Google has announced Google Trips – a new app that serves as a travel guide for exploring a new city.Then new app, which is available on Android and iOS offers a number of features to help plan a trip.
The App will organize your plane tickets and hotel reservations, and can automatically assemble the information from your emails.
Outside of the details of your plane and hotel bookings, the app offers editorial guides across more than 200 cities. It can go even further, making personalised recommendations based on your Google history. An important feature is that the whole thing can work offline. The App allows you to download everything to your phone before you leave, including maps and walking directions.
At a level, the App competes with established offerings such as TripIt. However, Google Trips is more geared toward the leisure traveler, and helps to plan a holiday.
Using Google Trips
In order to use Trips, you do need to log in to your Google account. If you have multiple accounts, choose the one where your flight and hotel bookings are delivered. Once you’ve signed in, Google Trips will be able to retrieve trips information from your emails, and will show a list of upcoming and previously completed trips.
In my case, I have an upcoming trip to Singapore, and it had found the airline and hotel reservations for this trip.
When you click (or tap) on a trip, it will then go to a screen displaying a grid of options:
- Reservations has information on your flights, hotel information, and any rental car reservations you may have made. Google Trips can retrieve this from your emails. From within the reservation information, it provides links bacc to the emails that contained the information.
- Need to Know has some basic information on getting from the airport to the centre of the city, the local currency, and what to do in case of an emergency.
- Things to Do can be thought of as the heart of the application. Here you can build custom itineraries based on how long you’ll be in town, popular destinations, and anything that you’ve previously starred or saved on a Google service.
- Day Plans are some suggested itineraries. For example, in my upcoming Singapore trip, there were options such as Singapore Highlights, Traditional Singapore and World War II Singapore.
- Food & Drink will give you a basic overview of the area’s specialties, and then suggest establishments based on various categories
- Getting Around has a range of transportation information. This includes your airport options, public transportation directions and the cost of taxis.
All this is Free
Well, free, as in there is no monetary cost to using Google Trips. There is the argument that you are giving up some information to Google, and it has to be tied to a Google account. So, if you are not comfortable with Google following you around the world, this may not be for you.
Having said that, it does provide a way to organise all your information in one place. It doesn’t cover every city – Google says there is information for 200 cities available at the moment. If you can accept the trade-off in Google getting even more information, then this could be a useful App.