New Features Are Coming to Google Maps Just in Time for Holiday Travel

The new updates are expected to come out in the coming weeks.

We can all agree—holiday travel can be very, very, very stressful. With entire cities on the move, and everybody in a rush, it can be hard to stay calm and collected as you try to make your way to your final destination. Yet, there are some things you can do to ease the stress a little bit, including planning ahead and allowing for some extra travel time—and additionally, starting this year, you can also rely on Google Maps to make your holiday travels a little smoother.

Google Maps just announced that it is rolling out some very handy new features just in time for holiday travel. The goal is simple: helping users be prepared and stay organized as they go through the holiday season.

You can, for example, stop stressing out about where to go and how to get there faster. In the coming weeks, an update will turn your Maps into a more helpful tool, as you'll be able to get Maps' recommended route when you request transit directions—and it comes with visuals, too! Plus, if you find yourself confused when it comes to knowing what exit to use when you get off the train or the subway, Maps has thought about that as well, and it will soon start showing you where the recommended station entrances and exits are.

You will also be able to use Maps as a sort of weather forecast device, too. As part of the new features, users will be able to tap the weather icon in Maps and see an hourly forecast for the day, which includes details such as temperature, cloudiness, and chance of rain. That way, you can plan when it is best for you to actually start your journey. And if you're a last-minute plan kind of person, Maps has thought about that too, and it is introducing its Nowcasting feature, which, with the help of AI, tells you if it's going to start raining, snowing, or hailing in the next hour.

It wouldn't be the holidays without making plans to hang out and dine out, so Maps is helping you through the stress of organizing that as well. The lists feature in Maps is about to get an upgrade, and soon you'll be able to share, save, and collaborate on lists in a much more efficient way. For example, if you want to send a spot you like to someone, Maps will soon give you the option to either send the single link or start a collaborative list, which everybody can add to. And if you want to give your quick opinion on a spot your friend added, you can either heart-react or thumbs down-react to it. Plus, if your list is about something specific, you can customize it with your emoji of choice to better see and distinguish the different spots on the map.

These new features are all expected to roll out in the next few weeks. As a little anticipation treat, starting today, Maps is giving everyone the opportunity to react with tailor-made emojis to photos in restaurant reviews—you know, to make your dinner planning experience a little more fun.

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Serena Tara is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist. She will beg you not to put pineapple on pizza. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.