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Pia Schratzenstaller
presse@tripadvisor.com

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ABC News Online

TripAdvisor Tips for Easing the Pain of Online Hotel Bookings

 TripAdvisor has been influencing the way people travel for more than a decade with a simple idea: Harness the wisdom of the masses by convincing people to write reviews and post them online for free.

As summer vacation time gets underway, "Nightline" put one family to the test, to use TripAdvisor to find and book a vacation using the site's advice and criteria. Watch what happens.

In addition, TripAdvisor offered these tips for making booking a hotel room or a vacation rental online easier.


Best Times to Book Hotel Rooms and Vacation Rentals

Book a hotel at least one month in advance to secure your stay. You can always cancel a reservation if you find a better deal.

Book a vacation rental as early as you can, especially for peak seasons like the summer. But you can also find great last-minute options in popular travel destinations.

Top properties tend to fill up quickly because they often have repeat visitors, positive word of mouth and great reviews. TripAdvisor features more than 400,000 vacation rental listings.


Tips for Authenticating Hotel Reviews

Note from TripAdvisor: Nothing is more important to us than the authenticity of our reviews. We have a world-class international team of specialists who spend 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, making sure our reviews are real. We have a zero-tolerance policy on fraudulent reviews, and have numerous methods to manage the legitimacy of the content on TripAdvisor, including our own automated tools.

1. Read Numerous Reviews: TripAdvisor uniquely allows its users to read dozens, if not hundreds, of reviews of a property. It's the sheer volume of content -- more than 100 million reviews and opinions -- that also allows travelers to ensure a particular property meets their travel needs.

2. Click on Reviewer Profiles: You can learn more about another reviewer by clicking on their profile to see other content they have posted and whether their travel style is similar to yours. Additionally, you can see the reviews of your Facebook friends on TripAdvisor.

3. Look at Property Photos: We have more than 14 million traveler photos.


When Using TripAdvisor, What Are Most Important Search Criteria?

1. Use Filters: When searching for a hotel, use the filters on TripAdvisor. Travelers can set filters for family, value, business, luxury, romance and even green hotels.

2. Consult the Wisdom of Your Friends on TripAdvisor: We've partnered with Facebook to make the experience on TripAdvisor more social and personalized. We use public information and one's list of friends to show friends' reviews, the places they have visited, and other travel-related content they've shared.

3. Have a Particular Question? Ask It in the TripAdvisor Forums: Community members answer even the most specific travel questions, typically within 24 hours.

4. Look at Property Photos: Again, TripAdvisor has more than 14 million traveler photos on the site, which can be helpful in choosing a hotel that is right for you.