Do you ever get the feeling that the property reviews on TripAdvisor or similar websites are a little shady? Like they might not be real or biased?
If so, then keep reading because I’m going to share with you the truth about reviews for resorts and what you should consider before you book that trip...
Understanding Travel Review Deceptions Before You Book:
Have you ever had a bad experience and it stayed with you throughout the day, where your mood and personality were altered for the rest of the day? This can be true on vacation too. Travel is unpredictable and when someone starts the trip off with issues, whether they are personally inflicted, such as arguments or the stress from preparing before the trip – or outside influences related to travel delays due to mother nature or mechanical issues.
These incidents can snowball and turn excitement into frustration, which can be hard for some people to separate and move on from. Understanding this nature and that some people feel better if they voice all the nit-picky details that happened after their first disappointment can be reflected in unwarranted reviews.
Most importantly you must remember, you are not them! The reviewer could love something on the opposite spectrum of the experience and quality you prefer on vacation. The clientele a resort tends to attract, may not be the type of people you would normally take advice from or want to share your vacation time with. So, just because so many people love something online, the typical guest that tends to stay at that particular resort, may not have the same appreciation level relating to your tastes, comforts, or definition of luxury and fine dining that you desire. Be sure to read between the lines, and deep dive into the type of resort it truly is!
Unfortunately, this gaming of the system has spilled into property reviews. On Fiverr alone, there are several freelancers who offer to write reviews for your website about your company even if they have never purchased anything from you or stayed at your hotel. Friends, family, and even staff members are also being asked to write glowing recommendations about properties.
This isn’t all that surprising when you consider that an influx of bad reviews can ruin a business, good reviews can lead to more revenue, and anyone can sign up to review a company - even when they’ve never been a customer. And as Forbes explained, “TripAdvisor reviews don't require a verified booking.”
So, how can you tell if the property reviews you’re reading are legit?
Otherwise, unless your family or friends has recently stayed there (and by recently, I mean within the last year - maybe two - as resorts make changes with staff, renovations or sell to new management companies which can greatly alter the experience and may not be what it was); so, if your family/friend have very similar likes and dislikes - these are the only two ways to know for sure if it will be everything you're hoping for and worth the investment.
When you are ready to travel, let's chat! I’ve visited hundreds of properties and will give you the honest facts you’re looking for about whether the property is worth it, or a complete waste of your money.
Schedule your free consultation to learn more about our services and how we can assist you with planning an unforgettable and stress-free vacation!
Stay positive, safe and hopeful!
If you are anything like me, your travel bug is getting anxious to explore again! It's been great to see many destinations starting to re-open and accepting tourists again these past few weeks, and I'm looking forward to seeing even more this summer.
As I have started planning new vacations again, there is one thing I noticed trending in regards to the immediate future of vacation planning... You must plan in advance and prepare more than you normally would. Let me take you on a quick imaginative journey of one of these exclusive experiences you must pre-plan, even earlier than before, to guarantee your spot!
Imagine breathtaking views that are still largely untouched by commercialism and not overrun with tourists. Picture mountain views, canyons carved by rushing waters, and stunning landscapes. Now imagine being able to view it all from a world-class train that puts you up close with nature while transporting you in luxury. You can enjoy all this and more with one of the many Rocky Mountaineer luxury train tours.
While this year is a no go for this adventure - there are already limited options for the 2021 season as everyone had to reschedule from their cancelled 2020 trip. They have a short season any how (from late April to October), so you should jump on pre-planning now or you may be stuck with waiting until 2022!
- Travel by Day, Sleep by Night -
One of the biggest problems with many train tours, is that you often end up sleeping through a large portion of your travels. Of course, this means you miss much of the scenery. Perhaps one of the most enticing aspects of the train tours offered by Rocky Mountaineer is that they feature daylight-only train tours so you won’t miss anything along the way!
While you ride in comfort viewing picture-perfect landscapes, you’ll be treated to outstanding service, gourmet meals, complimentary alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, sweet and savory snacks, and much more. The train cars give you the best seat possible to discover the wildlife and the surroundings thanks to the glass-dome windows that allow you to take in the sights without obstruction, and without the need to worry about the elements. Then, once the sun goes down, the train will stop and transfer you to a hotel where you can explore the area, before you settle in for a comfortable night of sleep.
There are three (3) main routes offered, but you also have three (3) journeys to choose from to customize the length of your trip. In addition, to deciding the type of journey and route you prefer to take, they also offer two (2) service levels that give you distinct experiences for different budgets, both offering an effortless and unforgettable vacation.
The short journey's range from spending 2-3 days onboard the train before returning to Vancouver. The most popular journey's ranges from 5-9 nights, which can go in reverse order however you choose, from Vancouver and at the other end being in Jasper or Calgary. To see even more of the incredible scenery that the Rocky Mountains has to offer, you can also combine TWO itineraries that allow you to start and end your journey from the same place. These combination tours range from just 6 to 12 nights and is a great way to see it all!
While all those options may seem overwhelming, we make it simple and help you through all the options to determine what is the best for you. Each offers it's own budget, style and inclusions, and it's our job to help you design the most perfect package! Below is a brief overview of the available routes...
Three Rail Routes Available
1). First Passage to the West
This two-day rail journey takes you from the Pacific Coast to Banff Lake Louise along the same route that was traveled more than 125 years ago. Along the way, you will witness mountains and wilderness that remains largely unchanged since those days of the first explorers.
2). Journey through the Clouds
This is another two-day rail journey, on which you will travel through the heart of the Canadian Rockies, with all of nature’s raw beauty on full display. The highlights of this tour include the majestic Mount Robson and the postcard-perfect Pyramid Falls. Stops include Vancouver, Kamloops, and Jasper.
3). Rainforest to Gold Rush
Finally is the three-day rail tour with stops in Vancouver, Whistler, Quesnel, and Jasper. This tour will take you from one extreme to another - from the world’s largest temperate rainforest to the arid ranchlands of the historic Cariboo Gold Rush region. Although there’s no gold left, the area is still rich in natural beauty.
Did I Mention the Additional Inclusions?!
From luxury accommodation in the heart of Vancouver, to a rustic inn in a quaint train stop town in the Rockies and the height of indulgence in a lake view room in a chateau overlooking stunning Lake Louise.
- Meals & Drinks Onboard:
Decadent flavors to savor with locally inspired cuisine for breakfasts and lunches as you make your way through the untamed beauty of the wilderness. Dinner and drink options are varied and available to suit every taste and diet.
- Included Adventures:
Go on an ice tour across glaciers, take a skytram across the mountains and even helicopter above some of the most sweeping vistas you'll ever see; all included, all inspiring.
- Travel Host:
Dedicated host that will make your onboard experience as memorable as the journey. You will get to know them like family with the stories they share as they take care of your every need onboard. They will also provide insight on the historic site, flora, fauna and wildlife.
Like so many of you, we here at Destinations HD have been rethinking (and rescheduling!) our vacation plans this summer. The world is re-opening, but as we talked about recently, travel is going to be a little different for a while. So what next? If you aren't comfortable to jet-off to far away destinations with multiple plane trips right now, what can you look to do instead?
The answer that we are excited to share, is small group adventures right here in the USA! When you have grown up here, I think it’s easy to forget how special your own backyard is. (not literally. I think we are all sick to death of our own backyards at this point, am I right?!)
It's a perfect time to get out there and see our beautiful and diverse country with your friends and loved ones, as well as, put some fervor and finance back into the country. Read on below, to learn a little more about what Destinations HD can offer in terms of travel in the United States...
- Home Is Where You Don't Need A Passport -
I know we don't typically sell Continental U.S. vacations, but what you might not realize is we actually do - just in a specialized capacity. We don't plan hotel-only vacations (for a variety of reasons we won't get into here), but we do offer a variety of journeys designed to introduce you to authentic experiences and never-to-be-forgotten sights that you can do independently, or within a small group capacity.
If you and your traveling companions are anything like me, you’re not quite ready to hit the road and figure out how to take care of an RV, but you are chomping at the bit to get out and about. Booking a small group adventure vacation solves both of these problems.
Hit the road with yourself and 6-13 others into a luxury van or small bus with a private driver/guide doing all the legwork! You won’t have to switch drivers, navigate the route yourself, or go without Wi-Fi or cell service in dead zones within your Wi-Fi equipped vehicle, and the best part is you can spend the travel time hanging out together, napping, or sharing your travel adventures on Instagram!
The diversity of options in the U.S. has increased dramatically in recent years, and even more so now with more people looking inward for their 2020/2021 vacation plan. There are a TON of different experiences available from camping trips (with everything provided!), to city and beach explorations, to finally getting out there and enjoying the breadth and beauty of the numerous stunning national parks our country has.
Ever gazed longingly at pictures of clear water in a natural paradise? Let us send you to some of the most pristine lakes in America where you can paddle board while gazing deep into the crystalline depths.
Missing the idea of cocktails poolside in a tropical haven? Hawaii and her sunsets are calling, where you can enjoy craft cocktails with a bit of glam and tan!
Dreaming about quaint fairytale villages in Europe that look like they were pulled straight out of a storybook? California is home to some of the most magical and architecturally charming places that you've probably never heard of!
But if it’s water, water, water you’re after, get down deep into the Grand Canyon and experience white water rafting through this geological wonder, find secret emerald pools and waterfalls only accessible by water, explore gigantic caverns, enjoy a leisurely float on motorized rafts, while enjoying gourmet meals prepared for you riverside, and end it all with some fun and sun in Las Vegas!
Alongside the itinerary options, you can select an All-Inclusive vacay (yep!), you can select a set itinerary, or you can customize an itinerary by adding, reducing, upgrading or downgrading the following.
The United States is your oyster right now and you can choose exactly how you want to devour it! Spread the beauty and culture of this great nation around the world so that when the world is ready, our tourism industry can bounce back and thrive.
We can help each other, our country, the tourism industry and all that it encompasses (hotels, restaurants, national parks, and all those employed within) by staying safe and planning unforgettable small group vacations right here at home!
With so many small group options, it's easy to get your family or close friends together to venture out together and feel more at ease being surrounded by the people you love. What better way to make up for the time you missed together these past few months, than to discover new adventures comfortably as a private group.
When you are ready to start planning your next getaway, just schedule your consultation and we can get the conversation started!
Stay safe, positive and hopeful!