The first thing many people do before booking a holiday is check travel review websites to ensure that they are going to get value for their money and to see what other peoples experiences have been like. Tripadvisor alone according to their website houses 'over 385 million reviews and opinions from travellers around the world', features 'over 70 million candid traveller photos' and has more than '255 new contributions posted online every minute', proving that review sites are very popular, but are they doing us more harm than good?
A lot of people including myself take what people say on travel review sites as the gospel, to the point that many of us are becoming afraid of making our own minds up. What we need to remember is that everyone's experiences are different and just because someone didn't like one thing, it doesn't necessarily mean that we all will have a bad experience. I research travel providers and hotels meticulously before going away - to the point I probably become a little bit too obsessive. However, I have also stayed in several hotels that have received shocking reviews online which made me panic, but when I got there I had an amazing time and service was second to none. We are taught when we are young not to trust everyone we come by, but people seem to think everyone written on the internet is true. Behind many computer screens are genuine people giving honest feedback, but there's also a plethora of keyboard warriors out to make peoples lives a misery. This is why I decided to write a post that hopefully will give you a few things to consider when looking up travel reviews so that you can make your own mind up as to whether you want to book that particular service.
Everyones expectations are different
There are many different people who use hotels from the groups of young people looking for something cheap and cheerful for a boozy night out to the professional couple in search of a romantic getaway, families who want to some quality time together to the people on business travelling alone and everyone else in-between. All of these people have different personalities, social classes and also many of them have different experiences of hotels - some people may stay in hotels every month while others will book a hotel once a year or less as a treat, therefore all of these people will have different expectations when booking in. Ideally a hotel should cater for them all, but with everyone being so different it's not always the case and there will always be one or two people left disgruntled.
Some people like to complain
As with anything in life, some people just like to complain and often travel review sites are a great way of these people unleashing their anger without the confrontation of management. Of course there are genuine people out there who have had issues that haven't been resolved and they have had not choice but to take it online, but there's still plenty of trolls out there.
Sometimes things happen that are not in the hotels control
Mistakes shouldn't happen when it comes to hotels, but occasionally they do and it's out of their control. Always read how the hotel dealt with the situation - sometimes the writer will say they complained to management and other times the manager will respond on the review site with their version of the story. Assess both sides and made your own judgement - how would you feel in that situation?
People like different things
Just because one person didn't like one thing, doesn't mean you will not. We are all different people and again everyone's expectations are different. You are your own person and you should trust your gut instinct.
Do you use travel review websites?