Tuesday, July 29, 2014

How Travel Reviews Make Vacations Better For All

Some of you that are reading this may have just come back from a vacation and want to share your experiences about the places you visited. I certainly hope that most of the experiences were great, but there are always a few dreadful ones here and there. Over the years, I have personally read thousands of reviews on everything from toothbrushes to hotels. It's important that consumers leave reviews because it makes the buying experience better for others and helps good companies grow. However, I have increasingly noticed that reviews have gotten lazy. It's becoming rare to find reviews that are helpful to travelers even though they have good intentions. I would like to take a moment to explain how to make a helpful review.

1) Briefly explain why you bought and who was involved.

Bad Example: This was a great hotel! All of us had a great time.

Good Example: We booked this hotel for a family vacation and enjoyed our experience. Our family consisted of 2 teenagers (14 & 16) and 2 adults in their mid 40's.

2) Explain what and why you purchased. Be somewhat specific as a broad review is not helpful.

Bad Example: We booked the TripShock Suites and we loved it. There was nothing bad to say about it.

Good Example: The reason we selected the TripShock Suites is because of it's large lazy river and proximity to the harbor. We decided to go with the two bedroom condo because we wanted the privacy and full kitchens it offers. It was a great selection for our family.

3) Although some reviews can be novels, discuss two pros and two cons of the purchase. 

Bad Example: We hated the front desk, they were very rude. However,we enjoyed the pool and the easy walk to the beach. 

Good Example: The stay started off a little concerning as our room was not ready until 6pm. The front desk told us that they were short on housekeepers. We also experienced very slow service at the restaurant downstairs and decided not to eat there after our first time. We did however find the hotel concierge very helpful and put together some exciting tours for us. The property also is very clean and the furnishings are modern and classy.

4) Offer constructive criticism and recommendations for the property and other guests.

Bad Example: All the hotel staff needs to be fired. I would never stay here again and will tell everyone never to go.

Good Example: If we stayed again, we would suggest to the hotel to improve their staffing situation and make sure there is enough housekeepers and servers. It was an inconvenience for us to check-in late after driving all day. Also, considering the high cost of the meals at the hotel, we shouldn't have waited over an hour to get our meals. We recommend to call the hotel on the day of arrival just to make sure the room is ready because if it isn't, then you can hit up some of the attractions nearby while waiting. 

5) Close out the review with your overall feelings

Bad Example: Stay away, this was the worst place you'll ever go to.

Good Example: Overall, we enjoyed our stay and will make a trip back again.