Online Reviews Helped Me Backpack Through Europe Seamlessly — They Can Help You Too

 (Image:  Pixabay )

(Image: Pixabay)

Have you ever looked at a review before going to a restaurant or purchasing an item? Odds are your answer is yes. I rely on them most of the time, especially when it comes to traveling. I recently returned to Michigan from a seven-week backpacking trip to Europe during which I had no trouble at all — and that wasn’t just because I got lucky. I owe every person who reviewed the hotels I stayed at, the restaurants I ate at, and every event or activity I threw myself into a big thank you, because they made my trip as seamless as possible.

Tourist destinations rely on reviews. Every business I went to in Europe would hand me a card or verbally request that I hop online and write them a review. I quickly realized that no matter how small or large a business was, reviews mattered to them. Word-of-mouth is not enough to get the message out these days; we need to utilize technology.

 Cantina e Cucina, a restaurant in Rome that serves this amazing dessert, was one of the first places I decided to write an online review for (Photo: Melissa Smith)

Cantina e Cucina, a restaurant in Rome that serves this amazing dessert, was one of the first places I decided to write an online review for (Photo: Melissa Smith)

In the past, I was pretty negligent when it came to writing online reviews. Previously, I would only think of doing so when something went wrong, but even then, I never had the gumption to actually write one. Now I know, after relying on them to make my backpacking trip a success, that I want to help others by leaving reviews of my own. One of the first places I wrote a review for while in Europe was the restaurant Cantina e Cucina in Rome, which serves a delicious dessert that deserves to be tried by everyone.

With those miniature computers called smartphones in our hands at nearly all hours of the day, writing a quick review is now easier than ever. All you need to do is download an app or check-in online, and it typically takes less than five minutes to do so. While it may not seem like a big deal to you, those five minutes can make a huge difference to fellow travelers and for businesses, as well. Some of my favorite places to check for and leave reviews are TripAdvisor, Booking.com, and Hotels.com.

The next time you have a great experience out and about, don’t forget to hop online and tell everyone about it — you never know who you’re going to help.

*Note: This article is a guest post. Melissa Smith is a soon-to-be semi-regular contributor to Logan’s Run.