Google consolidates, rebrands travel services

Google says users will be able to add new reservations as well as access the local weather for the user's travel time. Photo credit: Google

Google is consolidating its Google Flights, Hotels and Trips services into a single destination on the web and mobile. It will be rebranded as Google Trips.

“Last year, we simplified trip planning by making navigation between Google Flights, Hotels and Trips easier on smartphones,” Richard Holden, Google's VP of product management, announced in a blog post. “We’re now rolling this out on desktop as well. You can either go to google.com/travel or search for something like ‘hotels in Tokyo’ or ‘Vancouver’ to find travel information from a variety of sources in one place.”

Over time, the flight, hotel and vacation package research will be made more seamlessly available across other Google services like Search, Maps and Gmail. The online giant also will make small integration improvements, like showing the weather for a destination in potential or booked trips and tracking flights automatically.

“Our goal is to simplify trip planning by helping you quickly find the most useful information and pick up where you left off on any device,” Holden wrote. “We’ll continue to make planning and taking trips easier with Google Maps, Google Search and Google Trips so you can get out and enjoy the world.”

Trips is a continuation of a travel-based undertaking that Google began last year when it rounded up reservations for hotels and flights to a trip timeline for users signed into their Google accounts and who received Gmail confirmation. Now, users can go to google.com/travel and make edits directly to your their timeline. Within a few weeks, Google says users will be able to add new reservations themselves as well as access the local weather for their travel time.

The information flow doesn’t stop once you’ve arrived at your destination, reports Digital Trends. When in Rome, for example, Google Maps will go beyond simply pointing out places to see, restaurants to try and things to do. It now will pinpoint popular neighborhoods nearby and what they may be famous for. Google intends Maps to be the ultimate go-to for all information while traveling, and trips, including reservations for hotels and restaurants, soon will be accessible in Google Maps.

Google tracks the recent searches, saved places and flights and adds them automatically to trips if travelers are signed into their Google Account, and Google plans to add items they viewed and saved, including hotels, to their trips so they don’t have to reinvent the wheel or keep track of all the details. If users don’t want to see private results, they can opt out by adjusting the results and web and app activity settings, Google said.

When users are ready to continue researching other parts of their trip, they can scroll down to see travel articles and find out more about a destination like suggested day plans, popular restaurants around their hotel and events happening during their dates.

Last year, the tech giant announced that hotel and flight reservations now can be scheduled directly from a search result on mobile—without users ever having to leave their results list.

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