Trip Advisor Forum

Word of mouth has long been the best way of discovering new knowledge of things. Marketing companies, even today, still recognize the importance of word of mouth as a way of spreading information, particularly between friends and family but also simply overhearing a conversation in a cafe or in the street. Since the arrival of the internet and smartphones, word of mouth has continued to be an important way of passing on tips, suggestions, recommendations and advice, however it has moved to something known as ‘forums’. Forums are community-led platforms that allow people to share information online for thousands, if not, millions of people to see. This means that rather than waiting for the information to get round to you, person-by-person as it did before, you can now find things out at the click of a button. Travel forums have become a great source of discovering travel-related material, be it packing guides, itineraries, top ten lists or where the best beaches to take your dogs are located. It’s word of mouth for the new century and has inevitably taken over how we pass on and share knowledge.


With all that in mind, we have put together a list featuring a selection of the top ten most useful travel forums currently available online. With millions of users making posts daily on every topic imaginable, combined the forums offer some of the most insightful and informative travel-related content on the internet. Find unique locations, discover helpful tips, read where to go and where to avoid, and access day-by-day guides and itineraries, all by simply referring to our carefully curated list. Each one was thoroughly assessed, with each review containing a brief summary of the service, its highlights, what makes it unique and its potential drawbacks, while the pros and cons of each one are listed in an easy-to-read set of bullet points below each review. With so many forums out there, it can be difficult sorting the good from the bad. However, we have painstakingly gone through and chosen only the ones that most suitably fit our criteria by considering a number of factors outlined below.


As is the case with the many of the sites we review, a primary factor that was taken to into consideration was the user interface of each travel forum. A good, user-friendly interface with simple aesthetic is an obvious, yet often understated, aspect of many online platforms, and something that can ultimately influence the entire experience for users looking to discover information on travel-related topics. While a forum may offer a vast array of options and added features, an overcrowded and confusing homepage can make using even the platform’s most simple functions difficult for many users. Frequently, the best sites are those with a simple, minimalistic aesthetic that make no attempt to over complicate the service offered by adding too many extra features, while they also seem to be the ones with the fastest loading speeds. With the average internet user waiting just ten seconds for a page to load before clicking elsewhere, loading speeds is clearly an important aspect to factor in. Those that have an abundance of pop-up adverts and promotions can also make searching for information a more stressful experience than it ought to be. Therefore, we made sure that, when reviewing the various travel forums, we considered the overall usability and how easy it was to find what you were looking for before going on to assess any other factors.


With so many potential topics and often thousands of questions posted everyday, it can be difficult finding the right information whilst browsing on travel forums. The ability to quickly narrow parameters down and find specific topics, therefore, is is a useful feature to have included, saving time in scrolling through pages and pages of results, none of which are of interest to you. The option to narrow down and sort through search results often comes in the form of filters and ‘Sort By’ options. By applying various filters, you will be able to narrow topics down into categories such as country and city, or outdoors and camping, while the ones that do not match will disappear from view. ‘Sort By’ options, meanwhile, work in a similar way to filters, however as the name suggests, they sort the results once users have added the appropriate filters, so that they can view options in either ascending or descending order depending on what they have selected. If, for example, you want to see posts that are most relevant to your keywords, then you will sort by ‘Most Relevant’, while if you are looking to the newest posts then you would select ‘Latest’.


Another item that we found to be especially helpful when browsing through travel forums was the ability to save topics, tips, advice and recommendations into ‘Favourites’ in order to be viewed at a later date. Planning a trip can take weeks, meaning you may start reading about suggestions for various locations well in advance of your departure date. However, these suggestions may only become useful once you are out there, meaning the option to save them in a ‘Favourites’ section that can be quickly viewed when required makes for a very handy feature. Travellerspoint Forum is one example of a website that has this exact feature, allowing its users to avoid going through the whole process of setting filters and applying ‘sort by’ options more than once. While it is clearly a simple feature, it is often underrated and can save you lots of time in searching multiple times for topics when you could just keep them all in an easy to access ‘Favourites’ file.


Finally, we considered not only whether the site offered a selection of itineraries, but also the
range of budgets and traveller types to which these catered. Ready-made travel itineraries
are important inclusions on travel forum websites as they can offer ideas and a structure to the trips of travellers who are unfamiliar with the destination they are visiting. Travel itineraries offer travellers suggestions, day-by-day guides, advice and tips for journeys to different locations. India Mike, for example, has its very own travel itinerary section, which includes hundreds of recommended trips across India. You can sort the entries by different filters, sort by ‘replies’, which provides an idea of which post you will be able to gather the most information from, or by views to give an idea of which itinerary is most popular. As a consequence, we made sure to factor in the presence of travel itineraries and guides across the forums, ensuring that there were ones that provided for all budgets and traveller types, whether young backpackers or more elderly couples.


Overall, this list provides a selection of the ten most useful and informative travel forums, carefully selected from thousands of similar sites. Through careful consideration of the aforementioned factors, we have been able to narrow the list down into only the top forums for providing travel-related information, first hand recommendations, sound advice and tips, day-by-day guides and travel itineraries for every destination imaginable. Not only are they all user-friendly and easy to navigate, their content is unrivalled, making them the best places to go to source all the information you could possibly need for planning the trip of a lifetime. While travel agents, guidebooks, blogs and documentaries are all useful tools for gathering all the knowledge you should know before setting out on your travels, forums provide community-led platforms where anyone who is anyone can contribute to expand the information available online. Nowhere else will you find such up to date advice than on a travel forum, while if for some reason you cannot find the topic you are looking for, simply add it yourself by starting a thread. Simple, free and very accessible.

One of my favourite features of the TripAdvisor Travel Forum is how you can choose categories either by destination or what they call ‘Beyond destination forums’
Thousands of posts focused on Southeast Asia, providing specific information on the region
Travel companion section allows users to post adverts and find travel buddies
Air travel specific forum
Lots of categories, including a Travel Books section
Thousands of posts and blogs
Useful travel itineraries for India
Forum targeted at those travelling with disabilities
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