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Why are you here and not Trip Advisor? Or are do you go there too?

Why are you here and not Trip Advisor? Or are do you go there too?

Apr 11th, 2008, 04:27 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
Why are you here and not Trip Advisor? Or are do you go there too?

This could be a better suited to general lounge question, but I am more interested in the responses of Africa trip planners.

When I go to TA, it seems less active for the types of places I am looking at. I am not crazy about the organization. The info itself has been fine but seems less in depth.

My opinion is based on sporadic visits.

Just wondering how you size up the two sites.

atravelynn is offline  
Apr 11th, 2008, 04:52 PM
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Fabriz, where are you? I expected a quick hit expounding the virtues of that company you are promoting with something like...

You don't need Fodors or Trip Advisor, just go to <insert website you've been pasting all over here.> They go all over East Africa, etc.

atravelynn is offline  
Apr 11th, 2008, 05:48 PM
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I find that Tripadvisor seems to be a good resource for first-time travelers, who seldom ask any in-depth questions.

Every now and then I look at the Africa postings but it seems as though those who regularly answer questions are travel agents. I assume since TA posters have the ability to send private messages to others, that this is used to drum up business. There is a certain sameness to the advice given.

I do check a couple of other TA forums and am impressed with the answers given by repeat travelers. But I do think there is a lot more advertising disguised as helpful comments there.

cw is offline  
Apr 11th, 2008, 05:58 PM
Join Date: May 2005
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I like Trip Advisor and answer the questions that I can. It is less active for the places I like (Zambia, Zimbabwe) but the South Africa forums get a lot of postings. For the in-depth, trusted knowledge and advice I come here.

TA has given me some cool stuff-t-shirt, hat, luggage tags, duffle bag.
matnikstym is offline  
Apr 11th, 2008, 06:16 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
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You kidding? another April Fool's one?


PS: There's STalk

HariS is offline  
Apr 11th, 2008, 06:25 PM
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No, not an April Fools. I really don't know much about Trip Advisor and have never logged on and posted anything. The comment on it being a feeding ground for travel agents rings a bell though.

While I'm at it, on Frommer's I see posts that look interesting and then I read the date--2004. Not a happening place. I do occasionally make a post over there, though.
atravelynn is offline  
Apr 11th, 2008, 06:39 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
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Yes, it's a place you go to if you want to know which lodges serve you the best cooikes, scones and other baked goodies at morning coffee. RE travel agents pushing their business - yep, better grounds over there for them i guess and hopefully they are more successful over there. Things didn't turn out too well over here, if you remember.

But Lynn, i think ST is more in line with some of the things you consider important. I recommend sticking to it.
HariS is offline  
Apr 11th, 2008, 06:54 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I post on the Kenya, Tanzania, Namibia and Seychelles forums on TA. I see pros and cons to the country format. Overall, prefer the Fodors format where all of Africa appears together as there's a lot of overlapping information.

I found the Seychelles forum helpful prior to my last trip as there's very little info on the Seychelles here. The Namibia forum was also very helpful particularly for self drives. I found that the info on Fodors tended to lean more towards WS camps and safaris.

As for Kenya, the vast majority of posters on TA are primarily there for a beach holiday so I find that I don't post as much there as I do here. The Tanzania forum also tends to have a lot of threads about Zanzibar though it doesn't lean as heavily toward the beach as the Kenya forum does.

I haven't used any other forums enough to have formed an opinion.

There does seem to be more fabriz-like activity on TA than here. OTOH it's pretty easy to spot the touts. As far as the agents who post regularly, I'm not sure that there are any more of them on TA than on Fodors (at least it doesn't seem that way on the forums I participate in). The PM feature does seem like it could be abused though (and probably does).
Patty is offline  
Apr 11th, 2008, 07:34 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
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All that Patty said. It really depends where you are going. And it's a different perspective with the strong British influence. I've found it useful sometimes, and it's not an either/or thing for me. I was there checking for responses to a question about the Maldives before being here. Unless I am participating in an active thread, though, I lurk here three times a week though, and there twice a month. Fodor's has a lot more active and knowledgable posters.

I've had a couple of quite interesting discussions via PM - it seems quite common to invite someone off forum for a more in-depth discussion of something, rather than doing it there. People tend to answer only specific questions and keep it short on the forum, but some have a lot more to offer. They are less opinionated, too (which may sound like a good thing after trawling through 60 posts for very little, but in the end it isn't).

kimburu is offline  
Apr 12th, 2008, 11:08 AM
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Yes, Hari, Safaritalk has a lot of depth and not just destination or itinerary topics.

atravelynn is offline  
Apr 12th, 2008, 01:54 PM
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Iíd like to be posting everywhere all the time, but I just donít have the time. I always never post on Tripadvisor. Most people there are going to the beach and they sound almost like normal people that I could meet at the supermarket. Fodorites are more fun. Safaritalk is extremely interesting, but thereíre so much information that I simply canít keep up, so I only participate in really, really silly games. I appreciate the opportunity to show off an avatar. Thatís possible at Bushdrums as well, but there are very few posters on that forum. Though one of them is Jan Goss, so I should start posting more.
Nyamera is offline  
Apr 13th, 2008, 06:43 AM
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I know what you mean about the overload, Nyamera. Here's a mind blowing fact.

The current Sunday edition of the New York Times (or probably most major newspapers) contains more information than the average person in the late 1800s was exposed to in their lifetime!

Now I know why I misplace my keys or bills sometimes. It's not my fault, it's just info overload.

atravelynn is offline  
Apr 13th, 2008, 06:58 AM
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Fodors is user-friendly, with current info from many good travelers. TA is good for some info, like hotels. Otherwise it is difficult to navigate. Frommers blogs are less helpful and are dates.
Jed is offline  
Apr 13th, 2008, 07:07 AM
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And Jed, I bet you can't put those trademark stars on Trip Advisor, can you?
atravelynn is offline  
Apr 13th, 2008, 08:27 AM
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I use tripadvisor a lot for hotels outside Africa. The hotel reviews are fun to read and often there are images available. Most of the times the reviews have been very helpful. One of my other favourites is Flyertalk.
Alejandra is offline  
Apr 13th, 2008, 08:34 AM
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I've posted reviews, but never tried smileys.
Jed is offline  
Apr 13th, 2008, 09:01 AM
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I would have to ring in as a die-hard Fodors Africa fan, but I did find a good use for TA when I was planning our Lima portion - which we did on our own, not with our company - of the recent Peru trip.

I used the TA sight for our Peru trip lots more than I used Fodors, as I found that the information on Fodors Latin America forum, although it was there, was really hard to find for Lima specifically - that's way too much ground Fodor's covers in the Latin American Forum. It was easy to get to the Lima 'specific' forum on Trip Advisor and find a private guide.

While I was there, I glanced at the Africa forum, but found that the information on that one was far too specific for each place in Africa, which I believe has to be taken on the whole, as Dennis says, there is a lot of overlapping info. And like Patti and others, I found that it was more beach holiday goers, or volunteers looking for info, not your die-hard animal and cultural lovers like we have here. I didn't notice that there were TA's touting though, maybe I just didn't read it enough.

As for their hotel reviews, at first I found them useful, but once I really got into them, I am of the opinion that some people just complain about anything and everything. We stayed at some incredible first-class hotels in Lima and Cusco, and yet half of the people writing reviews found something wrong with them. In the end I decided if I put too much stock into TA hotel reviews I'd have to stay home.

And I wasn't willing to do that!!!
LyndaS is offline  
Apr 14th, 2008, 01:45 PM
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I know you asked about Africa, but I was just using both forums to research Baja whale watching and New Zealand over the weekend (these trips are likely to win out over Antarctica next year) and am finding TA to be slightly better for what I'm looking for. On the former, I found almost no info on Fodors and some, but still scarce, info on TA. On the latter, I'm finding more info on TA than Fodors for specific activities that interest me (i.e. comparisons of different locations where you can swim with wild dolphins). Of course, it could just be that the Fodors search function sucks
Patty is offline  
Apr 14th, 2008, 02:13 PM
Join Date: May 2006
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Patty -

You mentioned in your post that you were looking into Baja Whale Watching - if you need some links please feel free to email me at:
bajagueraathotmaildotcom. I am a parttime resident so keep lots of info on tap for friends.

Now back to your regularly scheduled Africa programing.

VeeR is offline  
Apr 14th, 2008, 04:17 PM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 875
I read some of the accomodation reviews on TA, and scan some of the threads, but I've never posted anything there. Like others, for me it has a lot to do with the Africa forum here. It is much more helpful than TA. But, the Africa forum here is also much more active than the other Fodor's forums. People post lengthy trip reports and others read and comment on them. Some of the trip reports on the other Fodor's forums get very little response. Questions are also answered in depth here, and I think that is true for most of the Fodor's forums. I find many responses on TA to be a little lacking.

TA seems most useful to me if I'm looking for something very specific. I use Fodor's to gather information, not just to look up something necessary for trip planning. I like to find out where others are considering going and why, and put things on my radar for the future. I don't find that with TA.
Dana_M is offline  

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