I apologize for my absence from the blog world, but holidays with the family and some other very essential post-travel tasks have been occupying my time. By essential post-travel tasks I mean things like writing TripAdvisor reviews and sorting photos, not unpacking or doing laundry because those two things certainly haven’t happened yet!
Why do I put writing reviews on TripAdvisor ahead of normal things like laundry? Because without TripAdvisor reviews our trip would probably have sucked a lot more times than it did. We almost certainly would have stayed in more bug infested, smoky hotel rooms, while most likely missing out on some awesome attractions. For all the helpful information I got from the TripAdvisor community, I feel compelled to return the favor by sharing my photos and reviews. It’s certainly tedious and time consuming after such a lengthy trip, but if my photos or reviews can help a fellow traveler, then it was worth my time (plus I’m still unemployed so it’s not like I have significantly better things to do with my time, aside from maybe laundry).
The last time I did lengthy international travel was in the pre-smartphone era when I couldn’t simply check reviews and photos before making decisions. On our most recent trip though, I found myself consulting TripAdvisor before booking any hotel, as well as using it to find the top attractions and nearby restaurants wherever we went. Establishments around the world are now proudly displaying their Certificate of Excellence from the website and asking you to go online and review your stay. I’ve tried other websites for reviews, but none have anywhere near the volume of information that TripAdvisor has. There’s a few other reasons I love it that might help you make the most of it:
1. You can sort reviews by rating or date. I always check the most recent reviews because places can change over time, but I also like to look at the 1-star reviews. Why? I like to know what people were unhappy about and ask myself if it would bother me. Sand in a beachfront bungalow, fine. Malarial mosquito swarms, not fine.
2. User information helps you assess reviews. Does the user only have 1 review? I don’t even bother reading it. They may be tied to the company or a competitor and be trying to artificially affect the overall rating. I also noticed that many Europeans were dissatisfied with budget hotels in Asia that Americans, Asians and Aussies thought were fine. Apparently some Europeans have different standards than I do, and I won’t hold that against a hotel.
3. Honest user photos. Hotels, attractions and restaurants all have great photos on their own websites, but TripAdvisor has unedited user photos. No special lighting, no retouching of photos. You can get a good idea of what you’re getting yourself into before you go somewhere.
30 hotel reviews done so far this week, I don’t even want to know how many left to do!!!!
You can check out my reviews and photos on TripAdvisor