My husband has travelled for business on a regular basis for the past 35 years, and considers himself the more seasoned traveler whenever we take a trip together. I had been happy to go along with most of his suggestions until we discovered TripAdvisor a few years back at http://www.tripadvisor.ca/.
While Tom concedes that the hotel postings are invaluable for discovering accommodations that offer an optimal mix of location, cost, services, and amenities, we tend to disagree on the restaurant listings. When we select a destination, I assiduously research the location on TripAdvisor, winnowing through the hotel listings to find the best value for our needs. I also make a list of the most popular attractions based on our interests. TripAdvisor has rarely disappointed us in these categories.
Because we are both foodies, me as the eater and Tom as the cook, I spend the most time finding the best restaurants, both for the city at large and then narrowed down to the area where we are staying. I often access the menus of various restaurants to get a sense of price and whether the food would suit our tastes before adding them to the list.
I am finding it increasingly frustrating to prepare these restaurant listings only to have Tom prefer to take the hotel staff’s recommendations over the virtual choices I had made through TripAdvisor. He argues that you always take the locals’ opinions into account and I argue that the locals cannot possibly sample the number of restaurants that the TripAdvisor bloggers visit, nor do the locals have the time to formulate in-depth analyses about each place.
This current trip is a perfect example: I found hotels on TripAdvisor that are the right combination of value and amenities. The first night in Paris we followed one of the two restaurant recommendations from the desk clerk, only to have a relatively expensive meal that really did not suit our tastes. The next two nights we went to the places near our hotel that I had found on TripAdvisor and had wonderful dinners.
I thought I had finally made a convert of Tom, but we arrived in London last evening and once again took the staff recommendation. I guess we will need to travel more before I will finally convince him. That is a sacrifice I am willing to make.