Saturday, January 21, 2012

Travel Tips: TripAdvisor.com

As an urban Veterinary Nomad, I am motivated to find the best value for the dollar.  Finding safe and functional lodging for the students traveling to sites I coordinate is part of my responsibilities.  When searching for answers to "Where to Stay? Where to Eat? or What to Do?  TripAdvisor.com is a great place to start.  Many hotels have solicited follow up reviews and given bonus reward points or a discount on your next stay for a Trip Advisor review.  This usually comes after positive comments from a post-stay survey.  Trip Advisor is social.  You can connect through Facebook and see where friends have been or have posted reviews.  I know you anti-social media folks always say that your are not interested in knowing that Diane is having a coffee.  But if you want to know about the best cup of coffee or even where you can get a cup of coffee near the conference hotel - go social.

Trip Advisor is mobile and it functions with GPS so you can review EAT, STAY OR DO options around your current location.  This is great when you are with folks and the dreaded question, "Where shall we go to eat?" comes up.  Instantly, minds go blank.  Everyone wants someone to offer a suggestion.  Any suggestion.  Not that the suggestion will be accepted.  Folks just want an offering to evaluate, criticize and reject.  When I use my iPad and TripAdvisor provides a list of restaurant near us, he group begins to ranks and prioritize the list.  The decision shifts to ranking the possibilities at hand.  The restaurant price is too high, it is too far, we need vegetarian options...and we can consider the reviews.  All of this decision making is an imminent consumer action.  This is why TripAdvisor reviews are so important.

I challenge you to take some time to write positive reviews.  This is a meaningful way to say thank you.  Help me keep good places in business!  It is easy to complain.   Remember, every place will have instances of disappointments.  The origin of TIPS  was To Insure Prompt Service.  TIPS were meant to be positive reinforcement for good service.  Now we also have the ability to reinforce good service or quality.  Remember the names of the front desk clerk or the morning breakfast attendant and use them in your reviews.  I find the best places have low turn over of staff and you can become a "regular" even if you are a Nomad.  It makes everyplace feel more like home because you have connected to the people there.  I am proud to state that I have become a Senior Reviewer on TripAdvisor.  Won't you join me?