Today’s honeymoon travel tip is about online reviews. We all use them, and the sites that showcase them can be great! But they can also be misleading, as this recent Yahoo Travel article attests, alleging that Airbnb scrubs negative reviews from their sites. TripAdvisor has been accused of fake reviews, too, and was fined $600,000 in Italian courts in late 2014 to that end.
I’m not saying that either site does those things. But on a personal note, I’ve been to so-so hotels with amazing reviews. And I’ve been to amazing honeymoon hotels that have less-than-stellar reviews online.
My advice is to use review sites with a grain of salt. Read them, for sure: They’re a great way to get extra insight on a hotel, see guest photos, and learn about things you may or may not want to look out for. But they should not be your end-all determining factor — just one piece of the travel puzzle.
Why? Some business pay PR pros to write glowing reviews to improve ratings — and write negative reviews to sabotage competitors. Totally not allowed, but that doesn’t mean it’s not done. And even on the legit side, raves may written by people who don’t have the same taste as you; complaints can be written by people who are never happy about anything. (We all know the type!)
That’s why I travel so much. I want to see things in person, and make sure that I can stand behind the places we recommend. If I haven’t been to a particular hotel, I reach out to my network and double-check it with someone whose taste I trust, to make sure it’s up to snuff. Same goes with the other companies we work with: car services, tour companies, restaurants and the like. It takes more time on our end to do the extra research, but the proof is in the results: happy clients who return for future trips. And that’s the best kind of review we can have!