Google debuts four new features to make travel planning easier

After being cooped up inside for much of the last two years, most of us are champing at the bit to travel this summer. Google is aware of this, which is why the company is doing what it can to help make travel planning easier. On Monday, Google’s VP of Travel Products Richard Holden shared a blog post revealing four new travel-centric features.

Google announces four new travel features

One of the most convenient features on Google Flights is the ability to track prices with the click of a button. As an incredibly indecisive traveler, I constantly use this feature in order to keep track of flights that I’m not quite ready to book.

This week, that feature got upgraded. You can now track a flight’s prices for any date rather than a specific time frame. If Google detects lower fares within 3-6 months, you’ll receive an alert. This is especially useful for planning potential vacations when the price of your flight is prohibitive. For example, you might want to visit Japan this year, but you’re willing to go any time between now and Christmas for the right price. Track prices for “any dates” and then plan your trip around any discounted flights that might pop up.

If you are not sure where you want to visit, Google’s Explore tool could be incredibly helpful. You can start to plan a trip based on a number of filters, including the number of stops, the length of the trip, and the price of the flights and hotels. But if you’re not looking to go far from home, Google recently added a new “Explore nearby” feature.

If you head to the Explore page, you’ll see a pink dot and a bubble prompting you to explore nearby your current location. Click on the bubble and Google will offer suggestions for trips that you could take within a few hours of your home. Pick a destination to see how long it would take to get there and fun activities to check out when you arrive.

Other additions debuting this week

Know where you’re going, but aren’t sure where to stay? Google’s got a new feature for you as well. If you visit Google Travel, you will now see “interest layers” on the map. These layers show which parts of a city have the most options for dining, shopping, sightseeing, or public transit. This might make it easier to pick the right hotel.

Finally, if you’re planning the vacation months ahead of time, you will probably want to take advantage of the new feature that allows users to bookmark hotels and vacation rentals. You can see your saved properties at any time from the Saved tab on mobile or in the right panel on desktop. Much better than trying to keep it all straight in your head.

You can check out all of these features and more at google.com/travel.


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