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The perils of planning a vacation with TripAdvisor

Updated on December 7, 2015
On Vacation
On Vacation | Source

Can you trust TripAdvisor?

At you can plan your vacation from your living room by going to the website to browse the numerous comments about various locations. Any traveler can freely share views about a hotel, resort,restaurant or attraction visited. Many use the site to make decisions about where to stay and where not to stay.

While is a valuable resource for information about vacation sites and hotel accommodations, you need to make your own informed decisions about where you go and why you are going. Decisions about a vacation destination should include your own independent research while placing minimal weight on the reviews.

At The Beach
At The Beach | Source

Trip Advisor - Use with Caution

Here are some reasons why you should not plan a vacation entirely based on reviews.

Negativity. It is human nature to highlight the negative aspects of an experience rather than the positive ones. Many reviews do just this. They highlight the fact that a hotel bedding was not changed daily, or that a food item on the menu was cold on a particular day. The reader also has the tendency to focus on the negatives instead of the positives which may result in the location or hotel being rejected.

Personalities. When reading reviews on you should be aware that writers of these reviews have personalities that may be vastly different from yours. Some travelers are easily irritated by things that are different or not perfect. On the other hand there are those whose main aim is to have a great time at any cost and may embrace so called negative incidents as part of the overall vacation experience.

Unreasonable Expectations. The expectations of some travelers abroad can be too high and it doesn't take much to lead them to write negative reviews on Trip Advisor about their experience. It is important to read these reviews carefully to detect the tone of the writer. If a writer complains about a bed feeling too hard, a buffet too crowded, or food too bland or spicy, don't take it too seriously. The writers obviously feel that they should have the same comforts, food and experience on a Caribbean Island as they would in their own home.

Sour grapes is another tone that emerges from many reviews. If you read these reviews carefully you will sense the sour grapes aspect. A couple maybe upset that they had to wait for their room on arrival at the hotel and this experience colored their entire experience. No matter what the hotel did and how good a time they had during their stay, that initial experience will heavily influence their review on

The blame game is often played out in reviews on A single woman travels on her own to an exotic resort. In her reviews she complains that no one paid attention to her and that the server asked if she was dining alone. A young man gets sick at a resort after drinking all the free liquor he can consume and overeating. He blames the resort for not taking care of him.

Cruise vacation
Cruise vacation | Source

Trip Advisor - use with caution

When reading reviews on do not be influenced by everything you read. You will need to separate the irrelevant from the important and the truths from the ramblings. Planning a holiday get away is serious business and you want to ensure that you have the best experience possible. To ensure you have your dream vacation, do your own independent research and choose a hotel or vacation destination based on your personality, your needs and expectations.

Comedian on Trip Advisor


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