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Check out these four great new Google trip-planning tools

May 02, 2022
5 min read
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Today, Google is launching a new set of travel search tools to help you plan for that upcoming weekend escape, summer vacation or long-delayed dream getaway.

The set of four new functions will enable you to better customize searches and quickly sort through targeted destination, pricing and lodging choices before saving all the results in a personalized tab that works on your desktop or mobile device.

Want to be notified whenever your bucket list destination has a flight sale? Curious about road trips you can take from your in-laws' hometown? Have to find a hotel or restaurant within a 10-minute walk from your convention center? Regardless of the details surrounding your search, Google has you covered.

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Here's everything to know about Google's four new features.

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Updates to Google Flights

Google has added a new "Any Dates" flight search function. (Screenshot from google.com)

Google Flights has created a new feature that may inspire you to take that long-desired but seemingly out-of-reach trip.

With the latest Google Flights iteration, users can now track future flight prices between any cities by clicking on the new "Any dates" toggle switch. You could previously set flight alerts, but this takes the search process a step further.

If Google detects lower-than-usual fares anytime in the next three to six months, you will receive an email notification. This is great for planning for far-flung dream destinations or getting suggestions for spur-of-the-moment deals.

Users can also click on price grids and price graphs to evaluate flight options in selected date ranges.

Related: How to find the best deals on airfare

Addition of 'Explore Nearby' function

Google's new "Explore Nearby" function will reveal road trip options. (Screenshot from google.com)

Perfect for planning road trips, Google's new "Explore Nearby" function is located under the Explore tool of Google Travel. It will allow you to pick a location (your home base or your future destination) and then add filters like budget and trip length to explore additional destinations nearby. Google will then suggest road trip-ready escapes.

Click on a highlighted photo and Google will populate a side tab with trip information like average drive time, hotel prices and weather.

Related: The Points Guy road trip guides

More search options for hotels and attractions

New Google hotel search options for neighborhoods. (Screenshot from google.com)

Google is also introducing new map-based "interest layer" search options for Google Travel. You can now find lodging within a selected walking or driving time or distance from a particular landmark or address.

For example, you can search for accommodation options within a 15-minute walk of the Eiffel Tower. Enter the specific address or landmark in the search bar and select dates plus "hotels" and/or "vacation rentals" to see a shaded section of the map that shows nearby lodging options.

Or, if you want to find a particular neighborhood's dining, shopping or sightseeing options, you can click new "interest layer" icons on the map along with walk or drive times. Even very specific search options like "kid-friendly hotels in Orlando under $200 with a pool" will return results (in this example, you'll see a mapped list with 123 choices on a sidebar with photos, prices and booking links).

Additional hotel tabs of "When to visit" and "What you'll pay" will show typical price ranges and weather patterns for selected time periods. Price tabs will include links to compare options across multiple web-based booking sites.

Related: Using Google to book vacation rentals

Creation of a travel bookmarking tool

Google's new "Your travel plans" tab will bookmark your travel research. (Screenshot from google.com)

Great for saving both dream travel research and practical details for upcoming trips, Google's new bookmarking tool will allow you to tap a bookmark icon on any hotel for it to become a "saved property." Then, you can return at a later time and hit the "saved" tab under "Your travel plans" to see all your targeted hotels and continue your aspirational or soon-to-be-booked trip planning.

Google has also created a travel icon that can be easily added to the home screen of your iOS or Android smartphone, giving you one-touch access to all your scheduled trips and future travel research.

Related: Using Google for planning a trip

Bottom line

The newly added Google search options will make it easier than ever to customize your travel research, consolidate flight and lodging options and save it all for future viewing.

The neighborhood searches and "Explore Nearby" search functions should be particularly useful when looking for travel ideas in cities or countries you have never visited before. Meanwhile, the seasonal flight pricing and hotel pricing searches will prove beneficial for finding deals.

Featured image by Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
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3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases