I am sure most of us have or currently use Tripadvisor, but do you know how to search the reviews the right way? Let me teach you how to search for reviews on TripAdvisor to guarantee you’ve made the right choice!
Everyone knows searching for hotels in new areas can be VERY difficult. With this in mind let us all say a THANK YOU to the creators of TripAdvisor. I know this is nothing new to any of us, but you may not be using it the right way.
Look up your activities
Top on my list may sound silly but gets overlooked A LOT! When you are planning a big
trip and find a bunch of things to do in said city, look it up! You may find that they aren’t children friendly or it really isn’t what the advertisement alludes to be.
Find out what’s really happening at the hotel
I once found a hotel perfect for my family, I quickly scanned the most recent reviews (they date them in case you didn’t even notice). Within the span of 1 month ALL of the slides had been closed for maintenance. Every review said they were assured it would be open again soon, but still the slides were closed. I called them directly to ask about their slides and no one could confirm or deny the slides were closed. I took this customer service as a warning and chose another hotel for my family! Always make sure the reason you are picking a hotel is actually still available.
You can skip Kayak
Now this isn’t always the case, I am a firm believer in not taking a single website word without my own research. I have however found Tripadvisor to be very transparent and will let you know if they do not have the lowest price. This doesn’t mean book through them, take a look at my post on Hotel promo codes for a crash course to online booking.
Look at what your stay will REALLY look like
I spent many years in property management where things are beautifully staged and pictures are taken in THE perfect light. Honestly when I go online, the last thing I wanna see is a 2-star hotel with glossy “too perfect” pictures. It’s one of my greatest pet peeves! I LOVE this feature on Tripadvisor. It’s ok when the pictures don’t look all that awesome but it sets your expectations before the trip so you don’t open that door and want to walk right back out. Also check the square footage, there have been times where my sweet baby has slept in his pack n play in the bathroom since there is NO room for him anywhere else.
Genuine feedback from travelers just like you
Ok so I know this is the reason not everyone enjoys Tripadvisor. It is said that most reviews are bad because most satisfied customers just aren’t concerned with tracking a website down to sing their praises. This is were Tripadvisor really shines, they have made it so simple and easy to review things. They remind you via email and even have incentives for those who do lots of reviews. This being said I always stick in the middle. I typically don’t listen to reviews that have more then 3 terrible things happen on their trip, These people typically find the bad wherever they go and LOVE to share. So, narrow your search, whether you’re looking for a cheap hotel (Budget) or something your kids might enjoy (family-friendly) and then find reviews that are tailored to people in the same situation as you.
I find hunting for a hotel to be almost a “high”, its a thrilling experience and helps you get that much more excited for your impending trip. There is no greater sadness then opening your hotel door and immediately apologizing for what you thought you were getting. Has this ever happened to you? Let me know in the comments, we can commiserate together