FOR MONTHS, tech juggernaut Google has been teasing its travel services as part of its rampant travel push to capture a piece of the travel industry pie.
In July last year, the company quietly rolled out a couple of exciting features – Google Hotel Finder, Google Flights, Google Destinations – which disrupted the travel industry and gave online travel agencies (OTA) a run for their money.
Industry players said Google is a “major Boogeyman” to the online travel industry.
Then, in September 2018, after the rollout of Google Hotel Finder, Google Flights, and Google Destinations, Google launched a new snazzy tool called Travel Trends. With this tool, travelers will be able to find the lowest prices at specific times and compare prices with those of competitors and check a company’s own historical price offering.
This means you will have access to the prices of the trip you are planning at all times at your fingertips in case you want cheaper options when you plan or extend your trip, or book less requested dates.
That is not all. Aside from showing you what destinations have unusually low prices during the peak days and festive periods, it will also show you leisure options available in the area in question. You could say that Google has got all travelers’ backs.
Now comes the major shift in Google’s “world domination” efforts: the company is combining its travel-related products and other relevant information under a singular landing page called Trips, the desktop version of Google’s upgraded hotel and flight search experience.
With the unified Trips website, travelers can plan their travel by searching a destination to find options for flights, hotels, travel guides, or vacation packages. Once you have made the necessary bookings, you can use Trips to view all your booking receipts, confirmation codes, and travel information. You will also be able to obtain weather reports on your travel dates.
How does Google know and how does Trips do this? It simply gathers your travel information from your Gmail then organizes it into individual trips automatically.
And with this information, Trips will make it easier for you to plan your itinerary as it automatically maps out a half day or a full day with suggestions for things to see and do. If you would like to see more nearby sights, simply tap the “magic wand”. Each tap will give you a fresh set of nearby attractions.
Additionally, if you track flight prices on a Google search, Trips will also display updates for any changes that occur.
There will be more changes to come in the near future. According to Google, Trips will soon show hotels you have viewed in case you still need to make booking arrangements. Google will make your hotel and restaurant reservations accessible from Maps as well.
The new Trips landing page is live now on the web. For more information, go here.