TripAdvisor is a great tool to finding hints and tips about your travels but a lot of people don’t use it to its full potential. Today I’m going to teach you some easy ways to explore more and find hidden, to the untrained eye helpful information. Learn all about finding things to do off the beaten track, asking questions and getting answers from people who have actually been or experienced what you are looking at, how to find Travel forums, restaurant recommendations and even book tours and flights directly through TripAdvisor.
Most people have at least looked on TripAdvisor for restaurant reviews but not a lot of people have reviewed a place or attraction themselves. I use TripAdvisor (lets use TA for short) every time I want to visit a new place, attraction, restaurant, pretty much for everything I do. I even use it when I’m finding work as it gives you a great prospective of how a company works and is doing and how they might treat you from the view of a customer.
To start off, on the main TA page we have a search bar (as shown above), pretty self explanatory but this is used for searching said place, attraction etc. If you are unsure of which place to visit but you know what country, you can just type the country and you will see the top places to visit. You can also see at the top of the page you have various options; Hotels, Holiday Rentals, Restaurants, Things to do and Flights. You also have three dots which show you extra options; Travel forums, Airlines, Best of 2017, trip inspirations and help center. To the right of that you have your ‘cart’, your ‘trips’, notifications, your profile and the search button. I will go into more details about these a bit later on.
Just for example I searched things to do in Annecy, a beautiful French village in the Haute Savoie in the French Alps. As shown in the picture above you can see it loads up the top ranking things to do, this can also be organised into things you can book online. On the left hand side you can see a filter menu, meaning you can personalize your search to find a certain type of ‘thing to do’. Clicking museums for example, then allows you to filter once more the types of museums. The next thing you can do to find more in the area you are visiting is to find out which county/area it is in. For example Annecy is in the Haute-Savoie, using ‘Haute-Savoie’ as a general search means broadening the search for everything near Annecy. As you can see below my search ‘things to do in Haute-Savoie’ I also have the filter choices on the left and it has also provided some filters on the page such as castles and Nature and wildlife areas.
I have then clicked on the Gorges du Fier, a gorge situated just outside Annecy and highly recommended if you are in the area. Clicking on this loads up the page itself providing all the information about said attraction. There’s a lot to do and find out on these pages, starting on the top left you have the name of the attraction and the rating (on this page its 1,163 reviews) it’s a 4 ½ which is a good indication of a great attraction. It then tells you it’s ranking in its area, the gorge is rated #4 in Annecy. There’s a cute little paw print which means it contains animals, whilst i was there i saw a stout but I can imagine at the right time of day/year you would see more animals.
Underneath all the above information you have the address, phone number and website, this is also an option to save this attraction on the right by clicking the little heart. This only works if you have an account but it means you don’t have to search for it again. You then have all the reviews which as usual you can filter, this is a great way to find out information as there are such filters as family, tickets and walk. These give you reviews containing these words, family – is it suitable for families, tickets – how much the tickets cost and walk – how hard is the walk. This is a great way to find out what others really felt about the attraction and find out extra information. If however you still want to know a bit more about a place you can always ask in the Questions and Answers (Q&A) section and you usually get a quick reply from either the owners of the attraction or someone who has been recently. To find the Q&A section, either scroll down your page and its usually after reviews section or there is a button for it underneath the reviews on the top of the page, along with Overview, Reviews, Location and Q&A.
The next thing to do if you are planning a trip to the area near the Gorge is to click on the ‘Things to do’ button on the top (As shown below). A drop down box will appear with options ‘all things to do in Annecy’ (Or the local area you a looking at) and ‘things to do near Gorges du Fier’ (the attraction you are looking at). These are really helpful ways to find other activities nearby that wouldn’t be found when just searching things to do in ‘Annecy’ as the gorge is just outside Annecy and expands your search to an even bigger area.
In part two i will explain how to use the rest of TripAdvisor, finding tours, restaurants and more things to do!