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Advice for new posters

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Plymouth...
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574 posts
163 reviews
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Advice for new posters

It's always great to welcome new TA members to our little community. TA has saved me so much money and added so much enjoyment to my travels over the years and I love to share the experience with others. A few well-intentioned suggestions are offered to help less experienced members get quicker and better advice:

1. Be specific. Don't ask about "cheap hotels", since the definition of cheap varies among individuals. Better to ask about "hotels in the $___price range".

2. When asking about best things to do, or must-sees, tell us a bit about yourselves. Do you like to walk? Are you into history or architecture? Are you on a tight budget? Is it your third trip? The more we know the better we can advise you.

3. Give your post a meaningful title. "Downtown Italian Family Restaurants?" will draw in those with knowledge that can help you. But a title that says "Going to New York" is so broad that some members may pass over it since they don't know what you need.

4. If you ask for people's opinions, don't be surprised if they disagree with your ideas. You'll find a wide variety of experience and preferences here. It's not unusual for one member to tell you your itinerary sucks and another to think its great. Feel free to ask for more detail but please don't get mad if they seem to shoot down your ideas.

5. Make good use of the private message feature on TA. If you notice a member who seems knowledgeable and helpful, send a complimentary message to them and ask if they can give you other advice.

6. And PLEASE post a trip report or review when you return. Let us know what worked for you and what didn't.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and for being a member of Trip Advisor--the best travel forum on the Internet.

Aldo (not affiliated with TA)

Florida
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17,081 posts
10 reviews
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1. Re: Advice for new posters

... and if you're planning to post a Hotel Review when you get back, take some PHOTOS, too. Especially if you want to give negative feedback.

Dear Aldo Nola, you'll probably have to repost to this in order to "top it" periodically.

Plymouth...
Level Contributor
574 posts
163 reviews
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2. Re: Advice for new posters

Travelnutty, you're right about the photos. They do add a great deal.

And as it happens you are one of the members who gave me great advice about my first trip to Paris and I thank you for that! We are planning our fourth Paris trip as I write this.

Wodderick
Level Contributor
15 posts
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3. Re: Advice for new posters

This should be a sticky note!

Toronto, Canada
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4,079 posts
8 reviews
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4. Re: Advice for new posters

Well done, Aldo Nova. Hopefully this will help new posters to get the kind of information they need.

With respect to Number 1 on your list, the only clarification I would like to make is that people should post their budget in the currency of the forum that they are in (e.g. euros in Paris, US dollars in NY etc.) Since this is an international forum, we don't always know what the conversion rate is if the poster is setting out their budget in pounds, US dollars, CAD dollars, AUS etc.

Thanks again for posting this.

USA
Level Contributor
27,100 posts
5 reviews
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5. Re: Advice for new posters

>>> if you're planning to post a Hotel Review when you get back, take some PHOTOS<<<

When you take and post photos, do take some of the actual hotel, details of your assigned room (even if your bags are un-packed and the bed isn't made) as well as public spaces. When others look at these Past Guest Reviews & Comments and Candid Traveler Photos they're interested in the hotel, details, the comparison between website photos and actual rooms. Photos of the Eiffel Tower, artistically arranged produce at street markets or clever pigeons in the park are grand for your personal photo album but....don't tell much about the hotel.

San Francisco...
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3,133 posts
23 reviews
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6. Re: Advice for new posters

Very good advice on all points - we can help you, and many people will do so, if you first help us with the relevant details.

Tampa, Florida
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36,052 posts
10 reviews
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7. Re: Advice for new posters

BUMP

Please, Owls, make this a sticky! Better yet, email it to everyone the moment that they subscribe.'

I would also add:

7. There's a search box available at the top of the left-hand column, right under the green header box.

USE IT. Chances are, your question has already been addressed (in some cases, exhaustively) in prior posts...Read what's been posted, then come back and ask questions for further clarification.

8. Do at least a little research on your own -- none of us here are professionals, and we can't read your mind. Posting "I want to go to Europe, where should I go?" won't get you much sympathy -- try "I like architecture, history, and the mountains -- where should my family (Me, wife, and two teenagers who like xxxx) go?"

We can take shots in the dark, but a general direction gets you better results.

simpsonville,sc
Level Contributor
1,355 posts
10 reviews
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8. Re: Advice for new posters

bump

West Virginia
Level Contributor
381 posts
2 reviews
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9. Re: Advice for new posters

Great list. I agree that it would be helpful if this was emailed to every new member.

Rob

Montreal
Destination Expert
for Paris
Level Contributor
18,647 posts
148 reviews
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10. Re: Advice for new posters

Would like to add that pics really add to a review, but they should reflect what a hotel room "really" looks like.

Pics of trashed hotel rooms, with clothing, shoes, bottles,litter...scattered all over the place aren't very helpful. It's a bit like posting a photo of a half eaten dinner plate, with cigarette stubs in it, with a restaurant review.