With the summer travel season about to begin, many are shuffling to finally make travel plans that were upended due to COVID-19. Google has now launched new tools through its dedicated Travel tool, allowing users to take full control of their summer travel plans.
First on Google’s list of new features is a flight price tracker that can alert users of cheaper flights on any dates. Previously, the flight price tracker only allowed notifications for specific travel dates. Google says users will receive an email when the algorithms “detect lower than typical fares in the next 3-6 months,” (via Android Police).
Google is also adding features for travelers who wish to drive to nearby locations. The map view on the Explore tool is getting has a pink dot and a bubble titled Explore nearby. Tapping this option offers suggestions for nearby places only a couple of hours’ drive away. Users will also find information on hotel prices, the weather, etc, for the region. It only takes a couple of taps from there to open Google Maps and begin navigating to your destination.
Google said the search term “passport appointments” witnessed a 300% increase this year
Additionally, users can now find the best neighborhoods to stay in based on “interest layers” on the map. These let you filter between favorable areas for dining out, shopping, or sightseeing. Google says users can tap ‘Where to stay’ under the search filters for more information on things to do nearby.
People who love exploring cities on foot will like the inclusion of a new toggle that shows landmarks that are just a 15 to 30-minute trip away by foot or car. Google says this could be useful for travelers who want to stay in proximity to a popular spot.
Lastly, Google offers a bookmark option on vacation rentals and hotels to organize your favorite properties. It can be accessed from the right-hand panel on desktop, while mobile users will find it under the Saved tab.
As global travel restrictions ease, more travelers are making travel plans than usual. Google shared some Search insights on the matter, claiming that searches with phrases like “passport appointments” shot up by 300% as of April 2022.