September 27, 2016

8 Reasons GoogleTrips Might Be My New Travel BFF // Travel Tips


The roll of technology and travel is a kind of complicated one.  There's a balance, right?  Many people travel to get away from technology in a lot of ways.  We seek to have real experiences and be in the moment in these beautiful places and that means we have to put down our phones and unplug to do that.  On the other hand, technology is an amazing tool that is making travel easier for us.  It's helping us to plan effective travel routes and connect with other travelers to find the best hotels and the best spots to eat sushi in Tokyo.

Google just introduced a new travel app to add to the tools in our traveling toolbelt called GoogleTrips.  Have you seen the ad?

I have to be honest, I'm already kind of hooked.  It's the kind of simple tech app that is really easy to use and it makes travel easier and what's not to love about that?  It is still in it's infancy, so it has so growing to do, but I see a lot of promise.  It could be a really amazing new addition to my travel planning if it works out a few kinks and continues to expand.  And so, I give you...

8 good reasons that GoogleTrips might be my new travel BFF...


1. Automatic Imports : GoogleTrips automatically connects in to your Gmail (with your permission of course) and finds all the relevant details relating to upcoming and past travel - your car rentals, flight reservations, and hotel bookings - so that when you launch the app, all of your upcoming trips are listed on the home screen!  It also has a listing of your past trip information which I think it always nice to be able to reference.   
The downside: If you don't use Gmail for your travel bookings, you get none of this magic.


2. Offline Mode : Data coverage abroad can be expensive!  And wifi is iffy at best in some places, so all the great internet based apps in the world can fail if you don't have an offline option.  GoogleTrips allows offline options that could save the day.  By flipping the "available offline" switch, it will download and store the reservations, maps to your hotels, and destination information.


3. Need to Know :  Part of planning any big international trip for me always includes taking an extra moment to document all the emergency numbers, details on currency, and tipping notes.  GoogleTrips takes care of that for you in the "Need to Know" section.

Area of Opportunity : Currency conversion would make this so much more dynamic.  Also, this section is not available in all destinations yet.

4. Recommendations : Check through lists of things to do or places to eat based on different categories that might suit you personally such as "family friendly" or "outdoor adventures"

The downside: While it seems to feed you the star ratings from TripAdvisor, it doesn't make those ratings clickable to see the actual reviews at a glance.


5. Save Places : When you find a restaurant or a thing to do that looks like your kind of fun, hit it with a star and it goes into your saved places.  The saved places then get put into maps so that when you are planning your days, you can easily see how close those options are to each other.  Saves so much time from manually mapping and makes for more efficiency to see all the things you're dreaming of.

6. Day Plans : An offering of a few ideas are listed here or you can create your own using your saved options and search features.  It then maps everything out for you and give you the time breakdown and transportation information to go from place to place.

The downside: This feature needs more manual input options in order to actually replace an itinerary for me.  It only recognizes certain locations and I think it should auto recognize your hotel here to give you your natural starting and ending point option.

7. Getting Around : A listing of taxi numbers, public transport information, airport shuttles, and basic driving rules are all located in one place.


8. Local Specialties : Sometimes when you are traveling to a new country, it's hard to keep track of all the amazing dishing and what all the new culinary words mean, so I appreciate this little spot on the food and drink section with some local specialties so you can reference that in addition to just run of the mill restaurant recommendations.  This is also nice to check in less exotic locations just to see what dishes they are known for.

What do you think?  Have you tried it yet?

5 comments:

  1. I haven't really set up Google Trip but my phone did notify mwith of my trips already and I wasn't sure why now I know Google trips was automatically activated. Thanks for sharing this. It's a really informative article

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  2. I love the "save places" option! I like to plan ahead with many possible restaurants, things to do, etc - especially helpful when traveling with a family - and the GoogleTrips feature seems like it'd really help with that. Thanks for the review!

    TenThousandHourMama.com

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  3. This sounds like such a great tool. I hadn't yet heard of it, but will definitely be checking it out! I love that you can use it while offline too!

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  4. Oh wow! I've seen mentions of this but haven't put any thought into it. This sounds awesome! And it would have come in handy on, oh, every single International trip I've ever taken (especially the fact that you can access everything offline!). Thanks for the review. I'm definitely going to give it a whirl next trip.

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  5. YES! I LOVE Google Trips!! Great list of some of its top features.

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