Google services make it much easier to prepare for your trip and change once you’re there. Here are 8 features you need to know.
Summer has officially arrived and so has travel season. When planning your next trip, you’ll want to take full advantage of Google Maps and Google Flights. This last allows you to follow the prices according to your dates and Google Maps can help you navigate an unfamiliar airport, if only to find something to eat or drink.
Know the price of a flight according to your dates
On May 2, Google announced a new feature to help you find the best deal for your destination. You can track prices by your dates, and Google will email you if it finds better prices in the next three to six months.
Go to Google Flights, enter your destination. If you don’t have a specific travel date, select ‘Anytime’ to find the best deals.
Navigate airports, malls and train stations
If you need to find a mall quickly, Google Maps expands its Directory tab for all airports, malls, and train stations. This can be handy if you only have a short time to buy food or drink at the airport before take-off. The tab will tell you the opening hours and the level in the building.
Use Google Maps to know the affluence of an establishment
Google has added a new feature to Maps. You could already search for an address, any establishment, and see the crowds in real time. Today, a feature called Area Busyness makes it possible to visualize when an entire area is full of people.
To use this new feature, open the Google Maps app on Android or iPhone or even in your web browser and pan around the map to find an area, like downtown. The occupancy information will automatically appear on the map, you do not need to perform any special action to see if there are people there or not. Google Maps may display the mention “Travelled area” and you can click on it for more details.
Follow your route on Google Maps
Google Maps can perfectly display your trips, but also show you your flight, your hotel, your car reservation and / or restaurant, saving you from having to dig into your emails to find the details.
To view your upcoming reservations:
- In Google Maps, tap Saved in the menu bar at the bottom.
- Tap Reservations. There you will see the list of reservations you have made that Maps was able to retrieve from your emails in Gmail.
- Select an entry to learn more, including date and location.
- You can also search “my reservations” in Google Maps to see the list of these.
Make a reservation for a restaurant directly in Google Maps
Preparing dinner with a group can be tricky, especially if you’re going during rush hour. Google Maps can help you book:
- In Maps, tap the Restaurants button at the top of the map to see a list of places to eat.
- Select a restaurant and, in the window that appears, reserve a table or place yourself on the waiting list, if the option is available.
You can use the crowded feature to choose a low-traffic location. Some establishments also offer delivery, on-site pick-up or even eating out.
Use Google Maps offline
If you’re going somewhere where you don’t have a mobile connection, Google Maps can still help you when you’re offline.
- Before leaving, find the place you want to have the map in Maps.
- In the map window, pull down the bottom menu.
- Scroll the tabs to the right and tap Download. In the next window, tap Download again. Maps will download the area map to your smartphone.
Now you will be able to use Google Maps to get directions in the downloaded area for when you don’t have a connection. Please note that you will not have real-time traffic information, of course.
Find a service or electric charging station
Google Maps can help you find an electric charging station as well as the estimated charging time. You can even filter by connector type to display only those that are compatible with your electric car. You can also, of course, display gas stations in the same way.
- In Maps, scroll through the tabs at the top of the screen and tap More.
- Scroll down to the Services section and select Charging station or Fuel.
- Maps will show you the corresponding establishments nearby and their number.
- Tap an address on the map and Maps will add it as a stop on your route.
You can use this trick for other services, like a hotel or a pharmacy.
Share your location via Google Maps
What could be more frustrating than being in a group and losing certain elements? Google Maps can help you find yourself:
- In Google Maps, tap your profile icon in the upper right corner and tap Location Sharing.
- Tap Share my location and select who you want to do it with and for how long you want to do it.
- Tap Share and Google Maps will send your location to those you selected.
- If you want to ask for someone’s location, tap that person’s icon at the top of the window and tap Ask.