Thursday, July 30, 2009

User Reviews

Ever wonder about those reviews you read for hotels and B & B's? User-review sites have changed the way some people plan their travel. This can be an enormously useful tool for evaluating hotels, restaurants, tourist attractions and the like. is the big kahuna, with more than 20 million reviews, mostly of hotels, but also less traditional lodging like B&Bs, villas and private homes, as well as restaurants and attractions. is another, owned collects reviews from various websites, such as, Yahoo! Travel and Check for locals' takes on restaurants, shops and other businesses, or, which guarantees that reviewers have actually eaten at the restaurants they rate.

User reviews are helpful but not foolproof, so keep in mind the following tips:

Read between the lines, asking yourself if the writer shares your mind-set, or if a negative review is the result of a persnickety traveler or a singular bad experience. As a rule of thumb, the more people have contributed, the more valuable overall ratings become.

• Always see how recent the post was. Establishments are quick to change, move or close.

• Always look at photos posted by users; you may find them more telling than words could ever hope to be.

No comments: