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How to Use TripAdvisor to Plan a Perfect Trip

tripadvisor-4699345Planning a trip can be a time consuming and stressful situation. You need to determine where to go, how long to go, how to get there, where to stay, what to bring, what to do when you get there, where to eat and how to get home. Planning the trip can be so overwhelming that you may need a vacation to recover from your vacation.

That’s where TripAdvisor comes in. This website is dedicated to providing travelers with all the information needed to plan the perfect trip. Most travel sites only dedicate themselves to lodging and travel options, but TripAdvisor takes it further. The site provides information on hotels, flights, vacation rentals and restaurants, and it even allows other travelers to write reviews to help other travelers make decisions. The following information will help you learn how TripAdvisor can help you plan a trip.

Become a member.

Becoming a TripAdvisormember gives you access to more information and allows you to receive special perks. Though you can use the site without being a member, it is free to join, and the perks associated with membership are well worth it.

Decide where to go.

TripAdvisor contains information for hotels, flights, rentals and restaurants from all over the world, so you can use it to plan your trip no matter if you’re staying local or going across the globe.

On the homepage, they provide users with a link to the world’s bestdestinationfor 2012, which can help influence your decision on where to go if you have yet to decide.

Start planning.

Once you have a destination in mind, simply enter it into the search field and select if you want to search for hotels, flights, restaurants, vacation rentals or things to do. After you start your search, you will be transferred to a results page that allows you to view an array of options depending on what you’re searching.

If you searched for hotels, you will be given a list of available hotels, bed and breakfasts, and vacation rentals in the area. You will also be shown the number of restaurants and things to do in the area, and you have the option to click on these links for more information.

Next to the specific names of hotels/restaurants/things to do lists, you will be able to see how the specific place was rated as well as see how many reviews it has. When a search was done on hotels in Las Vegas, Nevada, the top-rated list appears, and you can click on the names of the hotels for more information. When you click on a specific establishment, you will be brought to a page that details photos, reviews, a map of places nearby and ratings. You can also enter in the dates of your vacation to find pricing.

After you have found the hotel (or rental or B&B) you want to stay at, you can move on to find flights. You can select your departure, say how many people are flying, select your preferred hours of travel and determine if you want economy, business class or first class. You can also specify if you want non stop flights, and you can opt to compare pricing among AmericanAirlines, BookingBuddy and Hotwire. You can even ask for an email alert if the prices drop.

To find out where to eat, use the Restaurants tab and choose which type of cuisine you want, which neighborhood you want to be in, what dining option you prefer (buffet, delivery, bar, etc.) and what price range you want to be in. Once you have made your selections, TripAdvisor will generate a list that matches your criteria. You can read basic information about the results, or you can click on the name of the establishment for more information and reviews.

To find things to do, use the Things to Do tab to be prompted to a list of attractions, tours, nightlife and shopping information. All of the results will be based on those recommended by other travelers. Not only will you have a description from the company itself, but you’ll also find out where it’s located as well as read reviews from other travelers.

TripAdvisor can easily help you plan the perfect vacation because it contains a large variety of information from all around the world. Since every result contains reviews from other travelers, it will help you determine if a place you wanted to stay at/eat at/visit is worth it, and it can keep you from being disappointed when you arrive.

Henry Collins is a small business owner who works as a freelance writer when he has time.  He often gives advice to other small business owners about review monitoring tactics.

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