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Plan your entire vacation with a single Google search Destinations on Google will offer tour schedules, flight and hotel pricing all in one search tab.
Google Search’s latest feature makes it possible to arrange your entire holiday (flights, accommodation, itinerary) from a single search. It’s the company’s first foray into travel on mobile, mimicking the move that most of us are making with our browsing habits — off PCs and onto our phones. You can start with a seriously broad outset (Google’s video demo suggests Europe), and then you can dig down into cities and places, pricing on hotel rooms and flights are simplified for broad dates which you can specify further if needed. That name’s a little familiar though…
Once you’ve chosen a Destination page, it weaves descriptions together with photos and media, as well as suggesting recommended routes to cover multiple sites in a day. Google’s highlights and itineraries are apparently a mix of both algorithm-based and editorially-plucked suggestions and initial searches can be drilled down into specific countries or cities. As the New York Times discovered, flight prices will be based on flying from wherever you’re searching from: at this point there’s no way to plan journeys that don’t include your current location.
One of the more useful parts is the “Explore” tab, which gives you an annual readout of the weather as well as when your destination is most popular, based on historic visits of other travelers. Does it offer the finely-honed recommendations of dedicated guides? No. But it does make the entire process possible on a smartphone — and that’s what it’s designed for. The search results give cursory prices for hotels and travel, making it easier to decide how far your budget can take you, without the need to tab hop on small mobile screens. Amazon’s similarly-named, but more desktop-centered, attempt to sell vacations ended after a six-month testing period. Execs at Kayak, Tripadvisor, Hotels.com et al. are likely crossing their fingers that Google’s new trip-maker is similarly short-stay.