I extended my business stay in South Africa by a few days on a private basis.
Since I wanted to see a few things around I asked colleagues on how to organize my trip. They told me: get a car. Go drive and if you feel like it get a hotel from Trip Advisor.
I was curious but I took it as advice from a trusted person and did as told.
I have to say. It was a really good advice. I never used a “social” travel tool before.
But with a community like the Trip Advisor community I immediately found 3 appropriate Hotels and also some recommendable Restaurants.
I am positively impressed with how the community works. For example on my last Hotel I found this comment: “Arriving at the Parliament Hotel, you think you’re in a rather drab neighborhood, but it’s just the block, which is absolutely safe and by a police station. In fact, you’re two blocks from the bustling center of Cape Town.” Normally I would have driven elsewhere and probably stayed less central for more money.
Based on the experience I even wrote my first review for a restaurant that was located in the 1st floor which I would not have picked on my own. I still owe at least 2 reviews. Which I will do in due time.
I will use tools like that in the future when I am traveling even more.
It is fascinating to see how the web 2.0 is really changing how things work in the “real world”. In pre-internet times you would have either trusted a friend or colleague or you would have trusted in a travel agency. Just going and finding something good as you move by is definitely a big advantage of web technology.
As a last advice I recommend to get Internet coverage for your mobile in the country where you are traveling. In South Africa this is easily possible with Vodacom. It’s so cheap that when I found out I was really pissed that I did not already do that for week one. If you are an online addict as I am it is hard to go for a week from Hotspot to free wireless and back.