Google is trying to make planning vacations less of a hassle. To do that, it’s launching a new feature today called Destinations on Google that’s meant to help you figure out where to go, when to go, and what to do there; it’ll also help you get the best deals on flights and hotels.
Destinations on Google isn’t a new website. Instead, you’ll stumble upon it during mobile searches for travel deals and advice. If you search “European vacations,” you’ll be presented with a grid of major cities, what it’ll cost to get to them, and the best weeks to go. Search for travel to a specific country or city, and you’ll see an option to open up Google’s new “travel guide.” Regardless of which way you get to it, these searches will lead you into Google’s new Destinations feature, which is where you’ll find more info on the location and details on the cost of getting and staying there.
Most Destination pages have two tabs. The first is meant to help you explore that location with a description, photos, and videos from around the web. Much more usefully, it also includes itineraries. One of the toughest parts of travel is nailing down exactly how long to spend in each place and where to bounce between, so Google is trying to answer that with a mixture of editorially created and algorithmically generated guides.
If you haven’t actually made up your mind on which cities to stop in, a country’s Destination page will offer several algorithmically generated itineraries based on where Google Maps has detected people traveling and how long it sees them staying there for. The overall goal, says Radhika Malpani, Google Travel’s engineering director, is to “let people explore when they don’t know when and where they want to go.”
Destination pages’ other tab is where Google will help you book your travel and stay. It’s handy, but it isn’t much more than what Google Flights and hotel search can do now. It essentially combines the two services to present you with a single price for your trip. Like Google Flights, it’ll show you the cheapest dates to travel, so that you can better plan when you want depart.
Original article posted by Jacob Kastrenakes on March 9, 2016. Edited for length.
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