So I’ve been planning a trip to Nicaragua because, hello…
Monkeys, beaches, surfing, and historic architecture? Yeah, sign me up.
Here’s a screenshot of the actual madness required to put together my itinerary.
First, there’s the mountain of research required to determine which cities and excursions suit your interests.
Next, for flights, there’s the travel duration, layover time, and, above all, price to consider.
Finally, there’s the excess of choice for lodging: hostel, hotel, or Airbnb? What’s the neighborhood like? What kind of amenities are available?
The “ALL THE TABS” stage of travel planning could really go on and on and on.
Well, Google recently introduced a new feature called “Destinations” that claims to make the entire research and booking process much easier – and you can do it all from your phone and only your phone.
Here’s how it works (and why it’s kind of a travel game changer).
The feature’s selection of travel locations does seem limited to just popular destinations for now.
California travel and Mallorca vacation didn’t work, but Nicaragua destinations andThailand vacation did. “Destinations” is a work in progress and Google reps say more destinations are on their way.
One thing I didn’t like about this experience was being unable to sort flights by duration (or what Hipmunkcalls “agony”).
I could filter preferred number of stops (0 to 2+) and price, which was misleading because some of the cheapest flights took three times as long as slightly more expensive ones!
7. You’ll then book the flights from the airline directly.
See where it says “Ads”? That’s essentially how Google makes money from this feature. Every flight booked through the app earns revenue for Google. For the most part, I don’t have a problem with it. The tool seems legitimately useful, and as long as it yields the most affordable price for my trip based on my preferences, it doesn’t bother me that they get a cut of my flight price. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
The experience of booking through Google’s app depends widely on the airline.
American Airlines will take you right to the passenger detail page – all you have to do is enter your credit card information and check out.
For other companies, like United, you’ll be taken to a results page filled with various flights departing on your preferred day (even if you already selected your flights in the Google app), which is a huge pain.