Why you should plan your next vacation on Google Travel instead of on a spreadsheet

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ScreenshotEmily Long

Do you feel like going on vacation, but don’t feel like making your travel plans? The whole idea of ​​the dozens of browser tabs and hours of work it could take to find flights, hotels, restaurants, and things to do — and then make all those reservations and keeping everything organized – is (almost) enough to make someone just stay home. If this sounds overwhelming, Google Travel’s new tools can make your travel planning a little easier.

While Google has been a solid place to track deals and book flights and hotels for a while, a few recent updates give you more options to search, modify, save and organize your bookings, whether you’re planning a real trip or just dreaming about the future.

Here’s how to build your entire itinerary or create a travel wish list in Google Travel — no spreadsheet or sticky notes required.

Create a specific itinerary

start, go to Google Travel and make your trip by adding one or more destinations to your itinerary.

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ScreenshotEmily Long

Once you click Save you will be taken to your main Itinerary page and you can start customizing flights, hotels and activities by clicking Add to Trip† It allows you to enter specific details of your reservations, add a place you want to visit or leave notes on your plans.

Image for article titled Why you should plan your next vacation on Google Travel instead of on a spreadsheet

ScreenshotEmily Long

Please note that entering itinerary details here will not change the actual reservations you have made and confirmed. But those reservations shall will appear on your Itinerary page if confirmations have been sent to your Gmail account. Google Travel also automatically creates upcoming trips (if you haven’t manually added an itinerary) based on confirmed reservations found in your Gmail. You can adjust these settings in Gmail > Settings > General and disable Smart Features and Personalization.

If you scroll down your Itinerary page, you’ll find options to search for flights, hotels, and attractions to suit your dates — again, if you haven’t already booked and confirmed your plans.

All this information is saved, so just return to Google Travel in the future to see all your plans in one place.

Find and save ideas for future trips

Do you have no concrete plans yet, but do you want to keep an eye on the possibilities or simply bring together ideas for the distant future? This is true some new Google Travel tools come in handy.

Track flight prices for flexible dates

Google Flights allows users to set price alerts for specific dates, but you can now enable the “All Dates” option to receive regular emails when prices for your itinerary are lower than usual in the next 3-6 months.

Being flexible to travel can help you determine when to book the cheapest flights.

Look at nearby attractions when booking accommodation

If you’re unfamiliar with a destination, deciding which neighborhood to stay in can be a challenge. Go to the Hotels tab to view ‘layers of interest’, which overshadow areas of the map based on the density of restaurants, shops, attractions, and public transportation (simply tap the related icon on the map).

You can also change boundaries based on walking or driving distance from a specific location.

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ScreenshotEmily Long

Plan road trip destinations with Explore

Use the Explore Nearby tool (tap Explore in the left navigation bar) to see what’s happening within driving distance of a destination. You can select your current location or search for a specific place and then click Explore Nearby to narrow the map to additional destinations within a few hours.

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ScreenshotEmily Long

You can also filter by budget or number of stops or travel mode

Bookmark future trips

If hotels or vacation rentals pique your interest, but you’re not ready to book just yet, use the Google Travel bookmark feature to save them on a wish list for the future. Your saved items will appear in the Saved tab on the right side of your screen. And when you bookmark locations through Things to do, they’ll be saved to your Google Maps.

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