Hotel Tip #2 Use TripAdvisor (With a Grain of Salt) To Book Your Hotel
When looking to book a hotel, a resource just as important as guidebooks is TripAdvisor. This website ranks all of the hotels in a city based on user feedback. After you stay at a place, you log in and create a review and give your stay a score. When you are searching for a hotel, you can adjust your search based on price, location and type of lodging. The site also allows you to put in your the days you are staying, but that is not always accurate, so skip this step. As you are looking through potential places to bed down for the night, be sure to read the reviews with a grain of salt. Many complaints are severe (moldy bathtub with a picture to prove it), but many are not. A user will give a rating titled “Won’t Stay Here Ever Again!” and the review is a complaint about noise in the hallway at 10pm. It is important to match reviews up with your travel style. If noise in the hallway at 10pm is a deal-breaker, better stay out in the suburbs. L&A has avoided booking a hotel where 3 separate reviews complained of bedbugs just weeks before.
The main disadvantage of tripAdvisor is that it does not provide a link to the hotel’s website. They want you to book through their partners (Orbitz, Expedia, Travelocity, etc) so they do not provide you with a link to the hotel directly. We like to have as much information as possible before we book, so we like to scope out the hotel’s website.
Know Before You Go
Have an idea of your budget and location preferences before you start looking on TripAdvisor. This can help you narrow your choices down sooner, especially in big cities.
TripAdvisor is a valuable resource, but it is important to remember that reviews are from travelers like (or unlike) you.