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Google Maps will make it easier to plan your summer vacation

Published Apr 29th, 2021 7:31AM EDT
Google Maps New Features
Image: Kaspars Grinvalds/Adobe

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The summer is approaching fast, and many people are already making travel plans according to what’s currently possible when it comes to pandemic regulations. Safety rules might vary from place to place, but that’s where Google can help. The company announced new features for Google Maps and Google Travel that will provide accurate information in real-time about your chosen destination, the stops along the way and local restrictions.

Google explained in a blog post that it’s seeing more searchers for travel-related destination information, including “travel restrictions by country” and “where to travel” now that vaccines are widely available. That’s why Google made changes to its Travel and Maps products to offer immediate information to customers making vacation plans.

Google Search will inform you whether there are any COVID-19 travel advisories related to your destination whenever you’ll be looking for flights, hotels, and things to do. Google will indicate whether quarantine orders are in place upon arrival and whether test results or immunization proof will be needed.

Users who want up-to-date information about restrictions can get them via email updates. Google will notify you of any changes, which are country-specific for international travel and state-specific in the US.

Google Travel
Google Travel’s new Explore tab shown in animation. Image source: Google

An Explore tab has been added to the Google Travel tool, allowing users to browse “more than just flights.” The section will let you explore destinations on a map, including smaller cities and national parks. The Explore tab will let you filter destination by category, including support for cities with airports nearby. Travel advisories will also be presented on the page, as seen in the animation above, providing instant information about travel rules for a chosen destination.

Google Maps will help you decide where to stop along the way ahead of time, but only if you plan your travel via the desktop version of the app. You’ll have to enter your starting point and final destination first, and then you’ll be able to explore different places to stop along the way. The app will highlight hotels, parks, campgrounds, and rest stops. You’ll be able to select a location and add it as a stop. Once the trip is planned, you can export the directions to your iPhone or Android via text, email, or the mobile Google Maps app.

Google Maps
Google Maps desktop app lets users discover and select stops on their route. Image source: Google

Once the directions are uploaded to the phone, you’ll be able to make modifications to your journey. You can cancel stops and add new ones, according to your needs. Just swipe up while navigating to find new stop locations or remove the previously added ones.

As with Google Travel, the new Google Maps feature come with coronavirus restriction warnings that will show up in the trip’s information panel, as seen in the short animation above.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.