Google Makes it Easier to Travel During the Pandemic
Countries around the world are starting to reopen as COVID-19 numbers are falling in some areas of the globe. At the same time, travel is picking up, although it is still a far cry from last year numbers. While people want to travel, rules, restrictions or flat-out bans, make it difficult to pick your next destination. So it is now more important than ever to stay up to date on the latest travel-related information for places you may want to visit. Now Google has a few updates to help you make travel decisions with confidence.
Destination Based Travel Updates
When you do a Google search for hotels, flights or things to do, you already see when there’s a COVID-19 travel advisory or restriction for your destination. Google also introduced driving alerts to notify you about COVID-19 checkpoints and restrictions along your route in Google Maps, as some states have new rules for domestic travel.
Now more information is being added. As restrictions and advisories begin to lift, Google is adding information about travel resuming in a specific destination on Google Search. You’ll soon see the percentage of open hotels with availability and flights operating at the city or county level based on Google Flights and Hotels data from the previous week.
When you visit google.com/travel and tap on a trip you’re planning, or search for hotels and things to do, you’ll now see trendlines for hotel and flight availability. Links to additional local resources, including the number of COVID-19 cases, are provided as well.
Hotels with Refundable Rates
Due to the uncertainty around COVID-19, people often want flexibility when making travel plans. Many hotels and vacation rentals now offer free cancellation to give travelers more confidence when planning trips.
Later this month Google will add the ability to search for a hotel or vacation rental on google.com/travel and filter to see only rooms or properties with free cancellation policies. Then you can tap on a specific listing to see more details. You can see the full announcement from Google here.