Google’s new feature helps you plan travel around COVID
You’re probably thinking of travelling already, planning your next big trip in your head. Google is one step ahead of you. As rapidly changing COVID updates and travel guidelines become the norm, the search engine is harnessing the wealth of data across its networks and adding new features to its travel tools to help users plan trips effectively.
Based on the area you are searching for, you will be able to access the ‘Travel trends’ section that will show you hotel availability and operational flights in the region. Information on ticket price trends as well as travel advisories, local disease trends and the number of COVID cases in that region will be easily accessible to help you plan better. For example, if you’re looking to fly to New Delhi, Google Travel will calculate price trends for your tickets. Thinking of flying to London? Check the latest travel advisories before you book.
“When you search on Google for information like hotels, flights or things to do, you already see when there’s a COVID-19 travel advisory or restriction for your destination. And, we recently introduced driving alerts to notify you about COVID-19 checkpoints and restrictions along your route in Google Maps. When you visit google.com/travel and tap on a trip you’re planning, or search for hotels and things to do, you’ll now see trendlines for hotel and flight availability,” Richard Holden, Vice President, Product Management, Travel, Google wrote in a blog post.
Find hotels with refundable rates
Given the uncertain nature of the pandemic, Google Travel will allow you to filter and book hotels, flights and soon, rentals based on filters such as free cancellations and refunds.
That information will also appear if you’re using Google Travel when searching for a hotel, flight, or vacation rental. You will be able to add an additional option to filter your searches exclusively by that criterion.
“The uncertainty of COVID-19 makes it hard to navigate travel decisions. We’ll continue to share the most relevant information so you can make informed decisions and travel safely when the time comes,” Holden added.
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