The BEST Travel Review Sites

The BEST Travel Review Sites

I get asked ALL the time how I find such great restaurants or fun things to do. One of my favorite methods is to check out travel or review sites.

In this post, I’ll narrow it down to what I think are the top 3 BEST travel review sites, and how you can get the most out of them.

Things to do with TripAdvisor

The site I ALWAYS start with is TripAdvisor. Although I do most of my TripAdvisor research on my computer, when I’m on the road, I’ll use the TripAdvisor app to help me with directions, ideas, etc. I open it up, type in the city where I’m interested in going, and start digging.

I’ll check out the top attractions first which will give me a list of the top things to do in the area. Then I can click on the individual attractions that look interesting to me. It’s also easy to narrow down your search by selecting categories such as “Nature & Parks”, “Museums”, etc.

👉 Head over to TripAdvisor for help with your next trip!!!

We like a wide variety of activities, so I rarely go into specific categories, but if you were researching a very large city or a specific type of event it would be very useful.

Once I find things I’m interested in, I will tag them (click on the little heart on the picture), create a trip with the name of that city, and add them to that group. Then, later when I’m ready to visit, I can just pull up that trip (click on trips on the top menu bar on your computer or the bottom menu bar on the app) and see exactly what I tagged.

I’ll also use the map view to see if there is anything nearby that I’d like to check out. If so, I tag it and add it to that trip.

Best Review Sites TripAdvisor

I find that there aren’t as many reviews on TripAdvisor for smaller locations, so when that’s the case, I make sure to read the reviews that are posted to see exactly what they say. I’ll also check the date of the last review to ensure that it’s fairly recent.

The only downside of TripAdvisor is that it can become quite a rabbit hole if you love research as much as I do.

I try to limit myself to checking out one city or area at a time. Otherwise, before I know it, it’s the end of the day and I’m now researching a trip I’ve thought about taking someday, but not the one I started planning!

Finding Food with Yelp

Once I’ve nailed down the types of things we are going to do with TripAdvisor, I head over to my all-time favorite app, Yelp. I can’t tell you how many amazing restaurants we’ve found through the years thanks to Yelp.

Although I do a quick check on Yelp for things to do in the area we are visiting, I mostly concentrate on restaurants.

Since we love trying new foods and going out to eat when we are off on a vacation or even just on a day trip, Yelp is my best friend. I open up the app, type in “restaurants” and then below that the name of the city to see what pops up.

Sometimes I’ll do a pre-visit check for fun and to narrow down a list of possibilities, but more often I use Yelp on the fly.

If it’s a small town we are visiting, I use the map view to see what’s located closest to the town. This view is also extremely helpful when we are on a road trip and looking for a place to eat along the way.


We try to stick to restaurants that have 4.5 to 5 stars with a decent number of reviews. If none of those are available, we’ll move to a 4-star choice. It’s so important when using Yelp to look at how many reviews a place has as well as the content of some of the best and some of the worst reviews.

If a place is 4.5 stars with several hundred reviews, I’ll feel more confident of it than if it’s 5 stars with 3 reviews. Sometimes you’ll find that the bad reviews are related to something you don’t care about (a particular ambiance, type of cuisine, location, etc.) or the reviewer is pickier than you might be.

When you look at the reviews, you can also see how many reviews the reviewer has done as well as if they are rated as an elite user by Yelp. This can help you determine the legitimacy of the review.

The Best Review Sites - Yelp

Personally I love an in-depth review and if it contains pictures, even better! In addition to looking up reviews, I always leave a review for our favorite places – it’s helped me share great restaurants and find them again if we return to an area a few years later.

It’s also smart to take a moment and open up the restaurant’s website to peek at the menu. This way you won’t end up with sticker shock and/or a menu no one is interested in trying.

Play Around a Bit on Pinterest

Finally, if you have extra time, head over to Pinterest and type in the city name of the place you are planning on visiting.

If someone has done a blog post on the area, you can get some really interesting information about where you are headed, potential ideas for unique things to do, and often an “insiders” viewpoint.

Pinterest is especially useful if you are heading to a frequently visited vacation spot. For instance, there are literally thousands of pins that link to blog posts on Disney, but for smaller areas, you’ll probably only find a few relevant pins.

If you decide to use Pinterest to search, I’d suggest setting a timer – otherwise, you’ll definitely end up spending more time than you want to reading blog posts – and probably get off on some weird tangent that has nothing to do with travel. Just speaking from experience here …


Have any other travel review sites you swear by?

Pin for later:

Ready for the 3 best travel review sites? If you want help in finding things to do and places to eat, be sure to start using all three of these regularly - you'll never run out of ideas! #thingstodo #travelreviewsites #travel
 Ready for the 3 best travel review sites? If you want help in finding things to do and places to eat, be sure to start using all three of these regularly - you'll never run out of ideas! #thingstodo #travelreviewsites #travel

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  1. Yelp is so useful in the US, not as much in Canada … but definitely important for any travelling through America. I ALWAYS deep dive into TripAdvisor reviews. I find them to be the most honest.

    1. I agree – if people take the time to leave a review on TripAdvisor they are typically pretty honest. And some of the Yelp reviews are hilarious!

  2. I’ve never dealt with Yelp much, but I am also a fan of Trip Advisor. It can really help you get real reviews on places you’re thinking about booking for any kind of trip.

  3. I was this many years old when I learned that you could like the hearts on TripAdvisor and create a trip!?!? I reference TripAdvisor regularly and leave reviews. I must have missed class that day. Ha! Thanks for this tip!

    1. Anytime – it really is pretty cool. I used it yesterday to pull up the info I had tagged for a short day trip and it’s so convenient – no searching while driving!

  4. I have to agree, as these are very much the websites I use. I always check with TripAdvisor and Yelp, and often use Pinterest to find interesting travel articles! Thumbs way up for this post! πŸ™‚

  5. I love reading reviews. I sometimes get flack for this, but how else do I know if something is worthwhile?! I use Yelp and Pinterest but didn’t realize that TripAdvisor has so much to offer. I’ll definitely check them out.

  6. I love this post so hard. One reason is because it’s practical. I also use Trip Advisor and Yelp, and for the same reasons and in the same ways. The second reason is because I also go down the rabbit hole in the same ways you do. It’s kind of nice to know I’m not alone. LOL And finally, although I know how to use all three of the sites/apps you mentioned, your photos are super helpful for someone who doesn’t.

  7. I agree! We never choose a restaurant without reading the yelp and trip advisor reviews! For finding places to stay, and things to do, I love Pinterest!

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