Now that vaccines are becoming more widely available, travel is beginning to be a thought on many people’s minds. Having been cooped up for the past year has given us all a desire to make up for it by getting out of the house and potentially out of our state or country to experience life again. Google has created several tools that will assist with this, and we’re going to take a look at what they provide.
First, the company is rolling out COVID-19 related travel restriction alerts to go with its previously released travel advisories feature. Now, you can opt in via Google Search to receive an email when there’s a travel restriction set in place, lifted, or even reduced for the destination you’re planning to visit. Additionally, you’ll be notified of whether or not you’ll need to quarantine upon arrival or provide immunization records when you get there.
The Explore tab on Google Travel has been completely redesigned and is now powered by Google Maps! The change brings more information than simply flights into view, and the destinations on the map will now include smaller cities, national parks, and more. Each location will list things you can do when you visit, hotels, the best times to visit, and more. Another major update comes directly to maps in the form of road trip planning.
When you open the web app on your desktop or Chromebook, you can now enter a start and end destination, and then plot out activities to participate in or places to visit along the way. This includes hotels, parks, campgrounds, rest stops, and more. Once your adventure is completely planned out, you can send it to your phone via text, email, or directly to the Maps app with one click. These road trips can be modified directly from your phone while you’re on the go, so adding or removing stops will prove to be a non-issue.
I’ve been curious about how many people are not only eager to travel this year, but willing. Even with the vaccine, the idea of being in close quarters with so many other people either on an airplane or at an airport seems a bit nerve-wracking, and I’ve heard the same from many other people so far. Let me know in the comments if you’ll make use of these tools or if you’re going to skip out on them until more vaccinations occur throughout the year ahead.