You know when you meet the right person and you delete all your dating apps? That’s how I felt when I discovered Google Trips.
Most travel apps are really specific. You can use booking apps like Hotels.com or Kayak to get a flight or hotel. But I’m not that on-the-go that I book anything on my phone, so those apps are basically useless. Travel deal apps are only as useful as much as you use them. There is really no use to having Airfare Watchdog on your phone unless you check it all the time. If you don’t, you’re better off getting the weekly digest in your inbox.
So what apps do we use while traveling? Email and Calendar, where we can see detailed information about bookings and flights. Maps, which tells us where we’re going. And TripAdvisor or Yelp which lead us to good places to eat and things to do.
Well, Google Trips does all of that.
I used to think it was creepy that Google would put events and flights from my email on my calendar. But it’s really convenient and keeps me from having to go digging through my email every time I want to verify a travel date.
Google Trips does exactly the same thing. But better. When you log in with your Gmail address, it gives you a long list of all trips, future and past, so you can go directly into each one and access information about your bookings, the location, and all the information you could possibly need there. I was shocked to see trips going as far back as 2011 all organized by date for me.
Within each trip, you can access your reservations, both hotel and flight, so you can easily pull up that information whenever you need it.
You can also access a map of starred places that syncs to Google Maps. This is my favorite feature, because before I travel, I tend to star a few things I want to check out, whether it’s restaurants or attractions. Google Trips shows you all your starred locations as a list and on the map. Each location is described in a sentence or less and opening hours are listed. This is literally all the information I want when I’m traveling.
Things to do
This feature is the TripAdvisor killer. Here you will find multiple tabs of activities from overall top rated attractions, to recommendations especially for you. For me, it recommended Wynwood Walls, so I don’t know how it does it, but it’s pretty dead on.
Then there are at least a dozen other tabs including: Indoor, Outdoor, Sports, Art, Kid Friendly, Live Music, Late Night Dancing, and Farther Away. Each listing within the categories has information about opening hours as well as visitor reviews.
This is a feature that’s especially useful for people who love structured travel plans. Based on where you’re going, it recommends different day-by-day itineraries.
These itineraries are also accessible by map so you can see which are closest to each other, and you are given walking or driving directions to and from each one.
Food and Drink
Another amazingly comprehensive feature is their listing of food and drink. First, they give you a broad introduction to each city’s local cuisine, so you have a good idea of what you can expect. You’ll also have a list of local specialties that you can reference when you’re at a restaurant.
Then under the Top Spots tab, you’ll be able to find all kinds of dining recommendations. From eating on a budget to high-end dining to really specific categories like “Food near temples” in Thailand or “Food with a view.” You pretty much never need to use another restaurant review app.
From here, you can access all the information you’ll need to get from the airport to your hotel, including public transportation and taxis, as well as how to use local trains, trams, and buses. The app is extremely detailed, giving you specific information about fares and zones where applicable.
And if you drive, the app gives you information about parking, local traffic rules, and other key info for a foreigner.
Need to Know
Here you will find valuable information about emergency numbers, nearby hospitals, insurance, and pharmacies. (Did you know that medical treatment is covered for free in Denmark if you have an accident?) This is particularly useful, and it’s something you never think to look up until you need it. Well, now it’s at your fingertips.
There is also information about shopping and money so you can easily access currency information as well as tipping customs wherever you are.
An added note about each trip: if your vacation includes more than one city, each of them has its own tab where you can access all the above features. You can also download each of the cities to make this information available offline wherever you are.
Slow clap for Google.