of hotels, flights, vacations, restaurants, attractions and activities from cities around the globe. Millions of users worldwide create free accounts, log in, and review anything and everything. Imagine your talking to your buddy about how he liked a certain restaurant/hotel…but your buddy is everyone on the internet…and the restaurant/hotel is every non-chain restaurant/hotel on earth and you basically get what Trip Advisor is.
Pros: It’s a huge resource with millions of different reviews on everything related to travel. It’s has a user friendly website that lets you search for a specific thing or generally by city area, price,.. etc. It’s a great way to get the nitty gritty of places to see if there are any issues with them, or just locate something new and interesting. They’ve added a nice price searching feature that once you find a specific flight/hotel/whatever it will list available prices from different booking sites. Users can post personal photos so you can see if that hotel is infested with mold or roaches. Trip Advisor also has a handy app that lets smartphone/tablet users take advantage of GPS to locate reviews of places around you.
Cons: There can be hundreds of reviews of a certain place….and despite the reviews you may still like it. Everybody has their opinion and everyone has their tastes which means that no place will every be fully rated five stars unless it was just posted and has a low number of reviews. There is also no screening of people signing up for the site…which is wonderful…,but it also means that competing businesses can sign up and post negative reviews that aren’t real.
One piece of advice: follow the crowd, not the individual in the reviews. There is a bad apple for every review or a competing business trying to steal market share, so if the majority says Yes! go for it.
Overall: Hell yes. I don’t use this for everyplace I want to eat or stay because I like a little spontaneity, but its definitely a valuable resource. The site and app are versatile and I’ve used it from Europe to South America to find some pretty amazing stuff.