My favorite travel product of the week: The Yelp App
One thing I love about travel is how much you learn about yourself by doing it. For example, I’ve learned that I am uncomfortable in situations where I don’t know what to expect. Being unprepared makes me nervous and therefore, I’m always more reluctant to embrace unknown situations. In addition to learning about yourself through travel, you also learn a lot about those you travel with.
I’ve learned that my daughter is absolutely incapable of feeling out of place. She truly makes herself at home and feels confident in ANY situation. I’ve also learned that my son would rather starve than eat new things. And- the person I’ve learned the most about through travel is my husband. I’m convinced that if you can travel successfully with your spouse then your marriage can survive anything!
If you’re a regular follower of this site, you’ve seen me mention the Yelp app before. The more I use it, the more obsessed I become. It really is fabulous and easily the app I use the most often. If you’re not familiar, Yelp is essentially a huge database of reviews. We use the restaurant portion the most often, but there are hundreds of other business sectors available.
One of the most useful parts of Yelp is the ability to search restaurants (or other businesses) based on location. When we are traveling we love being able to plan our food stops ahead of time. As we get hungry or approach a meal time, I check out Yelp to see our options. We also love the ability to read other customer reviews and quickly get an idea of the quality, price and service. Yelp uses a 5 star system. I typically only look at places with 4-5 stars, and then I read reviews and look through pictures.
A GREAT testimony of why we love Yelp happened on our latest road trip. We spent 14 days in the Northeast. We ate our weight in seafood and amazing “local” fare. But on our last day of the trip- on our way home- we were just craving Mexican food. I checked on the Yelp App and found an impressive 5-star place along our route. Since there really weren’t any other options, I didn’t bother to read reviews or look at pictures.
Now, I’m not usually one to judge a book by it’s cover…but this place was shady. Like we drove through a really bad part of town and ended up at this concrete building with bars on the windows. Also worth noting- we were the only car in the parking lot.
Prior to Yelp I would have NEVER gotten out of my car. But, this place had unbelievable reviews so we gave it a shot. Once we walked inside, every part of our experience was phenomenal. The staff could not have been more friendly, the prices were awesome, and the food was the best Mexican we’ve ever eaten!
This is just one example of how we use Yelp throughout our travel. We also try to make a point of adding our own reviews to help out others. It’s nice to have a heads up when service runs slow (especially when we’re traveling with children!) Also, often restaurants offer deals on Yelp like a free appetizer.
Do you use Yelp?