The one thing that has really exploded on the Internet over the past couple of years is the amount of information being shared from person to person. This has resulted in a wealth of travel information posted by consumers advising where to go, where to avoid, who is likely to make your travel a joy and who is likely to make your travel a disaster. We can now make more informed decisions about our travels than ever!
Today I thought I’d list those websites that I have found to be a particularly useful source of consumer posted travel information and advice for planning your holidays and travels:
We’ve talked about Tripadvisor on this blog before and, while it may not have won the hearts of all hoteliers, it has a wealth of experience to tap into on both hotels and holiday destinations in general. I often use it to pick out the hotspots and the areas to avoid. The trick is to try and spot those people who you believe to be like minded and with similar tastes.
The one website on the list whose content has been traditionally written by their travel experts rather than from the experience of general consumers. But the Lonely Planet website, while still staying true to what made them so great in the first place, now provides a whole host of opportunities for travellers to share their experiences. This includes the Thorn Tree travel forum, Lonely Planet TV (which hosts some great videos posted by travellers or you can post your own!) and the Blue Lists where travellers can post their lists for pretty much anything – top festivals, top surf locations, top buses of doom – they’re great for a little inspiration. And of course Lonely Planet has a blog of it’s own!
Another website we’ve mentioned a couple times on this blog and one of the few blogs I read on a regular basis. The author Darren writes a really good range articles with plenty of posts on travel news, handy tips and, of course, the occasional rant. He has also kicked off a Travel Blog Carnival which has made his site a great central resource for discovering some of the other great blog articles that are hiding out there on the world wide web!
This one is a bit of newcomer and definitely the one to watch. It is kind of a directory for restaurants, pubs, bars, shopping and places of cultural interest. It is a great resource for helping you to decide where to go when you arrive at your destination (although the content for outside of the UK is still fairly limited). The great thing about Trusted Places is that, not only do they have a growing database of reviews for the places listed in this directory, but they have a very simple and fun way to profile your tastes and interests. This way, you can be confident that any review you read is relevant to you.
One of the most popular travel forums I’ve seen. Flyertalk has a forum dedicated to all the major frequent flyer programmes and there is a great deal of conversation between members sharing inside tips, information and advice. The members will also point out when things do not always go plan. I often read the threads on the Avis forum and pick up some great feedback!
Anyway, these are the top sites that I use. What do you think? Do you use any of these? Or have you found a hidden gem of your own that you would like to mention on this blog?