My husband and I recently traveled to Nashville, Tennessee for a business training event he needed to attend. We went a day early to have some extra time for sightseeing. I haven’t been to Music City in years, so I was unsure which hotels and restaurants in our price range would deliver a good experience.
In circumstances like these, I recommend TripAdvisor. This website features travelers’ reviews that help you determine which tourism-related businesses care about their customers. Review a few pages of comments on the hotels you’re considering, and look for trends in the reviews. If several customers say the hotel is noisy or its breakfast is great, factor those remarks into your lodging selection. A hotel that may have been great a year ago could have gone downhill since then, so pay close attention to the dates of the reviews. You can get reservation price quotes from hotel websites and multiple other sources directly from a TripAdvisor hotel review page like this one.
TripAdvisor’s resources don’t end with reviews of places to stay. You can also find comments on restaurants and tourist attractions such as museums, zoos and tours.
TripAdvisor users rate hotels, restaurants and attractions on a scale of one to five, with higher numbers reflecting more positive feedback. The website combines the scores to rank locations from the most to least popular for each city.
I’ve used TripAdvisor to plan numerous vacations and found it to be a reliable source of information. In 2011, my husband and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary in Maui, and I planned all of our travels. TripAdvisor led us to a great multi-story condo building in Lahaina right on the beach at an affordable price–I probably never would have found that spot on my own.
Occasionally, I do disagree with other customers’ ratings. While this happens most often with restaurant reviews, TripAdvisor did lead me to a bad motel in 2011. Reviews of an Iowa location called it “clean” and “a great place to stay,” but when we arrived, those adjectives did not apply. The place had gone way downhill in the several months since the reviews had been written. In my own review after our stay, I said, “It was like a bad ’70s bowling alley…scary!”
Be sure to add your own feedback to TripAdvisor after your vacation. This helps keep information current and scores more accurate. You may also want to rank restaurants and attractions in the town where you live.
Are you a TripAdvisor user? If not, what’s your go-to source for trip-planning information?