With the virtual explosion of online website and smart phone apps that are available to use to plan a trip, discover new restaurants or seek out cool area attractions the no longer is “Where do I find travel information?”, but “Which site or app do I use?” One of the best sites that I have used for travel in general, including RV travel, is Trip Advisor. In addition to having reader reviews and ratings, Trip Advisor is a social plug in for Facebook and other social media. It is possible to track the cities, states, countries and attractions that you have visited as well as rate them either on the Trip Advisor website or with the Facebook plug in as well. You can share your adventures with your friends and also follow where they have gone and what they have done in return.
On the Trip Advisor website or app it is possible to search for hotels, flights, car rentals and restaurants. RV parks are searchable as well, but the listings are by no means complete. The majority of campgrounds arenot listed or available for review on the site so it is best to use a dedicated campground app for those. But the listing of attractions is very comprehensive and are numerically rated according to popularity in each location as well. If you do not see a campground or attraction listed on the site, you can write a review and request that it be added. Make sure you have all the pertinent information before you submit the review/request including correct name and as much contact information as possible.
Also on the website are forums about everything under the sun related to travel, including forums of particular interest for many RVers such as road trips, bargain travel, outdoors/adventure travel, travel gadgets and gear and traveling with pets. Another unique feature is the Trip Ideas section where you are able to narrow down what type of vacation – adventure, beaches and sun, casinos, family fun, history and culture, romance, shopping, skiing, spa – and where in the world – Africa and the Middle East, Asia, Caribbean, Europe, Mexico, Central and South America, South Pacific, United States and Canada – you would like to visit and Trip Advisor will recommend a match. For example, when I chose an adventure vacation in the United States and Canada, the site came back with the top 12 matches which included the Grand Canyon, the big island of Hawaii, Yosemite and Moab, Utah to name a few. When I changed the type of vacation to beaches and sun, the suggestions ranged from Maui, Miami Beach, San Diego and Myrtle Beach.
Trip Advisor also offers apps that are available for your smart phone and tablet on iTunes, Google Play and the Windows Store. The apps have both online and offline access and there is also an offline app to 80 of the world’s top cities. Of special interest to North American RVers are the guides to 23 US cities such as Orlando, Las Vegas, Nashville and New York. Other available Trip Advisor apps include Gate Guru, Seat Guru and The Fork. The first two being for those travelers who fly and have not yet discovered the joys of RVing!