Now that you know a little about what TripAdvisor is and how it works, it’s important to learn whether or not it is safe to book travel on TripAdvisor. In this article, we’ll outline exactly how safe TripAdvisor is, which components of the website can pose potential dangers to you as you plan your vacations, and what you can do to stay safe while using the travel information website.
TripAdvisor is safer than other booking websites because it books through partnerships. This means that you never need to use it directly to book your trip, so you never need to enter credit card details or personal information to use it. It is not even necessary to create an account on TripAdvisor.
4 tips to staying safe while using TripAdvisor
1. Never give out personal or financial information on TripAdvisor – it is never necessary.
Because TripAdvisor books through partnerships, payments or booking reservations are made directly on the partner’s website – never on TripAdvisor. Because of this, you do not need to enter your financial information on its website. In addition, no employee or other user will ever have a legitimate reason for asking for this information. Never give this information out, and if another user asks you for it, be sure to report them on the website.
2. Be wary of what other travelers post on the website.
Though reviews and information about accommodations can be so helpful to you, keep in mind that anyone can create a TripAdvisor account – all they need is an email address. This means that property and hotel owners (and their acquaintances) can post false reviews online.
Make sure never to trust one review on its own. Read as many reviews as you can, both good and bad, to get a better feel for the location. In addition, remember that most information in a TripAdvisor review is just the personal opinion of another user, so it’s best to do your own research outside of TripAdvisor as well.
3. Be careful of the information you post or share on the website – avoid dangerous details.
Though sharing your travel experiences is so helpful to other users, there are a few details you should avoid posting in your reviews. Never:
- Post your home address, telephone number, email address, or credit card information.
- Describe details of either your own unsafe behaviour or situations where others could have taken advantage of you.
- Post details or specifics of your upcoming trip.
- Share the personal information of your friends or travel acquaintances.
Instead, consider posting safety tips to other users, or explaining a lack of security at a hotel. This may help someone else avoid dangerous situations that you yourself have experienced.
4. Beware of what other users may ask you for through communication.
TripAdvisor has a useful messaging system that lets you communicate with other users. However, this can lead to potential dangers. Never reveal personal information to another user, and exercise caution when communicating. Users can have ulterior motives, and could be attempting to commit fraud on the website. Report any user who harasses you through their messaging service, or who acts in an inappropriate or suspicious way.
Compared to other booking websites, or websites concerned with travel, TripAdvisor is one of the safest to use. You do not need to enter any personal information to use it, nor do you ever need to give this information out. The only potential concern is that anyone can use the website; due to the lack of verifiable information required to sign up for an account, the possibility of fraud is present.
That’s our safety rundown! If you’d like to create an account, check out our tutorial on how to sign up for TripAdvisor. But first, read our next article where we review the pros and cons of TripAdvisor.