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Online Travel Reviews — Can’t trust them, can’t live without them?

Now, to the thorny problem of online travel reviews… I can’t stand what I’ll call the TripAdvisor Effect: 100 excellent ratings and 100 horrible ratings for the same property or tour.  How can that be?  Who to believe?  What is *wrong* with people!?!?
It’s true, the online world has democratized travel and opened wide the magical doors of self-directed planning and purchasing.  I’m as happy as the next traveller about the freedom of choice and access that I enjoy.  But I find the volume of conflicting evidence overwhelming, the ‘you-may-also-like’ algorithms creepy and the news about fake reviews downright frustrating. Too many reviews, and a spot is too popular and common for me.  Not enough can either mean undiscovered or undesirable.  I often end up cynically scanning reviews for warnings about ongoing construction, bed bugs or other travel disasters.  I just want qualified recommendations, from sources that I trust, who understand me and what I’m looking for… piece of cake, right? Do you use online reviews in your travel planning?  We’d love to hear how you sort through the noise!
Now, for a bit of shameless self-promotion… at HowWeRoam, we believe online reviews can be more than just cautions or confusion.  We want our reviews to inspire your travel plans with a photo or a phrase that makes you feel, “Yes, I want that!”  And we hope our his-and-hers perspectives will give you the confidence to feel, “Yes, that’s what my travelling companion will want too!”  (More on why we love surprise-your-partner travel later!)  As you get to know us and our road style, our reviews will either resonate with your preferences or teach you what to avoid!  Either way, we promise you our honest opinions on places we’ve actually been.  What’s more, we don’t care if you know where you’re going or when, we simply want to open your eyes to a few of the classic, trendy or unique possibilities for your honeymoon or next amazing adventure.
Have questions about somewhere we’ve been? Send us a note at howweroam (at) gmail (dot) com; we’ll help if we can! Want to join our cause and share an inspiring review? We’d absolutely love to hear how you roam!

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