Planning a trip can be quite stressful, and although technology aims to improve the process, jumping from app to app and service to service can be a lot of work. Well, Google is trying its hand at solving this problem with the launch of a travel-oriented app called Google Trips, a blend of TripIt, Yelp, and TripAdvisor rolled into one.
Available for iOS and Android devices, Google Trips aims to help you enjoy your travels instead of worrying where your hotel is, how to get around, what activities to do, where to eat, and more. And the app has at least two features that should appeal to travelers: offline usage and the fact that it leverages extensive capabilities of Google’s platform.
It’s easy to research things to do when traveling domestically, but what happens when you’re a global citizen? If you’re worried about exceeding your data limit when visiting locations outside the U.S, you might resort to printing out information or hoping that you can find a place with Wi-Fi. Google Trips isn’t dependent on internet connectivity, meaning that it caches information about your destination, such as hotel location and contact number, places you should visit, how to get around, your day’s itinerary, and more.
Google Trips is touted as being able to automatically map out your various destinations and how to navigate between them — think of it as a digital travel assistant. If you have a particular restaurant, attraction, or event you want to see, the app can help fit it into your schedule. Google explained this in its blog post:
Say your friends told you that you have to see the Sagrada Familia — and you’re looking for suggestions on things to do around that spot. Press the ‘+’ button in the day plans tile to jump into a map view containing all the top attractions in your destination. If you’re time-constrained, you can specify above the map whether you have just the morning or afternoon, versus a full day. Then simply tap and pin the Sagrada Familia to build your itinerary around it. Google Trips automatically fills in the day for you.
Google will also show you day plans for the top 200 cities around the world, giving you sample day itineraries. The company utilizes an algorithm that curates popular sights, attractions, and local gems to give you a sample of what’s interesting and worth your time, based on historical visits by other travelers.
This isn’t the first time that Google has entered into the travel space, as it already offers dedicated services for finding the cheapest flights. It also has its Destination feature, which lets you discover deals on hotels and more. However, Google Trips is less about booking and more about what to do while you’re actually traveling.
There is certainly no shortage of travel apps and services in the marketplace today, whether they’re helping solve issues with transportation, accommodations, or things to do. But Google has brought all of that into one single app, leveraging Google Maps, Mail, and, of course, its powerful search engine.