Uber + TripAdvisor: Hacking a Vacation Tour From Your Smartphone

Taking a tour in a new city can be a popular choice for vacationers. But tours also tend to be expensive and designed to appeal to a broad group. Using Uber to create a tailored tour is cheaper and simpler, especially if you have a smartphone and the TripAdvisor app.

Millions use TripAdvisor to find out more about their travel destinations, and it works whether you use an iPhone or an Android device. Just open the app and login with an email address or Facebook. Then, choose the option to find things “Near Me Now” and select “Sights & Landmarks.” You’ll be taken to a page full of popular destinations near you.

Chances are you wouldn’t be able to visit every destination. TripAdvisor accounts for this by organizing results by highest-rated attractions nearby. Filter by distance if you’d rather keep your tour close to where you’re staying. Filter by rating if you’re worried about being disappointed. You can also sort by type of attraction. Click “museums” if a local tour of the arts suits you, or “nightlife” if that’s more your scene.

Say you’re in Denver and want to plan a local shopping spree. Filtering results to “shopping” should list the 100 or so destinations nearby, including the 16th Street Mall and Larimer Square downtown. Click the entry and then choose the heart to save that spot. Then, select the back arrow to return to your list and click and save as many more destinations as you’d like.

Finally, return to the main menu and click the button for “Saves.” You’ll see an entry for Denver. Click that and then select the “map” option at the bottom of the screen and … voila!You have a fully mapped tour at your fingertips. Open the Uber app and put in the name or address of your first destination to order a ride, and you’ll be on your way.

And once you’re on the road, be sure to ask your Uber driver for his or her insight. As good as the TripAdvisor app is—and it is, thanks to more than 350 million recorded ratings from travelers—there’s still no substitute for the on-the-ground expertise of drivers who make their home in the city where you’re vacationing.

Photo credit: Grace Wye

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