Feeling Misled by a Tripadvisor Review? Are Travel Websites Really Helpful?

 Image courtesy of artur84 /

Image courtesy of artur84 /

Tripadvisor is the go-to site to read about other users’ restaurant, hotel or travel experience in general. They have over 260 million distinct monthly visitors, as sourced by Google Analytics. There are over 125 million reviews covering 3.1 million registered businesses.

You will most likely find the establishment you are planning to go to this weekend and check if they are worth the trip unless you are going to uncharted territories, the type of places where they still use a live rooster as alarm clock in the morning and cicadas as white noise at night. Just go whatever floats your boat.

The most important thing is that you enrich your life with colorful experiences. Remember, we only get to live once and nobody got out alive anyway so might as well, live each day passionately.

Anyone can make a Tripadvisor account. All it takes is a registered email address or a Facebook account and Voila! You are suddenly more powerful as a consumer; establishments are forever at your mercy for good reviews. If you want this burst of consumer power, you can sign up at Tripadvisor or any review sites. Just make sure to always post an honest feedback so that the site will continue to serve its purpose and nowadays, Karma is digital so better not misbehave.

The Real world and the Interweb work similarly, more or less

 Image courtesy of renjith krishnan /

Image courtesy of renjith krishnan /

In the real world, you can meet a variety of people from all walks of life. This is the same in the Interweb, a lot of netizens with different personalities and motivations. Some are trustworthy while others are deceitful. With that being said, you can read an opinion or review on the Internet without really knowing the full story behind it. It could stem from an honest to goodness feedback or something totally out of line. A bad review might just be a disgruntled employee posing as a consumer. On the other hand, a good review could be a marketing associate trying to keep her job.

The Anonymity on Tripadvisor makes it a breeding ground for posers and scammers.

People can get away with almost anything due to the convenience of going anon or pose as a different person on the Internet. It takes out the accountability of standing by your words when it is no longer convenient because it is being challenged or opposed. Be wiser than these scammers or posers. The tricky part is validating if the person writing the review is credible or not. Watch out for red flags. Some of the things to consider are membership duration, the number of posted reviews, and if the member has received helpful reviews from other web users. Another thing is to check if the review comes with photos but make sure that they are authentic. It is easy to grab photos from the internet and pose as the owner.

Tripadvisor was generally banked on helping people make informed and wise decisions.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /

People who put up websites generally only wanted to fill the Internet with convenient and informative content but they don’t have full control of how web users intend to use their platform. They can put up all these terms, conditions, restrictions or agreements but web users can pretty much break their promise without heavy damage or consequence. All they do, after all, is tick I agree without even bothering to read it.

Tripadvisor is a good place to start when you are about to spend your hard-earned money on a vacation or a gastronomic experience. You can find a lot of tips that could enhance your experience or warnings that could save you from unnecessary trouble or additional expenses. You can also use Tripadvisor as a place to look for alternative establishments that could better cater to your needs.

It doesn’t hurt to read about what other people think about a certain establishment. We all vary in our level of expectations. What pleases you might not please others. What pleases others might not work for you. As they say, different strokes for different folks. So, go ahead and read those reviews but it is up to your discretion to believe them or not. Keep the reviews in mind but don’t take it to heart. After all, nothing compares to first-hand experience.