MOBILE APPS/REVIEW

Google Trips takes you where you want to go

Google's new trip planning app helps you map out your next trip.

Posted September 22nd, 2016

Google launched its trip-planning app Google Trips this week, available on Android and iOS.

Marketed to the modern tourist, the app boasts stress-free planning, personalized activity ideas based on time, place, and weather, and an easy-to-use interface. 

When downloaded, users immediately scroll down to see an itemized list of previous travel destinations. “Weekend to Detroit” was listed on mine, a trip I’d planned a few months back to see my family -- and an option to download city guides of every destination on the list. 

That Google has kept this kind of personal information makes it convenient for users to repeat-visit cities they’ve visited before. Below Detroit, I found New York , San Jose, and Miami -- chronological record of all the trips I’d planned throughout the last year.

 

GoogleA screen shot of the Google Trips app.

A warning of significant data usage pops up every time you click on a city guide. There is a lengthy wait for the city guide to download, but once it does users are able to plan full and half-day trips in each city, with Google recommending about five to six different sites to visit throughout the day based on search histories. (On mine: the Detroit Institute of Art, Belle Isle Park, graffiti sculptures and two restaurants).

If the suggested track doesn’t appeal to the user, then all they need to do is tap the magic wand button, which instantly refreshes the app and offers five different (and close) attractions. The app also keeps track of flight delays, traffic congestion, and closing times for all its locations. Reservations and confirmation numbers are taken from Gmail and Inbox and compounded in one place. 

Google Trips also doesn’t need Wi-Fi or cellular data, so users also have the option to download their maps, plans and guides so they can view their itineraries offline, saving money on international data plans.

It’s convenient for trip plans to come up based on Google search histories. I’m in the middle of downloading the Austin city guide (I’ve waited five minutes now and the download spectrum is only half green), but I have high hopes for it. I’m wondering if it will recommend to me all of my favorite locales, based on how often I’ve Google-searched restaurant closing times. 

We already let Google tell us where to go and when. Google Trips has the potential to become the next step in travel-planning -- once they fix initial bugs and slow download times.

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