I love to go on free-and-easy (F&E) holidays. This is because I am not restricted by the programme of travel agencies, many of which often result in a rush-to-wait-and-wait-to-rush situations. F&E holidays give me the freedom to visit the places I want to go any time I want during my trip. I am therefore not bound by the itinerary of the tour group, able to travel to less touristy places, interact with locals when I take the public transport rather than private coaches, and most importantly I do not have to put up with fellow tourists with quirky behaviours.
However, to go on F&E holidays requires time and effort to plan. It is also not as economical as those with tour agencies. My sister with no experience in F&E holidays tried to do it once and she surrendered after her failed attempt to scout for cheap airfares. She started late – one month before her planned trip. Her laziness and inexperience resulted in her lost holiday opportunity and she openly declared that she will follow a tour group next time.
Responsible and Genuine Contributors
For me I love to visit TripAdvisor website to do my research. Generally contributors there, like myself, are responsible and genuine travellers who want to make F&E holidays as convenient as possible.
As a proud contributor of TripAdvisor since November 2008, click here to see my achievements.
I just received an email from TripAdvisor, a regular affair, reaffirming my status as top 4% contributors in Singapore. (I used to see “5%” and now it is “4%”. Does it mean that I have moved up one percentile?)
What keeps me contributing is not the rewards TripAdvisor gives. It is the benefits I have derived from the website that I am now repaying back. I believe this is so for the many active contributors of the website. From the reviews and photographs shared on the website by others, I am able to make wise choices on my hotel selection, the sites to visit, and many other information I need of the places I plan to visit.
Checks To Ensure Genuine Posts
For those who worry about spams and false postings, TripAdvisor has put in place its own set of measures to ensure quality feedback on its website. You can read their statement on ensuring genuine post is here.
So for those who worry about fake postings and dirty tactics, their worries are pretty much unfounded.
I do not think there is a need to help boast about the many awards TripAdvisor has won, but if you do care to read it, it is available here.
Now TripAdvisor has expanded their services to include direct booking of hotels. It makes a lot of sense to move TripAdvisor towards this direction. The most logical steps in planning F&E holidays is to book your accommodation, air tickets, transport etc once you have done with your research.
By providing a one-stop destination, there is a lot of convenience for the F&E traveller. It is also a marketing tactic to strike while the iron is hot. It sure takes TripAdvisor kind of long to incorporate this into its website. Many third party hotel booking websites have been including their customers’ reviews for ages!
Responses From Business Managers On Feedback
It is also worth highlighting that contributors’ feedback are actually responded by the relevant business managers.
Although there is no guarantee that all businesses will respond to every customer’s feedback (it is insane to do so!), generally those negative reviews will be addressed by the relevant managers. From these responses, travellers have another revenue to gauge how sincere their potential hotel or resort is in improving their business.
F&E holidays require efforts to research and plan before they can take off successfully. TripAdvisor is one of the avenues travellers may want to consider in their research and planning phase. Its genuine set of reviews contributed by responsible travelers worldwide make this an invaluable resource to tap into.
Information Is Power! The Choice Is Yours!