A year ago, Google simplified travel-planning on your smartphone by organizing different parts of Google into a single umbrella feature, so you could keep all your bookings and research in one place rather than navigating back and forth. Now, Google’s rolled out the same capability for desktop, which is good news since planning a trip usually involves the sort of research that’s more comfortably done from a computer than a phone. Google Maps, Trips, Hotels, Flights, Search -- everything will be accessible from the same place, the better to smooth out your travel-planning wrinkles.
To use the new desktop feature, start by making sure you’re signed into your Google account and then going to google.com/travel. There, you’ll be able to look for hotels, compare flight prices, research attractions and events in your destination -- all the otherwise-disparate pieces that go into organizing a trip. You can see an interactive itinerary containing all your booked flights, hotels, and other reservations, and you can save research on trips you were noodling on, too, so it’s on-hand whenever you want to revisit it.
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The setup is fairly intuitive. Scroll down below your reservations, and Google will also show you potentially useful info like the weather at your destination, or what local events are going on during your stay, or what the popular restaurants are in the area. For the most part, the way that Google Flights, Hotels, et al works isn’t changing -- just brought under one roof -- but there are a couple of enhancements Google’s rolling out within those services, too.
Users can currently edit their pre-existing trip itineraries through the new desktop feature; you can’t yet add in new reservations, but Google will be unveiling that within the next couple of weeks. You’ll soon be able to access your Trips reservations from within Google Maps, too. Once you’re actually on your trip, Google Maps will suggest cool nearby neighborhoods you might want to check out -- so you can spend a bit less time less time planning the good stuff and more time actually doing it.