There is no doubt that traveling the world is amazing. Experience new things, meet new people, explore new places, and other great things that make you feel alive. But travel planning is still overwhelmed and hard, especially for beginner travelers that find their selves stuck with many things, even with all the resources out there.
Your first trip will be hard to plan for, but with a little research and surfing the internet, you can find many useful guides and tips to help you make your trip a success.
Before you start planning your vacation you need to know that it is not just getting a ticket and booking accommodation and that’s it, there is a lot of things you should to think about from getting a visa, find a cheap ticket, transportation, getting local currency, booking accommodation, to finding vacation packages and packing.
It looks stressful but don’t worry about it because every traveler has been there in the past and you can learn how to master it and make the most from your holidays.
So, in this guide, we’ll show you how to plan your trip using TripAdvisor, and help you take the stress out of planning your next vacation.
What is TripAdvisor?
I’m sure that you heard this word many times before. TripAdvisor is one of the world’s largest travel companies, based in Needham, and founded by Stephen Kaufer, Langley Steinert, Shanny, and Palka in the year 2000.
Now this company becomes a leader in the industry, with over 700 million online reviews, and largest selection of travel listings worldwide.
TripAdvisor is full of everything you may need to plan your trip, from booking and comparing flights, accommodation, things to do, where to eat, car rental, to vacation booking and much more to discover in this amazing website.
Things to do before jumping into the TripAdvisor website
Before jumping into TripAdvisor, you must already know where you want to travel to and have a list of steps and things you want to plan and search for.
#1 – Start your planning journey
You don’t have a list or a destination in mind? no problem. Here is a list of essential parts you should take into consideration when you start planning:
– Figure out your budget
This is the first thing you need to do before everything else in your trip planning. You have to know how much you have to spend in your trip and take a deep look at your budget and your expenses.
If you do this the right way, you will give yourself a lot of peace of mind about where you want to travel and for how long.
– Picking a Destination
If you already know where you want to go, skip this step. If not, here are our recommendations on what you can do:
- You can get some inspiration by reading some reviews on TripAdvisor or other travel websites, and see what other travelers are saying about certain attractions or experiences.
- Searching in some platforms like Pinterest. In fact, Pinterest is a search engine and you can find tons of travel content, resources, and inspirations that you probably can’t find on google.
- You can buy Lonely Planet travel guides. Those guides are super helpful not just for getting inspiration, but also to know your destination very well, and have a great background about it and how to get the most from it.
- Google map is another great resource to pick a destination. You can circle the countries, cities, towns, or attractions and add those locations to your bucket list.
- Get some inspiration from Instagram. This social media platform is one of the best ways to find your next destination. Check popular travel accounts and get tons of destination ideas.
#2 – Do your homework and research
After you choose a destination, it is required to do your homework to make sure your trip will be great and unforgettable.
– Check the weather forecast
Checking the weather forecast is one of the essential steps that you have to take when planning a trip. You need to know how the weather will looks like in your trip period and also search for the best season to travel to the destination you choose. There is a lot of free weather forecast apps on the market that you can use.
If you don’t have one in mind, here is our favorite list of weather apps you can put on your phone:
- Weather Underground
- Dark Sky
- Carrot Weather
- The Weather Channel
- Geometric Weather
- Weather on the Way
– Avoid peak seasons
Avoiding peak seasons is a clever decision. When you travel during peak seasons you will find yourself frustrated with the crowds, and your vacation will not be enjoyable, trust me it will be just a waste of time.
– Have a packing checklist
We know that a lot of things must be done, but figuring out what and how to pack your essentials and suitcases is very important more than you think.
Before packing your suitcase, you have to know that every trip type has its special checklist. For example, packing for winter trips is not the same as the summer is. You have to consider the weather, trip type (Business or leisure), trip duration, and the destination as well.
After that, you must create a checklist of the things you must bring with you during your vacation, and trust me this is not an easy task; it required a lot of knowledge and techniques.
To make your travel packing as easy as possible, we recommend you to think of it as a puzzle. You need to be prepared and making sure that you don’t forget anything behind you (essential items of course), on the other hand, you don’t make your baggage overweight.
– Visa Application
Search for visa requirements and make sure that you do this ahead of time. There are several resources to find this information with some online research.
You have to know if a visa is required and you need it to travel to your chosen destination. If you don’t know how to do that, you can check out your country’s visa website and you’ll find all the information you need.
– Get your travel insurance
Travel insurance is the backbone of your trips, it’s something that you can’t travel without, and this for your safety and peace of mind.
Make sure to put yourself in trusted hands, and do some research. There is a lot of companies that offer great insurance policies, just ensure that you get what you need.
So now, how you can take advantage of this website and plan a successful and stress-free holiday?
Using TripAdvisor to plan your next trip: a step-by-step guide
Now here comes the best part, it’s time to start searching and finding awesome deals on TripAdvisor. The best thing that I personally love about this website is the user-friendly design, so you don’t have to worry about complicated things. Everything is easy to find.
TripAdvisor providing every traveler with several options for finding a great and quality deal for any trip type, and allow for easy booking right from many travel websites out there. You can also get the TripAdvisor app and use it on the go.
Now, let’s jump into the steps that make your travels a success.
Step 1 – Booking a flight / TripAdvisor Flights
First of all, you need to figure out how far in advance you should book your flight depending on where you are flying to and from.
When it’s time to book your flight, you have to choose between 3 flight booking options:
Round Trip flight: you need to choose this option when you want to back to same departure destination. The start and endpoint are the same. (for example: flying from Shanghai to NYC, then NYC to Shanghai).
One-way flight: booking a flight from a departure airport but without a scheduled return trip.
Multi-city flight: flight ticket with several flight destinations. In fact, those flights are an affordable and great way to combine many trips into one.
After you choose the flight type, you’ll get a listing of all flight deals as you can see in the screenshot below:
You can do some filters of your preference and needs on the left sidebar:
Then choosing the deal that you think its suitable for you, click on view deal to get more details such as depart, return, duration, stops, and airline reviews as well.
After your final decision, TripAdvisor will redirect you to the partner website that you choose. You can even find more deals to choose from and complete your booking process.
Tips on getting affordable and best flight deal
here are a few tips that will help you reach your preferred destination without breaking your bank account.
#1 – Being flexible is always a great thing
Many airlines have special conditions based on the length of stay. The cost of that particular flight ticket will vary based on your trip duration. In fact, airlines do cost more for flight tickets that take off over the weekend.
So, being flexible with dates is considered convenient, and take into account that airline tickets are always cheaper on weekdays (Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays).
#2 – Get your air tickets booked to a selected destination with two different airlines.
In most cases, booking a flight from a single airline might turn out to be expensive. If you want to grab affordable flight tickets, it is recommended you book your flight from two totally different airlines. Why you want to spend more when you can save better!
#3 – Check for morning deals.
Most airlines post their available seats present in limited numbers at discounted rates. So, it is considered more practical to reserve your seat in the early hours of the morning. but, don’t wait back, once you notice an empty seat on a flight, go ahead and book immediately, as you might lose this opportunity.
Step 2 – Booking accommodation / TripAdvisor hotels
After you book your flight now you should look for accommodation. When you want to book your hotel via TripAdvisor you need to apply the steps below:
- Click on the hotel’s tab
- Enter the destination
- Check-in and Check-out date
- Enter How many rooms, adults, children
- Click on the search button.
After that you will see a large hotel listing from several and well-known hotel booking providers in the market that you can choose from:
Don’t avoid the filters in the left sidebar because they will give you exactly what you looking for in matter of minutes. You also have to ensure that you compare the prices and pick the best deal according to your budget.
When you choose the preferred deal, make sure to compare the prices, then TripAdvisor will redirect you as always to the partner website for more details, and complete your booking process.
Tips on getting the best accommodation deal
If you are a beginner and don’t know how to find an affordable hotel booking deal; here are some tips that we’ll help you make a great booking decision.
#1 – Off-peak booking
The off-peak seasons are bound to be much cheaper compared to peak period prices. If you can schedule your holidays the right way, you may save a lot on hotel bookings.
#2 – Special Promotions
There may be special promotions being advertised online, such promos will give you a significant discount off the regular price.
#3 – Compare prices
In this day and age, you can easily compare prices online and take advantage of many opportunities out there.
#4 – Hotel Selection
Many hotels charge rates according to their ratings. In fact, luxury hotels will probably cost you more than normal hotels. For that, if you want a luxurious stay, keep in mind that you have to pay a little more. Otherwise, several good hotels offer competitive rates to choose from.
Step 3 – Find Things to do
On the things to do tab, you’ll find a very, very large selection of amazing things to do in your desired destination ordered by categories. You can make a list of the best things you want to try and even create your personalized itinerary based on those activities.
Here are the popular categories and what you’ll find on each one:
Tours: Here you can find organized tours by travel agencies and takes from hours to days.
Day trips: Those trips are day long and they are suitable for weekend trips.
Outdoor activities: For active travelers, those activities are the best choice to make the most of a trip and experience new things.
Attractions: Explore new places and hidden gems of a destination.
Concerts & Shows: Suitable for those who love to have fun during their trips.
Food and drinks: Amazing tours for food lovers and great opportunities to taste the local food, dishes, and drinks.
Events: Great events and festivals to make your trip enjoyable.
Classes & workshops: Exceptional experiences to learn new things.
Shopping: Shopping lovers can find several shopping places and take advantage of their trips.
Step 4 – Find where to eat
like anything else in TripAdvisor, there Are tons of amazing places where you can get your meals. Also, there are many restaurants with delivery available if you don’t want to eat outside or there is bad weather.
Here is how to search for a suitable place to eat:
Click on the restaurant’s tab, and you’ll see a huge listing of outstanding places and restaurant (in the chosen destination) that offers every kind of food and dishes you may look for.
Again, make sure to read the reviews. Then order online to get your food delivered, or book a table if you want to enjoy your meal in the restaurant.
Step 5 – Read travelers reviews / TripAdvisor reviews
Checking travelers’ reviews before making any decision is always a good idea. In my opinion, TripAdvisor is leaps and bounds above any other travel review website as they not only have a system set up to give you multiple takes on reviews, they also sort these by their algorithm that finds which reviews are probably written with the most quality.
The best thing about TripAdvisor, when compared to other travel review websites, is that they have photos and videos from users who have been to these resorts and hotels so you can not only see it first-hand but also confirm that they’ve actually been there.
Quality reviews are key as reviews that give 1 star or 5 stars but give no detail about the stay can many times be someone who has never visited or may be someone you wouldn’t want to take advice from anyway.
No matter if the review is negative or positive the key is to find reviews of quality that give specific details about the place you are staying as well as describes all aspects of the resort in a way that you know they have been there but at the same time isn’t a competitor or the resort itself giving a review.
Why TripAdvisor is a preferred website?
People around the world take benefit from this website because of two reasons:
Firstly, when you search for relevant details it is sure that you get something that closely matches the requirement.
Secondly, while searching for meaningful information you also come across many reviews about your chosen destination.
It is also possible to subscribe to a newsletter and other meaningful information from TripAdvisor that keeps you updated about the latest offers. Members can post some specific requirements also. Feedback and reviews published on this website carry a big reputation in the market.
Reviews for accommodation, transport facilities, food and drinks, and customer service about a destination builds an image in the minds of people before they reach their destinations.
The Internet has become full of powerful resources for finding information with ease. TripAdvisor is one of those resources and makes the task of vacation planning much easier. It gives details of almost anything you may need from tour providers, flight tickets, accommodation, food, and drinks, to transportation in a hassle-free manner. Though there are several sources also available online, people have great faith in TripAdvisor for a good reason.
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