Google has brought its simplified travel planning system to the desktop, integrating flights, hotels, and ideas for actives into a single, comprehensive hub. The move combines Google Flights, Hotels, and more into one Google Trips location, that promises to be more useful than a fanny pack for your passport and travelers checks.
Google has long had a number of travel-related services. Google Flights, for example, searches across numerous airlines for routes, as well as offering fare alerts. Google Hotels does something similar for places to stay.
Last year, though, Google pulled all those disparate travel properties together, albeit only on phones. Google Travel acted as a hub, ensuring navigation between the different services was easier. Now, it’s rolling out on the desktop, and there’s even more functionality in the pipeline.
The new google.com/travel page aims to cover a vacation or trip from planning through to when you’re actually on-location. Research a new trip, and it’ll automatically be organized in Google Trips, and that will be more accessible in the new travel hub. Trip reservations will still automatically be added, with information pulled from confirmations for flights and hotels in your Gmail account.
However, you’ll also be able to edit those trip timelines in the travel hub too. In a few weeks time, Google says, there’ll be support for manually adding new reservations as well. Weather forecasts will also automatically be appended.
It’s not the only feature to be added. Google is also going to add viewed things-to-do and saved/viewed hotels, much in the same way that it automatically gathers up recent searches, saved places, and flights. It’ll use that information to suggest travel articles you might want to read about a particular location you’re researching, along with suggester day plans and activities like restaurants you might want to check out.
From the travel hub on the phone, meanwhile, there’ll be more prompts for activities too. Popular neighborhoods, for example, will be flagged in Google Maps, along with the reasons you might want to visit them. Later on, Google plans to add reservations for hotels and restaurants to Google Maps too.
As you’d hope, there’s the option to opt-out of all of this if you’d rather not have Google as your personal activity planner. Turning off “private results” will stop the travel hub from collating information across search sessions and devices, for example. If you don’t want your reservations to show up from your Gmail messages, you can turn that off in the Search results page in Google products settings.