Track Travel Restrictions with Google
As vaccines become more available, people are eager to start planning vacations again. More destinations are opening up to those who are vaccinated or show proof of negative test results. But figuring out where to travel and what requirements are in place, is still a tricky endeavor. But if you are ready to plan a trip, Google has announced a few updates today to keep you informed on the latest travel guidance and explore potential destinations.
Stay up to date on travel guidance
When you look for travel information like flights, hotels or things to do, Google Search will let you know if there are COVID-19 related travel advisories or restrictions for your destination. Now, we’re adding more travel restriction details, like whether you’ll need to quarantine upon arrival or provide proof of test results or immunization records.
You can now also track travel advisories or restrictions for your destination and get email updates. If you are signed into your Google account, you can toggle “Receive an email if this guidance changes.” You’ll be notified when restrictions are added, lifted or reduced. These updates are country-specific, with state-specific information available in the United States.
Get destination ideas for when you’re ready to travel
Google has made some updates to Explore to help you get started. Google Flights fans may already be familiar with the Explore map, which shows flight prices for different destinations if you’re flexible on where and when you’re traveling.
Now, Explore has its own tab on Google.com/travel and has been redesigned so you can browse more than just flights. You’ll see more destinations on the map — including smaller cities and national parks which has seen a boost in visitors — and if you have a certain type of trip in mind, you can filter destinations for interests like outdoors, beaches or skiing.
If, for example, you only want to see cities with an airport, select flights only in “Travel Mode.” When you pick a destination, you will see if there’s a travel advisory or restriction and, in addition to the best flights, you’ll see other helpful information for planning your trip, like hotels, things to do, the best time to visit and other useful tips.
Plan road trips with ease
If you’re planning a road trip, Google Maps can now help you decide where to stop along the way ahead of time. When you visit Google Maps on your desktop computer, enter your starting point and your final destination, and at the top of the map you can choose from different types of places to stop like hotels, parks, campgrounds and rest stops. Once you see something of interest, you can select that specific location and add it as a stop. Once your journey is planned, send the directions to your phone via text, email or the Google Maps app, so you can navigate right from your phone when you’re ready to get going.
If your plans change while you’re en route, you can easily update your journey from your phone. Swipe up while navigating to find new stops along the way or to remove previously scheduled stops.
Travel Trends on Google
Here are some interesting highlights on latest travel trends based on Google searches
- In April 2021, searches for hotels reached a 10-year high point. Searches for “where can I travel” and “travel restrictions by country” also recently reached all-time highs.
- Domestic locations beat international destinations… for now. Destinations in the US are by far the most in demand, followed by Mexico at a distant second. There’s also a rapid increase in searches for “cdc international travel guidelines” and “world health organization travel passport”, which indicates that people still want to go abroad when they’re able to do so (as do the other trends mentioned above).
- Safety remains a priority. There’s a rapid increase in searches for “do you need a vaccine to travel” among those also seeking travel information.
- Outdoor trips are still in style. In the summer of 2020, searches for outdoor recreation reached a 10-year high point, and this trend appears likely to continue. For those who searched for travel information over the past month, RVs and trailers were among the most popular topics they also searched for.
- Within the US, the typical tourist hot spots are most in demand. Here are the most popular domestic destinations for US-originating travel queries on Google Search (e.g. ‘flights to Miami’ or ‘hotels in Chicago’):
- Las Vegas
- Los Angeles
- New York
- For those looking abroad, the Caribbean and cosmopolitan cities top the list. Here are the most popular international destinations for US-originating travel queries on Google Search (e.g. ‘flights to London’ or ‘hotels in Cancun’):
- San José del Cabo
- Punta Cana
- Mexico City
- Puerto Vallarta
- Montego Bay