Yes, you read the title correctly.
Not only is TripAdvisor the go-to for reviews on cities, hotels, and destinations far and wide – it’s also THE place you should be heading to actually BOOK the details that will make your trip unforgettable. The experiences.
You all know I LOVE to travel, and I spend a lot of time, money and effort online making sure I do it right. But, until I was approached a few weeks back by the fine folks behind the scenes at TripAdvisor, I didn’t realize that I could book some amazing opportunities right from their website. Who knew?
A couple of weeks ago, Rusty and I jetted off to Europe with Seven to go on a cruise of the Norwegian fjords. We knew what we wanted to do at one of the stops – Flam – but beyond that stop, we were underwhelmed with the excursions available through the cruise line. TripAdvisor stepped in to the rescue. We booked a Hop On-Hop Off big red bus tour of Oslo, the capital of Norway.
The morning we pulled in to port, we were a little disappointed…it was overcast and rainy. But wait! After a quick breakfast, the rain turned to beautiful blue skies, and we made our way off the ship and were greeted immediately by our bus tour, only a few feet from the dock.
It was a seamless and easy process, though I WAS nervous that things may have gone wrong somewhere between booking it in the US and showing up in Norway. We walked right up to the bus, had our reservation scanned, and away we went. Not a single glitch!
The Hop On Hop Off Bus tours are everywhere these days it seems. New York City, Paris, Rome…pretty much any tourist city on the map, And, for good reason. They are comforting. The well kept busses are informative with a pre-recorded play by play of the streets as you pass, they are easily identifiable to tourists who may be a bit frightened abroad, and most importantly, they are reliable and stop at ALL of the major tourist attractions in each town. Want to stop at the Eiffel Tower? No problem. Hop Off, then Hop On again once you are ready to head on to the Louvre or next location.
We really enjoyed the tour of Oslo, which turns out to be quite a small but lovely city. Our first stop was the Vigeland Gardens. Sculptures (unusual sculptures, for sure!) were the highlight of the stop, as well as gorgeous flowers and fountains. Vigelandsparken, as it is referred to locally, is one of Norway’s most visited attractions with over one million visitors every year. The unique sculpture park is the life work of the sculptor Gustav Vigeland with more than 200 sculptures in bronze, granite and cast iron. We hiked around the park for quite a while, enjoying the views and the sunshine, before headeding back to the bus. We only had to wait about 5 minutes, which was prefect.
From there we rode on to the Viking Ship Museum. This incredible museum is on the Bygdøy peninsula with the world’s best-preserved Viking ships and finds from Viking tombs around the Oslo Fjord. 1000 year old Viking Ships preserved for our amazement – and trust me, they ARE amazing. Seven was very impressed with the massive size, and especially their age. It’s so incredible to think that such things could have been built that long ago, with such artistry and precesion, without our modern tools. Showing your kids the world, in my opinion, is far more important than reading about it in books. I’m very lucky I have the opportunities I have to share this kind of life with my son. Believe me, I KNOW.
Once we were ready to head back to the ship, our bus arrived and back we went, after seeing a few more sights from the comfort of the cushiony seats onboard. It was a great value (less than $99 USD for the three of us total) and we got to see everything we hoped to see in Oslo.
Thank you TripAdvisor for the help!
But wait…there’s more.
While I was searching in Oslo, I remembered my upcoming trip with Rusty in September.
Back to Europe!
Our first stop is Rome, a town I have visited many times and know really well. While TripAdvisor DID have a lot of cool excursions I could book (think Jump the Line at the Sistine Chapel, a Pasta Class with a local chef, and Gladiator Tours of the Coloseum), I decided I would rather show Rusty, a newbie, the Rome I know and love on my own. But our NEXT stop – Nice, France – is new to both of us and I wanted help. Help is what I got!
Rust and I have decided that in the next year or so, we are going to start a quest to live out a dream – to live abroad. The South of France appeals to us both, with it’s stunning coastal towns, the seaports, the vineyards and lavender fields. Neither of us have been though, so we are using this short visit to help us choose where we want to settle down! Thanks to the help of TripAdvisor, I was able to book two different tours that are both exciting AND helpful!
Our first excursion is a French Riviera Sightseeing Cruise. We are so excited to see the rainbow colors of the buildings from the sea, stacked on the hills with winding passageways throughout. Seeing the towns from the water is a fantastic way to get a better idea of what may feel like home. The next excursion though will sew it right up…a scooter tour of the coast! We will each have our own scooter to zip around on for the afternoon, so that we can further explore the towns that most attracted us. That way we can get a close up view of the life we may soon lead, from the restaurants, to groceries and markets, to quaint little haunts that will become our everyday some day. We are both so excited! I had no idea such excursions were available, but TripAdvisor had those and SO many more. Private cars, group tours, trips to Monaco and Monte Carlo. Food tours of town, Sweets Tours. You name it, it’s available, and the prices are hard to beat. Plus, they are guaranteed. Not a shady vendor is in the mix, and there are reviews available from travelers just like you and me. Lastly, TripAdvisor stands behind their pricing, with Price Match Guarantees. That really means a lot!
From France we jet off to our last stop, Prague. Again, neither of us have traveled here, so we were looking for advice. Again, we got it! Thanks to TripAdvisor, we’ve booked a Mozart concert dinner, as well as a dinner cruise on the river. Both sound so incredible, and I would have never known that such things were available, and at such great prices!
I can’t wait to tell you all about the tours we take next month, so stay tuned. But in the meantime, if you have a trip planned anywhere, DO give TripAdvisor a go for all of your tour needs. You may just find the excursion of a lifetime! You can certainly book online, in advance (I’m a planner, so this appeals to me for sure), but they also have an app you can book from. Even better? You can be IN LINE somewhere, and book a Jump The Line tour right from the app if it’s available! Why not?
Have you ever booked an excursion via TripAdvisor? Tell me! I’d love to hear what you did and your thoughts. I may just have to go there myself!
A LITTLE MORE ABOUT TRIPADVISOR ATTRACTIONS
The things you do on your trip are the things you remember—Scuba diving in Thailand, seeing Paris from the top of the Eiffel Tower, hunting the Northern Lights in Iceland, or getting to know New York City by foot. With the time, money, and anticipation that goes into your trip, you naturally want to get the most out of those experiences, forming the best possible memories for years to come.
That’s where TripAdvisor comes in. TripAdvisor is the world’s largest provider of tours, activities and attractions, with more than 56,000 bookable experiences in 2,500 destinations worldwide. TripAdvisor Attractions offers something for every kind of traveler; book everything from walking tours, skip-the- line access and theatre tickets to hot air balloon safaris and Everest base camp treks.
Why book on TripAdvisor? Because booking attractions in-person, after arrival, can be risky – there’s no reviews to read, there’s no “big picture” overview of what’s available, some attractions may be unavailable at short notice or come with an hours-long line. TripAdvisor removes this friction:
Knowledge: We consolidate the options in one place, so you can easily search for what best suits your needs.
Reviews: We show you thousands of reviews on attractions so you can make informed choices.
Ease: We make booking online or on our free mobile app quick and easy – no hotel concierge, no guidebook, no ancient brochures.
Whenever, wherever: You can book a month in advance, a week in advance, a day in advance, or a ‘skip the line’ ticket form the very line you’re standing in.
VIP access: We offer skip-the- line opportunities, behind-the- scenes access, private viewings and more.
24/7 customer service: Book with TripAdvisor Attractions and you’ll have 24/7 access to our customer support team
Low price guarantee: If you find a lower price for the same tour or activity within 72 hours of booking, or if you arrive in your destination and find your activity offered at a lower price by our operator, let us know. We’ll refund the price difference.
Disclaimer: I was provided a voucher code to experience TripAdvisor Attractions. All thoughts and opinions are my own.