It is not always easy to visit a new place for the first time. Even if you Googled a website or Wikipedia page beforehand, nothing beats hearing a genuine opinion or review from a friend or other individual who has already visited.
It’s as simple as pulling out your smartphone these days to see what other people have to say about restaurants, tourist attractions, bars, hotels, and other establishments. There are numerous apps that can use your device’s GPS technology to locate you and immediately provide you with tips, reviews, and recommendations about the location you’re in from real people who’ve been there before.
Place Tips is a feature in Facebook’s iOS app. Because this is not a separate app, you only need to have your regular Facebook app installed. When you scroll through your News Feed, you may notice tips and recommendations for nearby locations at the top. Tapping on a tip will display photos and posts from friends who have previously visited, as well as other relevant information such as popular features, upcoming events, and reviews from previous visitors.
Foursquare was the coolest location-based app that people used to check-in to places and share with their friends a few years ago. The Foursquare app is now designed for location discovery (while its Swarm app is used for social sharing). Foursquare allows you to select a number of interests or “tastes” so that it can provide you with more accurate location recommendations. You can even select a specific taste and see tips left by other users who have visited nearby locations.
Yelp is a must-have app if you’re looking for a lot of reviews from real people about specific places. You’ll not only be able to get directions to a location, see what’s on the menu if it’s a restaurant, browse photos, and check-in there yourself, but you’ll also have access to tens of thousands of star ratings and reviews. The most helpful highlighted user reviews are listed first, ensuring that you always see the best information first without having to sift through them all.
Gogobot is the must-have travel app for your phone. If you’re planning a trip or vacation to a new location, Gogobot can provide you with information on hotels, rentals, restaurants, and things to do while you’re there. This is yet another app that learns about your preferences and makes personalized recommendations based on them. Everything also has a five-star rating system, so you can always see the average rating of a place and expand it to read individual user reviews.
Ratings and reviews can be useful when looking for a restaurant or a bar that serves food and drinks. Urbanspoon is solely focused on dining experiences. Nobody likes bad food or bad service, so using the app to learn more about restaurants, bars, and other establishments from people who have already dined there can help you make better decisions when deciding where to grab a meal or a drink. You’ll be able to see menu items as well as photos, as well as see what’s popular nearby or adjust your location to places you might be traveling to.