Travel: How to avoid being fooled by online reviews The GA Voice Editors November 15, 2010 Travel How do you pick the right vacation resort? Use at least two of these suggestions and your chances for a good vacation selection are greatly enhanced. When looking at search results, look at the web address line first. Find results from media reviewers, and larger third parties that don’t survive solely by getting your business. Lonely Planet, National Geographic, Formers and Fodor’s are examples. Do a google search and go to the “more” button on the tool bar just above google’s name. Click on blogs. These are more often than not postings by travelers who are interested in telling about their trip not rating hotels or cruise lines. Read a handful of those blogs to get a good feel for the vendor. When you go to a travel vendor’s website, scroll to the bottom of the home page. Make sure there is an actual address and phone number. Look over the affiliations and memberships. Do they belong to the Better Business Bureau? IGLTA (International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association) and TAG are two top LGBT watchdogs. If a hotel is TAG approved, they are friendly to the community and want your business. IGLTA is the international association for approved LGBT vendors. Travel forums of leading publications like Travel+Leisure or Conde Nast have good comments by smart travelers. You can even ask a question on the forum like, “Who has a good beach resort in Aruba?” Be as specific as possible with dates, price and style. Google maps is a super tool for evaluating where a resort is located. Avoid places next to railroad tracks, and trash dumpsters. Take a virtual walk around the neighborhood and see if there are restaurants and clubs instead of strip joints or abandoned buildings. Even hotels can have a bad day so look over many opinions and then just go with your gut feeling. Got a question for Jo? Email her at email@example.com, or through firstname.lastname@example.org. SHARE ON Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Name* Email* Website 8 + two = Comment Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.