Social media has fundamentally altered how people plan travel by putting recommendations and local business listings at our fingertips, writes Shashi Bellamkonda of Bozzuto.com. Online travel forums make it easy to do research, and obtaining recommendations on where to go and what to see is a snap thanks to social-networking sites. But it's important to view online reviews in context, Bellamkonda writes. "Remember that in the service business things can always go wrong. If you come across a review with a bad experience, look at how the business reacted to this experience," he writes.

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