If a business trip or a vacation is in your future, good news — Google today launched features intended to make finding, comparing, and booking accommodations less stressful. Starting this week, you’ll be able to browse personalized search results and narrow down properties by neighborhood, and to view hotel receipts that reflect the actual amount you can expect to pay for a given length of time.
“The sandy beaches in Da Nang, the night life of São Paulo, and Korean barbecue from Seoul are all top of mind for people planning vacations this year,” wrote director of travel product management Andrew Silverman in a blog post. “When you’re ready to start planning your next vacation, [we’ve launched new tools] to help you pick the best hotel for your trip.”
To this end, when you visit google.com/travel on desktop, you’ll be able to choose the best times to visit and see typical hotel prices for your dates of travel. The “When to visit” tab will show how weather, crowds, and pricing vary throughout the year, and the “What you’ll pay” section will show whether prices are low, typical, or high for the dates you’re considering, grouped by the lodgings’ star rating.
From within google.com/travel, clicking on “Where to stay” will surface a summary of top neighborhoods, including each area’s most popular attractions. You’ll also get an overall “location score” and the average cost of hotels, which can be narrowed down by neighborhood. Searches you’ve performed and hotels you’ve booked before will appear inline, as well as options similar to places you’ve stayed in other cities and hotels close to points of interest for which you’ve searched. (For example, if you’ve been researching Tokyo Tower, Google might highlight its distance from nearby hotels.)
Lastly, when you check availability from the Overview or Prices tabs, you’ll see both the nightly price and the total price (including taxes and fees) for your dates (or optionally without taxes and fees in the U.S. and Canada). Plus, you’re able to create shortcuts to trip information at google.com/travel by adding the Travel shortcut to your phone’s home screen, which will also surface recent searches and things you’ve saved for destinations you’ve searched.
You might recall that Google recently folded Google Flights and Google hotels search under the google.com/travel banner and that it shut down the Google Trips app to consolidate its travel services. Following on the heels of those developments, the tech giant in August introduced price insights for specific itineraries that indicate whether a given flight fare is relatively low, high, or typical compared with the historical baseline. It also rolled out a fare options selector that spotlights differences in ticket class amenities in a standardized, minimally jargony fashion, alongside a tool that recommends next steps based on existing reservations pulled in from Gmail, Google Calendar, and other sources within the Google ecosystem.