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.
With 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
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
If 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.
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.