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5 Handy Ways to Use the New TripAdvisor for Vacation Planning

From action-packed adventures to relaxing family getaways, everyone has their own particular way of traveling. But for most people, vacation planning is the same scattered process: Ask friends for recommendations, look up what sounds good, and try to keep track of all the ideas. The new TripAdvisor (SmarterTravel’s parent company) is aiming to change that.

No matter how you’ve kept track of your vacation ideas up until now (email threads? Shared Google Docs? Pen and paper?), every trip is about to get a lot easier to plan. The new TripAdvisor website and app launched this week, transforming the site into a travel-first social network where you can follow your favorite fellow travelers, from travel experts to friends and family. Users can share ideas both publicly and privately, and you can create your own itineraries based on everything from experts’ tips to honest reviews from people you know personally.

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You can also follow SmarterTravel and over a thousand other travel outlets that are already on the new TripAdvisor sharing vacation ideas, articles, and mapped itineraries. Existing TripAdvisor users can already use the new TripAdvisor too, so you can follow family and friends you personally trust for recommendations that make better use of your hard-earned vacation time.

Here’s how to harness the power of the new TripAdvisor to help you plan your next trip.

Let Experts Plan for You

New tripadvisor map nm

Your next vacation could very well already be planned out by an expert you trust. Following the travel outlets, celebrities, and brands you already know and love means keeping up with ideas and itineraries (called Trips) built by those who share your travel style. Searching a destination will create a thread of all the recommendations from the people and outlets you follow.

Whether you’re looking for suggestions on where to go next or searching for an itinerary in a specific city, the new TripAdvisor allows you to curate the travel tips you want and save them for later. Travel outlets are also sharing travel articles, tips, and ideas directly from their own sites, so you can stay current on news or seasonal travel issues that could directly affect you.

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Co-Plan Trips Directly with Your Friends

The new TripAdvisor isn’t just a social network: Users will also have the ability to create and edit itineraries privately with other users in the Trips tab. If you’ve ever found yourself stuck with all the planning for an upcoming group trip, it’s about to get a lot easier to have a group drawing board. Collaborating on Trips means you can add users to your list (by selecting the plus sign on an existing itinerary) and add friends who want to share ideas.

Keep Your Bucket List in Your Pocket

Forget pestering friends for recommendations via email; instead, you can use the new TripAdvisor to crowdsource and collect tips from all your favorite travelers—from family and friends to travel outlets and influencers. Saving Trips that catch your eye, or creating your own Trip based on suggestions gives you the power to keep your bucket list in your pocket: The service is accessible on mobile devices through the TripAdvisor app (for both iOS and Android).

Keep an Archive of All the Places You’ve Been

Want to share the precise location of a hidden gem you visited? Or just show off everywhere you’ve been? Bragging rights are easier with the Travel Map feature, which allows you to save locations and sort them by places you’ve “been,” “want to go,” and your “favorites.” Adding to your map will let you keep track of your bucket list, and it’s where you can quickly review each place you’ve visited to better help travelers across the globe. The Travel Map also means never again forgetting that one obscure place you loved in that city you visited years ago.

Indulge in a Travel-Only Social Network

Forget the baby photos, political spats, and news alerts that have come to define most social media feeds. The new TripAdvisor is turning the world’s largest travel community (TripAdvisor has millions of built-in reviews and users already) into a travel-first social network that seems to be the first of its kind. Log on for the inspiring photos and videos, and stay for the corresponding Trips and tips to effortlessly take your travel ideas to new heights.

Follow smartertravel on the new tripadvisor

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SmarterTravel Editor Shannon McMahon writes about all things travel. Follow her on the new TripAdvisor here.

By Shannon McMahon

Editor Shannon McMahon is always planning her next trip and often writing in her travel journal. Follow her on Twitter @shanmcmahon_ and on Instagram @shanmcmahon.

Shannon joined SmarterTravel in 2015. A former news reporter, she's lived in the south of Spain, spotted elephants in Sri Lanka, gone spelunking in the Caribbean, hiked Jordan's Petra Basin, interviewed Sao Paulo's Michelin-Star chefs, and explored China via bullet train. Travel trends, news oddities, and her visits to up-and-coming destinations are some of her favorite things to write about.

Her stories have also appeared online on USA Today, The Sun, Huffington Post, Business Insider,,, and more. Her educational background is in journalism, art history, gender studies, Spanish, and film. She's been quoted as an expert travel source by CNBC,, MarketWatch, The Washington Post, USA Today, and more.

The Handy Item I Always Pack: "Plenty of extra thick hair elastics. They tame my frizzy curls and come in handy in a surprising number of packing and hotel dilemmas."

Ultimate Bucket List Experience: "Climbing (yes, climbing, it's steep!) the Great Wall of China before it's gone."

Travel Motto: "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." - Mark Twain

Aisle, Window, or Middle Seat: "Window, of course."

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