July 23, 2024

RTC

Safe Travel USA

How Google services make trip planning a lot easier

Whether you travel for business or plan the occasional group vacation, Google offers many services that can help you organize your trip. Some of them are even designed to make it easier to include other people in your plans. Let’s see which services offer the best experience — and how you can make the most out of them.

Google Calendar

Before planning a trip, it’s best to identify suitable dates. Google Calendar can make this easier by helping you see people’s availabilities, provided they’ve shared their calendars with you.

What’s even better is that Google parses travel confirmation emails and adds the details to your calendar; there’s no need to manually add flight, hotel, and car rental information.

Other reservations, such as visits and restaurant bookings, are also easy to add directly from Gmail. You just have to click to add it.

Google Travel Explore

Now that you’ve found dates that suit everyone, Google is also there to help you find location inspiration. With the Explore feature, Google Travel lets you browse destinations on a map and use filters to narrow down your options. Simply select various travel interests from the filters and Explore will help you select the perfect spot.


Google Travel Explore

It’s a neat way to get recommendations, but filter options are limited; I would love to see additional filters for kid-friendly and pet-friendly places.

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Google Flights

If your trip involves flying, Google Flights is probably the best service to look for options. It asks you to enter any destination, then automatically routes you to the closest airports.


Google Flights

Google Flight offers various filters to find the perfect flight. Cabin preference, flight time, price range, and bag allowance are a few of the filter options. Frequent flier members can also filter by airline alliance.

Google Flights also allows you to set a price alert and will notify you if there’s a price drop or hike on a particular route.

Google Travel Hotels and Vacation Rentals

When booking a trip, it’s essential to figure out where you’ll stay. Google can help you find the best hotels and vacation rentals. It searches through third-party sites such as Agoda, Expedia, Booking.com, and Hotels.com to find the best rates.

It’s even more convenient for vacation rentals as it will look through sites you may not be familiar with and won’t limit itself to VBRO and Airbnb. For instance, when I looked for rentals at a French ski resort, Google Travel pulled options from sites like Bluepillow, BookingPal, HolidayLettings, and other sites I wouldn’t have considered.

I also find Google Travel much more helpful than other options because it analyzes ratings and popular nearby locations to find the best spots.

Similarly, Google Travel can calculate the best times to visit and what to expect in terms of prices according to the hotel category. Recommendations are based on data such as prices, weather, and occupancy rates.It’s an excellent way to get to know your destination better and narrow your choices down to find the best available options.


Google travel hotels

Google also provides you with filters to refine your search, such as hotel category, type, brand, price, amenities, guest ratings, brands, cancellation options, and the number of rooms for vacation rentals. Unfortunately, there is no way to set a price alert like with Google Flights, but there’s a neat option to save hotels or vacation rentals to a list and compare them.

Things to do in Google Maps and Travel

Whether you access this service from Google Travel or Google Maps, it’s a great way to find interesting attractions. Google Travel presents you with the top sights, but you can also dig deeper and browse through narrower categories, such as historical places, arts and culture attractions, museums, outdoor features, amusement parks, and even pet-friendly places. Google can also automatically recommend travel articles from various sites, offering several opinions about a site.


Google travel things to do

Also, since Google’s services work together, you can add places to a list and see them later in Google Maps. In contrast to other services like Yelp, you get the benefit of seeing everything in one spot, and places are easier to find once you’re there. Also, as users and local guides can review places in Maps, there’s no real reason to open a different app to find recommendations.

Google Travel

In addition to saving your trip information in Calendar, Google Travel can automatically save your bookings in an organized way. It’s convenient when you plan to visit multiple cities as it also calculates travel times between your hotel and the airport.

Since Google Travel is progressive web app, you’ll need an internet connection to use it.

Google Maps

Google Maps is probably the app you’ll use the most when traveling. Not only will it provide you with both online and offline guidance, but it can also recommend places to eat or drink, let you chat with local businesses, and even book a table on Reserve with Google.

Translate

Language doesn’t need to be a barrier when traveling abroad thanks to Translate. With support for over 100 languages, Google can help you communicate with people in many parts of the world.

Make sure you download languages locally before your trip, so you can communicate with people without an internet connection. I particularly like the Live Translate feature, which is pretty handy when trying to have a conversation with someone who doesn’t speak the same language.

Also, when trying to figure out what’s on a menu, you can use the Instant Camera feature. This feature allows you to point your camera at written text and watch as it’s instantly translated into the language of your choice.

Google Pay

Many airlines allow you to save your boarding passes in Google Pay, which makes them easier to show at the airport. Similarly, various hotel chains and car rental companies invite you to save your confirmation information in the app as well.

What’s particularly useful is that Google Pay automatically shows a reminder close to your check-in time, ensuring you don’t have to keep checking your phone or watch. Lastly, Google Pay is the easiest way to… well… pay for that illegally delicious-smelling Auntie Anne’s pretzel or some bright and shiny souvenirs from duty-free stores.

Google Keep

Google Keep is a popular way to store notes about anything you’d like to have handy during your trip, whether it’s ideas you’ve had or copy-pasted bits of advice from others.

For example, I have a to-do list that I call my “Pack List,” which lists every possible item I need when I travel. That way, I can tick it off when it’s in my suitcase and I won’t forget anything. I duplicate the list so I can re-use it for other trips, and don’t have to think about what to bring all over again.

Google Home

Being away doesn’t mean you shouldn’t know what’s happening back home. Google Home helps you make sure your doorbell camera is switched on, unneeded appliances are off, and certain security measures are in place.

Even better, it lets you create routines for scheduling lights at random times, which makes it look like you’re home. Google Home can even help you control your thermostat, so your room is at the perfect temperature when you get home. To find more inspiration, have a look at our list of best of Google Assistant Routines.

Android Auto

When you rent a car, it can be a hassle to become familiar with the dash menus, headlights, windshield wipers, and so on. Thankfully, Android Auto is a familiar interface that makes it a bit easier to get to your destination. It lets you locate all the places you’ve already saved in Google Maps and easily provides directions to your hotel.


Google Photos

When traveling, most of us take pictures to cherish after our trip. Google Photos can automatically back them up to the cloud whenever there’s a Wi-Fi connection. You can also allow it to use cell data.

This ensures your photos are safe, even if you break or lose your phone during your trip. Since the pictures are already saved, they’re much easier to sort through and share with friends and family once you’re back.

You’re all set to have an incredible travel planning experience. Plenty of other apps allow you to consolidate everything, including the excellent Wanderlog, but I feel they’re not as valuable as Google’s ecosystem. Even though you will have to use several apps and services instead of accessing to everything at once, it’s a good way to organize your information.


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