Is there anything more exciting than the feeling of giddy anticipation after booking a trip? The feeling when you’ve locked in the flights, booked the perfect hotel, found the ideal celebratory restaurant and start putting together all the things you’ll actually do and everything you’ll see? It’s glorious. Whether it’s finding a solo adventure, a getaway with your significant other or a family trip, it should all be fun, right?

But traditionally, it’s just not.

sydney bondi walk guideWith too many websites to check and too many prices to compare; by the time you put it all together that perfect feeling of anticipation has turned into frustration. Enter: Google. First they came along with Flights, to make that part easy – then, they added Hotels. Now, they’re putting your entire trip together in one easily customizable snapshot. They’ve even got the weather report for each day, so you can look your best.

Google is joining the trip planning party, and we think it’s pretty safe to assume they’re playing for keeps.

Google Wants To Be Your Travel Home

Google Trips

From Google Flights to Google Hotels, Google has been expanding and improving its ability to help you meet your travel needs. Most people can’t even imagine starting a flight search from another site at this point. With Google Trips, they’ve turned it up to 11. That’s one above the traditional highest level of 10, for anyone who hasn’t seen Spinal Tap.

Rather than manually entering your trip details or forwarding your confirmation emails to TripIt, Google will automatically compile your flights into Google Trips. Considering the number of people using Gmail, the impact of this will be felt immediately. But don’t worry, you will be able to delete, move or customize any part, at any time too.

Of course, flights aren’t enough for a venture like this. Google Trips is also plans to pull hotel and restaurant reservations from your email as well in the coming months. Basically, if you book travel, Google wants to organize it for you, and reservations through OpenTable or Resy will automatically be added to your trip timeline. Best of all, it’ll be available on mobile or desktop.

When you navigate to Google.com/Travel, when you click on a reservation, you’ll be brought to a page that displays everything for that particular trip. It’s quite impressive.

Let’s take my trip to Germany for Oktoberfest as an example. Google recognized that while I’m flying into Munich, my hotel stay in the Czech Republic and flight back to the US from Finland are also part of the same trip. I don’t even have transportation booked to the cities I’m visiting after Munich but Google still figured it out. Clever, indeed.

Once you have a trip booked, you can forward the reservations to friends and family if you want them to be able to keep track of where in the world you are.

Making The Planning Easier

 

Google WeatherIf you aren’t quite ready to book a flight or hotel, you can look at your previous searches under the “Potential trips” section of the “Trips” tab. It’s basically your travel inspiration highway. Under each upcoming and potential trip, you can click “continue planning” and Google will take you to a page with links to relevant travel articles. Not a bad way to make the research a bit easier when you’re not exactly sure what you want to do at your destination.

Additionally, you’ll find links to popular activities, restaurants and weather below these travel articles which can help you filter out plans, and add some too. Once again, you can now access this handy information on a mobile device or a laptop.

Like we said above, Google really wants to be your travel home.

Manually Add Reservations

While Google does an impressive job pulling reservations from your confirmation emails, I did notice that it missed several flights I have booked, but there’s a fix for that on the way. In the coming weeks, Google will roll out the ability to manually enter reservations. This will be a nice backup just in case a reservation confirmation doesn’t come through.

You Can Opt Out

If you’re uncomfortable with Google pulling trip and restaurant confirmations into a customized space for you, there is an option to opt out. If you opt out, Google won’t incorporate info from other Google products or web activity into the results. This means a much less customized experience but we also understand that many are concerned about privacy.

Final Thoughts

In the end, Google knows that the easier it is for people to plan trips, the more likely they are to book a flight and travel. We kinda love that. Google just wants to be the best place you go to put these trips together. If its track record with Google Flights and now Hotels is any indication of what’s to come, it’s pretty safe to say that you can expect good things from Google Trips.

Spencer Howard

Spencer Howard is a credit card rewards and award travel expert. He’s living proof that points and miles can unlock many of the greatest travel experiences and uses his skills to tick off new bucket...

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11 Comments

  1. TripIt can read my emails and auto create trips for me. Your wrote, “Google Trips also plans to pull hotel and restaurant reservations from your email as well in the coming months. Basically, if you book travel, Google wants to organize it for you.” You can subsitute TripIt Pro for Google in that sentence and TripIt Pro is doing this today. Also, TripIt Pro (which is a subscription service) will alert you about gate changes, time changes… Very helpful. Other advance features in there.

    What I also very much like is, if the price changes for flights, you will be notified. I’ve saved a bunch of $ so far this year.

  2. A fair point. I haven’t used TripIt Pro, just the free version. I like it well enough, I’m just so deep into the Google world — for better or worse.

  3. Google photos created a folder for me for photos of where I had been. I did not tell it the place name. It just knew from photos of other people who probably had named it.

    1. I noticed this too! Google estimates your location based on your Google Location History unless you turn off that function. You can remove locations from photos as well.

  4. I’ve been using google trips for a couple years, it’s great. Btw I’m not sure what you mean about the roll out to manage reservations because that’s been available for quite some time. I’ve added several reservations that didn’t show up and this was probably 6 months ago or more.
    And to Paul’s point I do believe google trips notifies you of boarding times, gate changes, etc

    I also find the app useful to reference past flights/trips quickly

    1. Hey Christopher – Ahh, I should have mentioned it’s being rolled out on desktop. Been available on mobile for a bit now but they’re still adding to new features.

      I think Paul was referring to TripIt Pro but I’m with you on using Google for boarding times and gate changes. It’s super easy.

  5. If it is turned on, every photo has a latitude and longitude attached to it. That’s how Google maps can show where your pictures were taken! Very cool to see a map of all our travels!

  6. OMG, Google lists every place I have flied to since 2014! There are 89 trips of them!

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