People love to ask me how I plan my trips and how I decide where to stay while I’m traveling. I always feel a little surprised when this comes up, because I just assumed that everyone was doing the same thing I do, which is get on TripAdvisor, search for hotels in the destination, and then *right-click-open-in-new-window* a million times.
TripAdvisor is my constant companion when I travel; from initial research, to booking, to finding the nearest pub when I’m lost on the streets of a foreign city, I can count on the 320 million reviews to point me in the right direction.
For your much-needed information, I’ve contributed 83 out of those 320 million reviews. *Brushes shoulders off*
I’m *always* in the process of planning my next trip, so when TripAdvisor reached out about sponsoring a post on the blog, I tried to keep myself from hyperventilating. I felt like I was meeting a celebrity or something! I visit the TripAdvisor site SO much, that when I type “t” into my web browser it’s the first thing that comes up. Even before my own website, guys. That’s a serious relationship.
I even keep the TripAdvisor app on my phone and use it several times a day while traveling, and several times each week while at home. I’m obsessed with the Near Me Now feature, which helps me find great spots for lunch, happy hour, or an afternoon coffee pick-me-up.
Here are some of the awesome hotels I’ve discovered through TripAdvisor in the past:
Karmairi Hotel Spa in Cartagena, Colombia
Club Yebo in Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Casas Brancas in Buzios, Brazil
Park Plaza Sukhumvit in Bangkok, Thailand
Porini Amboseli Camp in Amboseli, Kenya
When I first started traveling, I made my hotel selections by googling places to stay, then making my decision based on the pictures on the website and the price per night.
This is hardly better than the days of browsing through brochures in the lobby of a travel agency!
Once I discovered TripAdvisor, I was able to use filters to find my ideal hotel, check out candid photos from other travelers, and read honest reviews from recent guests. Next, I’d open about a thousand internet browser tabs and check prices all over the net to find the best deal.
Now, with their new Book on TripAdvisor feature, I can do it all from one website! So much sanity-saving, you guys.
To help spread the word about this new feature, TripAdvisor is hosting the #BookToWin Trip-A-Day Giveaway.
Here’s how it works:
TripAdvisor is giving away $60,000 worth of trip money to travelers who book through TripAdvisor during the month of March.
Thirty-one winners from every day in the month of March will receive $1,500 towards their next trip booked on TripAdvisor, and 1 grand prize winner will receive $15,000 towards a getaway of their choice, anywhere in the world, booked on TripAdvisor.
Just think: ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD. Seriously, I think the hard part would be deciding where to go!
Here’s how to enter the giveaway:
- Option 1: Book your hotel on TripAdvisor during the entry period and automatically be entered in the Giveaway.
- Option 2: Find your hotel on TripAdvisor, then click from TripAdvisor to book on another site, then complete the entry form.
I’ve got TONS of travel ideas for 2016, and winning some travel cash would be a pretty great way to kick off the year.
Here’s what I’ve got going on so far:
February/March: CHINA! My sister, Emily, and her bestie, Paige, and I are going to Beijing and Shanghai and it’s going to be epic. You might recall that Emily went with me to Kenya – she’s a pretty incredible travel partner, so I’m really looking forward to this trip.
April: Europe! I’m spending 3 days in Rome before embarking on a cruise to Sicily, Malta, Barcelona, Marseille, and Genoa. Once back in Rome, I’ll take the high-speed rail up to Florence and Venice. I’m going to stop in London for a day on the way home to break up some of the travel time, so I’ve got LOTS of hotels to book. Rome, Florence, Venice, and London!
November: I’m going to assume that one of my lovely readers will win some travel cash and take me on an exotic trip to India.
What? It could happen.
I’ve already made all of my arrangements for my trip to China (if you’re following me on Instagram you’ve probably noticed that I’m already in Beijing!), but I’m holding out until March to book my rooms for Europe so I can book on TripAdvisor and earn my chances to win.
If you have any fun vacations to plan (or weddings to attend this summer!), March is the time to book!