Vietnam Technology Channel

Google Trips – Your New Travel Assistant

If you have ever heard of Google Flights, an application that allows you to research airplane tickets at your convenience, Google has also announced “Trips”, a new trip planner and travel guide app.

It is available for free on both Android and IOS to organize your plane tickets, hotel reservations and editorial guides for 200 cities and give you personalized suggestions based on your Google history and cookies. The best advantage about “Trips” is that it can work offline if you download everything to your phone before your trip, including maps and directions. This is considered a must-have travel app for backpackers and young travelers to avoid expensive data roaming as well as buying SIM cards for different countries, especially when you’re traveling fast!

So how does it work? To start you need to log in with your Google account (although you can switch back and forth between your work and personal accounts, it works better to set up the system with the account you use to receive flight and hotel information. Once you’ve logged in, Google Trips will show you a list of your incoming and previous trips.



When you tap on a future trip, you will find a “Reservation” option, including any flights, hotel and rental car reservations that you may have researched or made. If you need more information about your trip, you can find useful guides in the “Need To Know” function to know everything about the city / country you’re going to, as well as information on the local currency, getting from the airport to the city center and emergency information. Another great feature of the app is “Things To Do” which provides you customized itineraries based on how long you’ll stay in the city, popular landmarks and your google history search. There is general itinerary like “72 hours in Ho Chi Minh” or guides that focuses based on your preferences, including how to get there, walking direction and opening hours for galleries, museums, restaurants and retail establishments.

Although the app can work offline, if you have your cellular connection available, it will make adjustments based on time of day and weather. For instance, it will recommend you outdoor activities on a sunny day, and when it starts raining, you will get indoor alternatives. And if you’re feeling adventurous, tap on the big red “magic wand” button on your ‘I’m Feeling Lucky-style recommendation” to get a random highlight of the day.

Besides the good points about “Trips”, the APP also has some inconsistencies. It doesn’t detect your trip automatically from your email information so you have to create a new trip manually. But the biggest concern for many people is related to privacy. While enjoying the advantages from Google, you have to pay the ultimate price - your own privacy – by allowing “Trips” to track every step you make and location you visit on your travel journeys.

The launch of Google Trips brings so more hopes and promising growth for Asia tourism, especially in Vietnam. Although Vietnam has known to have affordable living standard, remarkable landscape and friendly to tourists, a large part of the country still remains does not speak English even in big cities like Ho Chi Minh or Hanoi, which makes it more difficult for travelers to move around. Therefore, with Google Trips, any clueless traveler can be confident to maximize their time and enjoy as many diverse activities as possible.

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