Google really wants you to use Maps and search to plan your next outing

Searching for trips is about to get a lot easier.

Credit: Google

Google might always know where we are, but it isn't exactly the first name you think of when it comes to travel and trip planning. With a handful of new tools rolling out over the coming weeks (users on Android and iPhones get it first this week), the search giant is trying to change that.  

First up is a new feature in Maps. As promised at I/O back in May, Google is finally rolling out group planning, giving users an easy way to create a list that can be shared, modified, and voted on without needing to deal with a constant stream of beeps and buzzes via group texts. Here's how it works:

When you search for a restaurant or a place in Maps, you'll see the same list as always, with the same options. Normally, you'd tap the bookmark icon to create a new list or add something to an existing one, but that's not what you want to do to create a shortlist. Instead, you're going to long-press on the card until you feel a tiny vibration. That will start a shortlist, visible via a circular icon on the left side of the screen (you can move it to either side).

google maps group planning IDG

You can collaborate with friends on lists in Google Maps now.

Once you've created your list, you can opt to share with as many people as you'd like. Tap the circle and then the share icon to send it to your friends, who will be able to log their selection via thumbs-up, thumbs-down voting. It works on any platform: Android, iOS, Mac, or PC. You can't create more than one shortlist at a time, so make sure you send it before you start a new one.

After your list is sent, it will disappear, though you can always access it via the link in Messages or whatever app you used. As your friends vote or add their own selections (the latter only on iOS or Android), you'll get notifications of activity, and can respond by tapping it like a normal Maps notification.

Last year, Google streamlined hotel search on phones to include price filtering, detailed amenity information, and the ability to book without leaving search. Now, Google will be showcasing a new hotel location score that "summarizes the hotel’s neighborhood based on information from Google Maps." 

google hotel search Google

Google search will now show you much more than available hotels when you're planning a trip.

Google is also enhancing its Your Trips feature, which shows private results from Gmail that you can use access and share just as if they were stored locally on your device. You can already see your upcoming and past travel reservations from Gmail, but now Google will add context too. So, if you’re searching for a destination that you've already booked your hotel for, you’ll see relevant flight prices, restaurants, weather and events for your dates of travel. It will also collect searching results for potential trips you've explored online but haven't planned, in case you want to keep looking.

Finally, Google will be expanding its flight price trends tracker to include Christmas and New Year's as well as Thanksgiving. 

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Google Maps

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Michael Simon

Michael Simon

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?