Saving Money on Worldwide Travel with TripAdvisor
TripAdvisor seems to have come out of nowhere only to completely dominate online travel booking, and the chances are if you search for a hotel or flight on the web, you’ll come across a TripAdvisor listing. Founded in 2000, the site started out as a place for people to share reviews of attractions, restaurants and accommodation. Since then, it has expanded its reach all over the world, with a user base nearing 300 million and an interface that lets travellers arrange every aspect of their holidays with a few clicks of their mouse button.
Where to Buy TripAdvisor Products
TripAdvisor collects reviews and listings of everything from boutique hotels and bed and breakfasts to theme parks, gourmet restaurants and airlines. If it is travel-related, you’ll find it there. But what TripAdvisor doesn’t do, is sell its own products. Instead, you can use the site to book accommodation and flights using their search form, whether via TripAdvisor itself or its partners, which include Expedia, Booking.com and Hotels.com. The idea is to collect as much information as possible so that travellers can make the right choice.
Product Categories on TripAdvisor
Almost any aspect of a trip can be searched and purchased via TripAdvisor, where product categories include:
- Hotels: This features instant selections of hotels in the vicinity of the smartphone or computer user browsing, as well as an easy to use search box which covers the whole TripAdvisor database. Also includes recommendations for some of the world’s most popular destinations.
- Flights: This allows users to search for the cheapest flight deals, with returns, one way and multi-city deals all included in the search database. The Pricefinder tool compares prices from 200 sellers across the web, while the FlyScore tool creates a "Score" for each flight which indicates how well each flight matches the needs of the user. Customers can also check out reviews of all of the featured airlines and ask questions about them on the TripAdvisor forums.
- Holiday rentals: This allows customers to search for apartments wherever they need to travel, with drop down boxes for the number of rooms, amenities on offer and even the chance to narrow down searches by neighbourhood or street. A sliding scale enables users to focus on properties within their price range, and all listings have high-quality photos and full price details.
- Restaurants: This collects details about almost every eatery in major cities across the world. Each city includes "Fine dining" and "Cheap eats" sections, with reviews and ratings for each establishment. You can browse by cuisine, check out 'dine with a local chef' experiences and reserve restaurant tables online. A side menu enables customers to find restaurants with the right atmosphere for their needs and the listings can easily be filtered by neighbourhood.
Things to do: This features attractions in any given town or city, including selections of "Popular day trips", upcoming sporting and cultural events. Best-selling activities and attractions are broken down by type, including nightlife, family, nature and parks, shopping, sports, museums, concerts and shows.
- Forum: The TripAdvisor forum is one of the most vibrant and informative places on the web to discuss travel related issues. You will always find assistance regarding hotels and flights as well as plenty of recommendations for wherever you are travelling.
Best of… : This features an annual "Best of" selection based on votes from TripAdvisor’s millions of users. Awards are broken down into categories like beaches, landmarks, islands, all-inclusive resorts, restaurants, museums and 'destinations on the rise'.
Along with these major categories, TripAdvisor have plenty of other menu options. Customers can consult the "Holiday ideas" section to get inspiration for their next trip, download the TripAdvisor app, book cruises via Cruise Critic or check out the GreenLeaders site which deals with eco-friendly holiday options.
Brands Featured on TripAdvisor
All of the world’s major airlines and accommodation brands are features on the TripAdvisor listings, including:
Making a Booking with TripAdvisor.co.uk
The TripAdvisor search tool makes it simple to book hotels, rental vehicles and even attractions and restaurants. To make a booking, find a listing that meets your needs and click the "Book now" button.
You’ll see a selection of prices for your chosen hotel with TripAdvisor or its partners. Choose the right room by pressing "Select". Then, enter your information as requested, followed by your payment details.
After that, all you need to do is press the "Book" button and your reservation will be made. A similar process applies to restaurants and car rentals.
TripAdvisor’s Loyalty Scheme
The core of TripAdvisor’s service is its massive community of members who provide photos, ratings and reviews as well as countless forum postings to help travellers out. Members also receive special travel discounts and information about upcoming deals, so it’s worth signing up. To do so, head to the sign-up page on TripAdvisor and enter your details.
TripAdvisor also tries to incentivise customers to review the properties and attractions they list. In fact, they regularly offer £20 Amazon gift cards and other freebies for your review of a hotel.
Sales at TripAdvisor.co.uk
TripAdvisor always seeks to highlight travel discounts, whether that’s for hotels or airline tickets. To find the latest deals, check out their front page and scroll down until you see links for popular destinations. As you click through, you’ll find a range of featured hotels and attractions at bargain prices.
Another way to save money is by playing TripAdvisor’s Winner Wonderland game. This seasonal feature allows members to play for prizes like cameras and gift cards with TripAdvisor or its partners, and similar games appear at different times of year.
You can also keep track of any new promotions and deals by bookmarking the TripAdvisor listings at HotUKDeals.
Payment Methods Accepted by TripAdvisor
TripAdvisor accepts the following payment methods when you book hotels online: Visa, Mastercard and American Express. All payment information is SSL encrypted to protect against fraud.
Cancelling Bookings with TripAdvisor
When you make a TripAdvisor booking, it’s important to recognise that you are not booking with TripAdvisor itself. The site acts as a bridge between travellers and airlines, restaurants or hotels, and forwards payment details to its partners instead of processing payment themselves.
This means that you cannot make cancellations via TripAdvisor itself. If you do need to cancel, the best course of action is to phone or e-mail your hotel or airline, who will then be able to advise you about how best to proceed.
TripAdvisor’s Social Media Presence
TripAdvisor is always expanding the number of destinations it features and how it highlights recommended hotels or attractions. This lends itself naturally to social media, and TripAdvisor's channels are definitely worth following if you haven’t already subscribed. You can find TripAdvisor on:
Another great place to stay in touch with what TripAdvisor has to offer is the TripAdvisor blog, where you’ll find interesting travel features, lists of recommended sights, restaurants or hotels, photo galleries and news from the site itself about changes and offers.
Using the TripAdvisor App
TripAdvisor has embraced smartphone technology and its app provides an excellent way to book accommodation or flights when you are on the move. In tricky situations, having its massive database could be a life saver, as you can book hotels quickly and arrange flights at the touch of a button.
There are a number of different versions of the app. You can download the basic TripAdvisor Mobile app for iOS and Android devices and there’s also a special tablet version for Windows devices.
SeatGuru helps out with flight bookings and can be downloaded from Google Play or the Apple iTunes Store. GateGuru provides information about airports and is available from Google Play and iTunes. Finally, thefork allows you to search for local restaurants and can be downloaded for Apple devices and Android devices.
If you have a question about joining TripAdvisor, searching or making bookings, you can get in touch with them in the following ways:
The Help Centre mentioned above is also a good source of guidance regarding basic customer queries, so it’s probably the best place to start looking for answers.
Wherever you want to travel, TripAdvisor will have featured flights, hotels, vehicle rentals and attractions to make your break as affordable as possible. Wherever travellers want to go, TripAdvisor also allows them to book every aspect of their trip online in minutes. You can also make big savings when you book by checking out on the HotUKDeals TripAdvisor listings.