Do you love to travel but hate the planning? If so, you may want to check out Google’s brand new Destinations feature (public release today). It gives you pricing on airfare, lodging, and attraction suggestions neatly organized directly within your search results. It saves you time and money.
Destinations on Google is currently available via a web browser on mobile devices. It is a specialized search feature within Google specifically for mobile devices. There is not a downloadable mobile app associated with Destination on Google and the same search experience is not available on a desktop browser.
How does Google Destinations work?
To use the service on your smartphone, go to google.com on your browser. In Google, type your desired location – State, Country or Region, followed by the word destinations. Typing destinations after the location triggers the destinations search feature. For example; within Google search (on you smartphone) enter “europe destinations”. Google returns popular European destinations such as Paris, London, Rome, etc with the lowest estimated airfare and lodging costs over the next six months. Clicking the blue arrow will show you “more destinations”.
You can filter the results by interests (such as hiking, golf, culture, etc.), date or price with just a few taps.
Clicking on a destination such as Paris allows you to Explore or Plan a Trip. Explore provides suggestions for 1 – 3 day visits, top sights with ratings, and estimated pricing per traveler.
Plan a Trip displays low pricing that Google found for the next 6 months. The awesome graph shows you if the trip cost is likely to go up or down over the next six months. You can also change your hotel class, # of nights, # of travelers and more.
Can I book a trip using Destinations on Google?
Sort of. Flights, hotels, and attractions can be booked by clicking to the respective link to the service provider. You book airfare, hotels and attractions independently by using the provider’s online site or calling their phone number. Google does not act as a travel agent that you pay a lump sum to for all of the travel accommodations.
Destinations on Google helps organize extensive travel information into a single format for viewing, planning and exploring. Instead of having 20 browser windows open for airfare, hotels and attractions it is all neatly organized to help make planning (and booking) travel much easier and fun.
A few Notables:
Different Results may be presented depending on the browser you are using. In Chrome, you may get more results than you do performing the same search in Safari (ex: Peru Destinations). I asked Google about this and they did not have an answer except that more destinations will become available.
Search is organized by State, Country or Region. If you enter a city, such as Los Angeles Destination, you will not get the destinations search results. If you enter California Destinations, Los Angeles will be one of the destination search results.
The service is new (public launch March 9, 2016). It works very well for many destinations but not all. A search for North Carolina Destinations > Asheville, returned a limited number of attractions and no results for outdoor activities, when in fact the Asheville area is loaded with waterfalls, hiking trails and so much more.