When visiting a new destination, travellers often spend too much time figuring out how to get from one attraction to another, and not enough time actually experiencing them.
Google’s new travel feature, Destinations on Google, has a solution.
The search giant’s latest feature, which was unveiled on March 8, is designed to help users plan a holiday through their mobile browser, offering curated itineraries with travel directions, information about attractions, and money-saving flight and hotel data — all in one place.
“Destinations integrates a deep understanding of all the places in the world with Google Flights and Hotel search, so you can see available flight and hotel prices instantly,” a Google blog post explains. “So instead of jumping between a dozen links or tabs to get the information you need, you can sit back and scroll.”
Business Insider tested the new feature — which is currently available on mobile in the UK and US — to see how it works. Here’s how to use Destinations, and what you can do with it.
1. Search for a destination
Type the name of a city, country, or continent followed by the word “destination,” or try search terms that more closely reflect the purpose of your trip — for example, “spain surfing” or “new zealand hiking.” If you’re looking at US destinations, you can also search by state.
If you want to try somewhere new, you can search more broadly. For example, by searching “Europe destinations,” you’ll be presented with multiple destinations that you can filter by your travel dates, interests (such as “architecture” or “beaches”), and the price.
But let’s say you already know where you want to go. For example: Budapest, Hungary. Once you search for your destination, a travel tab appears at the top of Google’s search results.
2. Find out more about a destination
Now you’ve found your destination. Two tabs — allowing you to “explore” and “plan a trip” — will pop up. The “explore” tab on the left shows you a beautiful photo of where you’re thinking of travelling to, followed by some background information, suggested itineraries, and must-see sights.
Helpfully, Google generates an estimated trip price to show you how much it would cost to travel there for a 7-night stay at a decent hotel. There’s also a map to show you exactly where in the world you’re going, peak travel times (which you might want to avoid for cheaper fares), and the kind of climate you can expect.
Scroll down further and you can see the highest and lowest temperatures and average percentage of rainfall per month, as well as how popular a destination is likely to be so you can plan accordingly.
3. Check flight and hotel prices at a glance
Now you know where and when you want to go, move over to the “plan a trip” tab, where the estimated trip price appears on a graph highlighting the cheapest and most expensive dates of the month to travel. Suggested flights will show up below so you can book the cheapest itinerary straightaway if you have a flexible schedule.
To input your own travel dates, tap the pen icon on the right-hand side. You can also tweak the number of travellers, and your flight and hotel preferences.
4. Book your flight and hotel
Simply choose your flight from the live prices listed, and book through Google Flights…
…then select your accommodation. Clicking on a hotel will bring up more information as well as photos and contact details. Once you’ve decided, you’ll be directed to book your hotel through Google.
5. Plan what you’re going to do on your trip
Back in the “explore” tab, you can start mapping out itineraries like a walking tour of a historic neighbourhood like Buda’s Castle District or an architecture pilgrimage, with travel details between each stop included.
Additionally, you can find out more about sightseeing attractions — with opening times, traveller reviews, and more — and start dreaming of your holiday.
For a quick walk-through of the new feature, watch Google’s video below.