Now that our next travel adventure (Thailand and a quick stop in China!) is imminent, it is hard to think about much else! Therefore, I couldn't help but do Travel Tuesday today (and don't be surprised if I do it next week too).
Today I want to profess my love for TripAdvisor. If you've followed any of my other travel posts, you know that I couldn't possibly plan a trip without it.
I love TripAdvisor for a few reasons. One, I have never been steered wrong with it. Not for hotels, not for attractions, not for restaurants, and not for advice in the forum posts. I have even used it to learn how to navigate the very complicated (and sometimes tear-your-hair-out frustrating) Renfe train booking process for our trip to Spain (click here for more on that). I have even discovered local restaurants this way that were some of the best on our trip (like Deva restaurant in Cusco, which our hotel hadn't even heard of, but I learned about from TripAdvisor reviews... more here). I have found several hotels that may not have the most expensive marketing budgets, or weren't the biggest tourist names, and would otherwise not have found if it weren't for their reviews on TripAdvisor (a few shining examples are Hotel U232 in Barcelona and Hotel Torre Dorada in Cusco). Why is this? It's because TripAdvisor ratings are based on real reviews from real people. It really helps the DIY travel planner like me sort out the truth while making decisions to stay somewhere half a world away. It is about much more than fancy marketing, and instead about authenticity and customer service.
Another reason I love TripAdvisor is how it connects us, and makes the world feel a little smaller. You can access "word of mouth" from people all over the world through both the reviews and the forums. You can find out "the real deal" so to speak when planning the various components of your trip. I was even able to find my own confidence to participate in the encierro (running of the bulls) during San Fermin as a female, when I couldn't find much other info online. I went into San Fermin feeling so much more prepared.
Because of how much I always get out of it, I always feel compelled to pay it forward and add my own reviews. Click here to see my TripAdvisor profile and view any of my contributions.
Circled the part about what percentage of the world I have traveled, as that is not nearly enough. I need to continue working on that!
Now, go forth and travel!