iOS/Android: Google has been tiptoeing around the travel game for a while now with useful tools like Google Flights and their hotel search function. Today, they completely jumped in with a new app that manages and helps plan your trip from start to finish. The app is free and leverages content from your Google account. It automatically creates trips based on any and all travel information sent to your Gmail inbox — flight confirmation, hotel receipts, car reservations, maps to your hotel and so on. You also get real-time updates on terminals, flight delays and gate changes, so you won't miss anything. Best of all, you can easily download all of this info to access it offline while you're travelling, too. Of course, if you're offline, you won't get those real-time updates.
The app does a lot more than compile this basic info, though. It offers several other incredibly useful features for each trip. Once you open the app, you'll see a list of current, upcoming and past trips. Tap on your trip, and you'll see a few additional options beyond your standard reservations:
Things To Do
This feature offers activity suggestions based on when and where you'll be travelling. You can filter activities by indoor, outdoor, kid-friendly and so on. Suggestions are based on places you've searched for in that city as well as activities other travellers find interesting. You'll get hours, reviews and other information for those activities, too.
You can save these places, too. When you see an attraction you like in the app, you can star it to save it. From the "Saved Places" card, you can access all of these saved attractions and points of interest.
One of the most fun features of this app is its "Day Plans" card. In it, you'll get suggestions for what to do in your destination city, based on how much time you have and where you'll be staying. You get a handful of different itinerary suggestions, too. If you're planning a trip to London, for example, you might get a "Literary London" suggestion. Or "London With Kids".
You can also make your own personalised Day Plan. Day Plans come with a map that shows you where you'll have to go to follow the itinerary. You can pin a specific attraction on the map, and the app will make sure that point of interest is included when it updates suggested itineraries. In a press release, Google explained:
Say your friends told you that you have to see the Sagrada Familia — and you're looking for suggestions on things to do around that spot. Press the "+" button in the day plans tile to jump into a map view containing all the top attractions in your destination. If you're time constrained, you can specify above the map whether you have just the morning or afternoon, versus a full day. Then simply tap and pin the Sagrada Familia to build your itinerary around it. Google Trips automatically fills in the day for you. If you want more options, tap the "magic wand" button for more nearby sights. You can pin any new spots you like, and if you want even more, each tap of the "magic wand" instantly gives you a new itinerary with updated nearby attractions like Palau Macaya or Parc del Guinardo, so you can build your own custom itinerary….
I can see this being incredibly useful for long layovers. While it doesn't show up for every city just yet, you'll see a list of suggested itineraries for most major cities.
Food and Drink: This card gives you an overview of what the restaurant scene looks like in your destination city. You get a list of local specialties, food neighbourhoods and nightlife.
Getting Around: From this card, you get all the transportation info you need, from how to leave the airport to public transportation options. There's also info on driving and walking or biking in certain cities.
The app basically compiles all the research you need to do for a trip in one place. What's more, it personalises your trip with all of your info so you can access everything you need in a single spot. You can keep track of your reservations, sure, but you can also plan an entire trip straight from the app. It also includes an option to just use the app manually, without accessing your info, too. Of course, you won't get most of the fun functionality with that option, but you can still organise and manage your travel. Check the app out for yourself at the links below.