Trip advisor has taken over Spain. Will travel ever be the same?

San Sebastian La Concha
Image via Wikipedia

Trip advisor mania has taken over Spain.

Of course, like most Internetos, we used to book our hotels before we set foot on foreign shores. But until we hit Seville, we had no idea what an industry TM has become. Restaurants and hotels throughout the southern cities we’ve visited proudly…yes proudly…display their 2011 TA rankings. There’s hundreds of restaurants and tapas bars throughout but only a chosen few make it to the top 20. those fortunate few get the tourist business seeking safe choices.

On the one hand, TA helps tourists find good venues and avoid fleabags or tourist traps. On the other, it sure takes some of the joy of discovery out of travel! When everyone around you in a restaurant is there because of TA, it’s kind of homogenizing the whole idea of setting sail for exotic experiences.

Admittedly, we’ve eaten at amazing places in Seville like Vineria San Telmo, Bodegas Casteneda in Granada and Tapeo de Cervantes in Malaga. We’ve slept in decent to good places in each of these locales thanks toTA as well. however, eating an exotic Moroccan tagine in a restaurant with the Trip Advisor logo emblazoned on the placemat isn’t quite what I was looking for in local color!

If you only rely on TA, you miss out on the unique recommendations of concierges, of people you meet in cafes and the serendipity of walking into a bistro, cafe or bodega along your day’s travels and having a meal to remember that not everyone else knows about. I do remember some awful meals on other trips and beds that sagged and people who had no clue what what I flailing away to say in the local tongue. But I remember those moments just as fondly or maybe more than my pre-approved A rated restaurants and hotels. we’ve just hit San Sebastian and found a great resource for our pintos crawls…a blog called Todo will report back on our experience.

The Internet is changing the way we travel. I sure hope it’s for the better.
what’s your take on traveling the TA way?

Best sauteed mushrooms ever at pintxos bar called Txalupa in San Sebastian NOT in Trip Advisor but from the local food blogger. Best shrimp brochette ever from Goiz-Argi bar which was a Trip Advisor pick

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