Google Destinations: How You’re Going to Plan Your Next Trip
Google has just unveiled a new way shop holidays right from your mobile phone. That’s right – no more multiple tabs or following link after link – just sit back and scroll. After recording a 50% increase in travel related questions on mobile last year Google decided to build Destinations on Google; a tool to help you discover and plan your next vacation from Google Search on your phone. Destinations will do all the heavy lifting by sifting through the mountains of information available on Google, and will neatly sort, curate and organise the available options.
Google Destinations is so far available for 201 cities worldwide. Searching the continent, country or city you’d like to visit followed by “destination” will bring up popular activity suggestions, flight and hotel prices and carefully curated itineraries for that location. Each region is linked with a specific set of interests. Scuba diving for example could be suggested for Asia trips, but not for Europe. If there’s an activity you’re interested in exploring simply search for that activity and where you’d like to do it, such as “Spain surfing,” or “New Zealand hiking,” and Google will suggest spots that fit with your hobbies and interests. It can even propose detailed ideas like a week-long road trip from Seville to Barcelona.
You’ll be able to enter a budget for your trip and Google will compare flights and hotel options in real time to find the best deal. Users can also switch travel dates to show when will be most cost effective – or when the cheapest time of year is. When you are ready to book, you’ll be directed to the hotel and airline websites to complete your purchase.
At first glance the information might look slightly basic, but tucked away in settings there is a lot of detail, from interests and budgeting to touring videos of cities. The explore tab lets you see what the weather will be doing at certain times of year, or if you want to avoid peak times you can check when the destination is most popular with tourists.
While Destinations doesn’t incorporate alternative options like Airbnb and can’t yet cope with multi-city trips very well its primary aim is to help plan trips – which it does very well. It is introducing a form of impulse buying for holidays (which so far hasn’t been easy due to the sheer amount of information and options available), and this is sure to give the travel industry a huge boost. As well as planning tours and itineraries of entire countries using people who have been there and done that, this tool can can organise massive amounts of travel data through Hotel Search and Google flights, which is incredible!