How To Plan Your Trip with TripAdvisor
It’s no secret that TripAdvisor is the most popular travel website on the web, loved by millions of travellers searching for its millions of traveller reviews. If you enter a travel search term on Google, the first results are likely to be from the TripAdvisor site.
TripAdvisor is a great travel resource that provides insights into landmarks, attractions, accommodation, transportation, as well as a TripAdvisor Forum. But with the recent rollout, they have now added new features that have transformed the site into a 360° travel booking site.
You can now book tours, attractions, hotels directly from the TripAdvisor site.
As a TripAdvisor member, I have been using the site since 2009 for reading and writing traveller reviews. While browsing through the new site, I recently realized that the site offers more than just traveller reviews! You can now find and book things to do directly from the site.
Here is why I decided to take TripAdvisor out for a spin to plan my upcoming trip to Perth and Tasmania.
The new features – beyond TripAdvisor reviews
Next to reading and writing traveller reviews, you can now research and book things to do, activities, attractions without leaving the site. Some categories help you through your searches such as day-trips, walking and biking, multi-days and more.
To dig deeper, you can use the left-hand side navigation bar setting the price range, the duration, the popularity, and more filters. You can also use the search bar by entering specific keywords for more specific searches.
You can also book hotels now with their new feature that searches through 200 booking sites and let you find the best hotel deals and book your favourite hotel directly from the TripAdvisor site.
There is also a TripAdvisor App to search through the site and plan spontaneous activities when you are on the road.
The benefits of using TripAdvisor
Maximize your time
When you search for things in a specific location, you get a list of results in categories groups, so that you can zoom into what more interests you and easily drill down the picked activity by selecting more related subcategories.
By doing so, you save time and skip all the rest that does not interest you. Moreover, you don’t need to consult different sites because you navigate within the same site and can plan the entire trip without leaving the TripAdvisor full site.
With the “skip-the-line-feature” you can book museums and more activities online, and by doing so, you skip the waiting line at the counter when you collect your ticket.
Maximize your money
It’s now easier to find the best hotel deals on TripAdvisor that suit you thanks to the new search feature that browses through 200 sites and let you book directly. Moreover, their “best value index” allows you to get hotel search results based upon their special combination of variables such as price, location, features, traveller reviews and more.
There is also the lowest price guaranteed policy, which means if you find the same tour or activity offered for a lower price, TripAdvisor guarantees the lowest price and offer you a refund for the price difference.
My booking experience with TripAdvisor
As I had been to Perth a few times already, I was looking for something different from the typical day-tour. I liked the idea of a tour that maximizes my time and enhances the traveller experience by combining more things within a day trip.
I was looking for a cruise on the Swan River which goes beyond mere cruising and sightseeing. By doing deep research among the River Cruises in Perth, I came across a fabulous day-tour which combines a cruise of the Swan River along with a wine tasting tour of the Swan Valley.
So, the tour I picked is made of two parts, a cruise out to the Swan Valley and a bus tour of the wineries with a bus ride back into town. A great value tour with the perfect balance of activities and time to explore, learn and savour the surroundings.
The same tour comes in a few variations. There is one with a focus on wineries, one with a focus on beer& & wine tasting, one with both cruises from and back to Perth and the tour with the cruise and the bus tour.
The booking process at TripAdvisor
What I liked most is that while you search TripAdvisor saves the searches you make as “recently viewed links” so that you don’t need to worry if you lose something or want to track down your first searches. And you don’t need to be a member.
The booking process was smooth. I could book one activity in Perth, park it on the cart, and looked for more day trips to add to my upcoming Tasmania Trip. The TripAdvisor booking system adds your purchase to the cart that you can then access for making the payment when you completed your searches.
With each booking, you receive a confirmation email with further instructions on how to use your voucher. I’m not really a fan of vouchers and like the saving print-outs aspect, so among the options you can either save your booking and show the QR code from your phone, or you can ring up the tour operator to confirm your place.
Because I confirmed my tour over the phone, I didn’t have to print out a voucher. I collected my tour badge at the Barrack Pier in Perth to join the Swan Valley Cruise and Wine Tasting Tour.
The Swan Valley River Cruise & Wine Tasting Perth Experience
I was happy to come across this fabulous day trip in Perth and book ahead with TripAdvisor. This combo offer is great in fact; it allows you to maximize your time by combining both experiences into one full day out in the Swan Valley. The tour is very informative. The commentary is excellent about the development areas along the river, the importance of the eco-system, the land conversation and the growth of the regions along the river up to the Swan Valley.
Onboard the cruise, after a buffet breakfast with coffee/tea and muffins, we could taste 5 different wines from various W.A. regions with a cheese platter. When we landed in Guildford, the hands-on experience went on with a lunch at the homestead brewery and a visit to two wineries, one micro-brewery and a chocolate factory. The timing was good, all in all, a well-balanced tour with no rush and plenty of time to explore, learn and savour the local produce and the Swan Valley wines.
I can highly recommend this tour if you want to maximize your time and money when visiting Perth Solo. I’m looking forward to using TripAdvisor on my upcoming trip to Tasmania, so stay tuned.
A different way of getting to the Swan Valley is a cruise from #Perth Barrack’s Jetty. This morning 2 hour cruise was fabulous, so many interesting sights along the way. The cruise brings you to Caversham and from there you join a 4 hours Swan Valley Tour. One of the best day-tours I have had in WA. I’ve been using @tripadvisor for searching day-trips from Perth and booking this tour. You can now book tours directly through the TripAdvisor website. Thanks to #tripadvisor for this idea. It’s a great way to maximize a trip! #tripmaximizer #sponsored
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First published in Nov 2017, last updated in Dec 2020.