8 Google Travel Features to Make Travel Planning Easier

Summer has officially arrived and travel season picked up. With that in mind, you’ll want to take advantage of Google Maps and Google Flights when plan your next trip.

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Here’s why: Google Flights can help you track prices for any date you plan to fly. Also, if you’re going on spring break and aren’t familiar with the airport, Google Maps can easily help you find food or coffee there.

Read on and we’ll tell you how Google can help you make your vacation smooth.

See how much a flight will cost for any date you plan to depart

On May 2, Google announced a new feature that will let you find the best deal on flights to your destination. Now you can start tracking prices to find deals on any date, and Google will email you if it finds prices lower than usual in the next three to six months.

Simply head to Google Flights on your browser and enter your destination. If you don’t have a specific date in mind to travel, select All dates to find the best deal.

Navigate airports, malls and transit stations

If you need to quickly find a store in a large mall, Google Maps expands its Phone book tab for all airports, malls and transit stations. This can help when you’re running through the airport trying to find somewhere to eat or grabbing a last minute souvenir before your flight. The tab will tell you the opening hours of a destination and what floor it is on. You can browse restaurants, shops, lounges, and parking lots.

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Google Maps can tell you how busy a restaurant is.

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Browse Google Maps to see how busy a place is

Google has added a new feature to its Google Maps activity tool. You can already search for a location, like a business, to see a graph that shows how crowded it is in real time. Now, a new feature called Area Busyness lets you see when entire areas of the map are obstructed by people.

To use the new feature, you open the Google Maps app on your Android or iPhone (or your computer’s browser) and pan around the map to find a general area, such as downtown, a river walk, or a picturesque town nearby. Crowd information will now automatically appear on the map, so you don’t have to specifically search for a location to see how crowded it is. Google Maps might say something like “Busy area” and when you click for more details it might say, for example, “As busy as possible”.

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Track your travel route in Google Maps

Google Maps can chart your travels, but it can also quickly show you your flight, hotel, car rental and restaurant reservations, so you don’t have to search through your email for check-in times and dates. confirmation numbers.

To see your next bookings:

1. In Google Maps, tap Checked in in the lower menu line.

2. Faucet Reservations. Here, you’ll see a list of upcoming bookings you’ve made that Maps pulled from emails in Gmail.

3. Select an item to learn more about the reservation, including date and location.

4. You can also search “my bookings” in the Google Maps search box to see a list of what you have booked.

Make a restaurant reservation directly in Google Maps

Planning a dinner with a large group can be a hassle, especially when going at a busy time. Google Maps can help you book a lunch or dinner reservation. Here’s how.

1. In Maps, tap the Restaurants button at the top of the map to see a list of places to eat.

2. Select a restaurant that looks good, and in the window that appears, reserve a table or join a waiting list, if it gives you this option (not all do).

Remember that you can use the occupancy function mentioned above to choose the less crowded place. Also note that some restaurants that are closed for on-site dining may still allow delivery, curbside pickup, or outdoor seating.

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Let your friends and family know you’ve arrived by sharing your location.

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Use Google Maps offline

Heading to a remote location where you may not have a mobile network connection? Google Maps can still give you directions when you’re offline.

1. Before leaving, search Maps for where you want directions.

2. In the location window, drop down the menu basically.

3. Scroll the tabs to the right and tap To downloadthen in the next window, press To download Again. Maps will download a map to your phone for the area you selected.

Now, when you use Google Maps to get directions in the area you downloaded a map for, when you lose your cellular connection, Maps switches to the offline map to guide you. Note that because you’re offline, Maps won’t be able to offer real-time traffic information.

Find electric vehicle charging stations and gas stations wherever you are

If you’re taking your EV shopping, dining, or vacationing, Google Maps can help you find EV charging stations along your route, as well as an estimate of wait times for a charging port . You can also filter your search by connector type — such as J1772, CCS (Combo 1 or 2) and Tesla – to see only stations compatible with your electric vehicle. Note that you can also search for gas stations by following these same instructions. (Here’s how you can save money at the pumps.)

1. In Maps, scroll through the tabs at the top of the screen and tap After.

2. Scroll down to the Services section and select Electric vehicle charging.

3. Maps will show nearby charging stations and how many are available.

4. Press a charging station on the map to have Maps add it as a stop on your trip.

You can also use this trick to find other places along your route, such as a cafe.

Share your location via Google Maps

Is there anything more frustrating during a group activity than when the group breaks up and no one can find each other? Google Maps can help you pull together.

1. In Google Maps, tap your profile icon in the upper right corner and tap Location sharing.

2. Faucet Shared location and select who you want to share your location with and for how long you want to share it.

3. Faucet To shareand Google Maps will send your location to everyone you selected.

4. If you want to see someone else’s location, tap that person’s icon at the top of the window, then tap Request.

For more travel tips, here’s our guide to save money on travel even as flight costs increase. Check 18 travel tips for a stress-free summer vacationmore these essential travel gadgets for international travel. Also, here how to travel without using your vacation days.

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