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01 Dec, 2008

Tripadvisor.com

Posted by: Nick the Greek In: Informational

Introduction

Tripadvisor.com is a site dedicated to providing travel tips and advice to people preparing for trips all over the world. The site consists of online database of information and opinions from fellow travelers. Tripadvisor prides itself on providing “unscripted and honest conversation between travelers.” The site delivers by providing users with advice, opinions and helpful information to meet all their travel needs.

Features

The site layout is simple. A search bar at the top of the homepage allows the user a place to direct any general inquiries concerning their travel objectives and needs. The central feature of the homepage is the “Plan the Perfect Trip” box in the middle of the page. The box prompts the user to select one of six trip categories: hotels, flights, restaurants, things to do, cruises and forums. For an example, we checked out hotels for a trip to Buffalo, New York assuming we were heading for a football game. Ten hotels popped up, complete with Tripadvisor rankings, rates and user reviews. With one click, a user can obtain the current rates and contact information for the hotel they are considering.

The “things to do” section is another great feature of Tripadvisor. After typing in your destination, you’ll find an array of links to the most popular activities in the city you are reviewing. Travelers with children will certainly want to consider this feature to determine how “kid friendly” a city is. Overall, the site is very simple to use, even for the computer novice. Homepage use is self-explanatory and well constructed. Subsequent pages are very similar to the homepage with the exception of additional advertisements.

Tips & Tricks

One feature that is a must-see is the user forums. The forums are divided up by country and state or province. In the New York forum, users can be found discussing topics like the best pizza in New York City to the best ticket deals for Broadway tickets.

If you have a travel question, check out the “ask a question” feature under the “quick links” at the bottom left of the homepage.

Newbie Friendly Rating

The site navigates easily, but frequent pop-up ads are quite annoying. The other drawback to the site is an overload of information. Tripadvisor is filled with links to the point that the user is almost overwhelmed with information splashed all over the page. On the other hand, the wealth and quality of feedback from fellow travelers is invaluable. Users can learn about other people’s experiences firsthand and get helpful information that will make their trip more enjoyable. Tripadvisor does exactly what it promises and earns an overall Newbie Friendly Rating of 8.

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