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Google Flights and Hotel Search get souped up for 2018 holiday travel season

If you're planning to head over the river and through the woods to grandma's house for the impending holiday season, Google wants to help. The internet giant has introduced[1] a slate of tools to help you get away--whether you're planning a trip to the in-laws or a trip to an island far, far away where there is no Twitter or images of congressmen yelling at people. The new travel page[2] will show wannabe travelers the best time to book flights ahead of Thanksgiving or, say, the next Supreme Court confirmation hearing, based on 2017's price trends.

Unfortunately, the results are a bit limited right now (we reached out to see if Google plans on expanding the tool), but if you're flying one of the routes the tool currently supports, it can be useful for saving a few bucks.

[Animation: courtesy of Google]Google also tweaked its Explore Map feature in Google Flights, so if you're flexible on where you travel (anywhere without internet) or which dates you want to go on vacation, you can search for destinations like "Southern Europe," then choose either specific or flexible dates.

The page also highlights hotel deals, so if you Google Lisbon, Bora Bora, Cleveland--or some other popular travel destination--the results page will automatically highlight hotel deals in whatever city you're visiting. Google Search is also adding a new "hotel location score" that takes into consideration nearby restaurants, landmarks, and public transportation. Finally, the search page also offers articles about the destination so you can be a know-it-all tourist.

As Google explains in a blog post[3], if you search "Austin" and already booked your hotel, "you'll see things like flight prices, weather, and events for your dates of travel, and even restaurants near where you're staying."

It's slightly creepy, but also useful.



  1. ^ has introduced (www.blog.google)
  2. ^ travel page (blog.google)
  3. ^ blog post (blog.google)

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