As search trends show a renewed interest in travel, Google is adding new features to help people plan their next trip.
Google reports searches for hotels reached a 10-year high in April 2021, as did searches for “where can I travel” and “travel restrictions by country.”
To help answer those questions, and keep people up to date with travel advisories, Google is rolling out three new features in search results.
New Travel-Related Features in Google Search Results
Todays updates to Google Search are designed to help people stay informed about the latest travel guidance and explore potential destinations.
Latest Travel Guidance
When searchers look for travel information like flights, hotels or things to do, Google currently lets them know if there are COVID-19 related travel advisories or restrictions for their desired destination.
Google is now adding more travel restriction details, like whether people need to quarantine upon arrival or provide proof of test results or immunization records.
Searchers can track travel advisories or restrictions for a potential destination and get email updates. While viewing a travel advisory, users will see an option to “Receive an email if this guidance changes.”
Selecting this option will allow people to receive notifications when restrictions are added, lifted, or reduced. These updates are country-specific, with state-specific information available in the United States.
Google has updated Explore to help people find their next travel destination. Google Flights users may be familiar with the Explore map, which shows flight prices for different destinations. Although the user has to be flexible on where and when they’re traveling.
Explore now has its own tab on Google.com/travel which has been redesigned to help users browse more than flights.
Users will see more destinations on the map, such as smaller cities and national parks. If they have a certain type of trip in mind, they can filter destinations for interests like outdoors, beaches, or skiing.
Recommendations can be narrowed down by method of travel. If users only want to see cities with an airport, for example, they can select flights only in “Travel Mode.”
When a destination is selected, Google will indicate whether there’s a travel advisory or restriction. In addition to flights, users will see other helpful information for planning their trip, like hotels, things to do, the best time to visit and more.
Plan Road Trips With Ease
For users who are planning a road trip, Google Maps can now help them decide ahead of time where to stop along the way.
When using Google Maps on a desktop computer, enter the starting point and final destination, and suggestions will appear at the top of the map for different types of places to stop like hotels, parks, campgrounds, and rest stops.
Select a specific location to add it as a stop. Once the journey is planned, the directions can be sent to a user’s phone via text, email, or the Google Maps app.
If plans change while en route, the journey can be updated from a user’s phone. Swipe up while navigating to find new stops along the way or to remove previously scheduled stops.
These features are available now.