Google Just Added 3 New Features Which Could Save You A Bunch Of Money When Traveling

Google has released a new set of search features that should help travelers save money and get more out of their trips. The tools cover three key areas: getting you there, finding you somewhere to stay, and pointing out what you can do around the town or city you've ended up in. Google has had similar tools attached to its search function for a while, but this recent announcement marks a significant update to its capabilities, along with a few tempting features that could see them become the go-to for many travelers.

Arguably the most significant new feature is an update to Google Flights. The tool will show you the flight's price relative to historical averages, as it currently does, but will also give certain flights a "price guarantee." If the price drops after you book your flight, you'll automatically receive a refund for the difference. Another tool makes booking accommodations a lot easier. After typing in what they're looking for, users can swipe through accommodation choices in a cross between a Snapchat story and Tinder. When they spot something they like, users can tap on it for more information.

Finally, searching for locations or tour companies will bring up local attractions you might be interested in visiting. Google will also list links to places to buy tickets for said attractions on the pages, saving tourists some valuable time.

Google is trying to dominate a competitive market.

There is a lot of stiff competition in flight and hotel bookings. According to the International Trade Administration, travel is worth around $1.9 trillion of "economic output" annually in the United States alone. Transport and accommodation both account for a significant chunk of that.

As things stand, Google's main competitors in selling flights are sites like SkyScanner, Expedia, and Kiwi. While these sites often bundle hotels, other companies focus on accommodation. This includes, Trivago, and These sites have established themselves, and many carry loyalty programs offering free nights and discounts to regular customers. While Google's new format makes viewing hotels easier, it doesn't handle booking and directs users to a third-party site like their current tool.

Their flight booking tool could be a game-changer. While there doesn't seem to be a competitor price-match guarantee, the potential refund if the price of a flight drops could be a significant point for many travelers. Timing a flight booking so you get the lowest price possible isn't an exact science, and waiting another week to see if there's a dip could end up costing you. Google's tool allows people to book early and potentially get some money back without extra effort. As powerful as Google's new tools may be, they still don't do everything. If you're going one way and want to save a few bucks, you could be better off using a different method.