Google launches new travel-planning tools

Slowly but surely, Google is expanding its portfolio of travel offerings that now range from hotel- and flight-booking services to trip planning tools. Today, it’s launching yet another set of new travel features that focus on travel planning and hotel bookings.

Maybe the most interesting new tool, especially if you are planning to travel over the holidays, is a new landing page that shows you when to best book your flights ahead of Thanksgiving, the December holidays and New Year’s based on 2017’s price changes. The tool is a bit limited in the number of city pairs it supports, but if you plan to fly on one of the 25 supported routes, then it could definitely save you a few dollars (assuming this year’s price trends are comparable to last year’s).

The same page will also show you hotel deals, though that’s more of a lead-generation tool for Google Maps’ hotel search feature, which many people probably don’t yet know about.

Once you have decided on a destination, Google’s new hotel location score can then help you find the neighborhood that’s best for you. The score summarizes information like nearby bars, landmarks and access to public transportation based on data from Google Maps. It’ll also tell you how to get to and from the airport, which is a smart addition.

Come October, Google will also launch Your Trips, a new feature that’ll help you organize your travel plans. Your Trips is not a new feature, but when this update goes live, it’ll collect all of your flight price tracking, hotel research and everything else you may have saved about a potential trip in one place. It’s a bit like Inbox’s (RIP) trip bundles, but for trips that you are still planning.

And finally, if you perform a regular search for a popular travel destination in Google Search, the result page will automatically highlight these trip-planning features, including day plans and articles about the destination. Once you start booking a trip, these results will also include information about your bookings and additional information based on this data.

Google Maps and Trips Update