Examined: Google Trip – the next big travel app

There's nothing like a new piece of travel tech to perk up your week – at least we think so anyway. This week's new piece of kit is pretty impressive; on the surface anyway. Introducing the new app that every traveller will have on their smartphones this time next year: Google Trips.

That might sound like a bold statement, but there's a lot to like about the app which promises to help travellers "see more, plan less".

What is it?

Google is touting its new app as a "personalised tour guide in your pocket". Essentially, it's an app that allows you to see all the sites in your chosen destination with next-to-no planning. You just need to tap the app and you will be presented with pre-saved day plans; reservations; things to do; food & drink; and more.

Google Trips has 'day plans' – or itineraries – for the top 200 cities in the world, with the most popular sights, attractions and local gems all scheduled into a full day tour. The itineraries are based on historic visits by other travellers, ensuring you end up vising all those sites people will ask you about on your return – plus those that are slightly off the radar.

How does it work?

The personalisation comes in the form of being able to customise your itinerary based on what sites you have earmarked as must-sees and the time that you have available. Based on that information, the app will draw you an itinerary, to save you spending an hour jumping from website to website trying to decide where to go and what to see.

Can you give me an example?

Google uses Barcelona as its example city. Once you've told the app that's where you're going, you can choose a day plan based on what part of the city you're heading to. For instance, if you're going to be staying in the Eixample District, a day plan might consist of visiting the must-see buildings designed by Antoni Gaudi, the famous Spanish architect – if that's your thing.

Or, if your friends told you that you have to see the Sagrada Familia, you just need to put that detail into the app and it will offer suggestions on things to do around that spot, adding more options into your itinerary via the "magic wand".

This is going to cost me a pretty penny in mobile data isn't it?

No, the beauty of Google Trips is that it is available offline. All you need to do is hit the "Download" button under each trip to save it to your phone, ensuring you can get from place to place without having to go online.

It's not just your itinerary that's available offline – any flight, hotel, car or restaurant reservations you have made are automatically gathered from Gmail and organised for you into individual trips. That means no awkward silences as you desperately try and find your hotel reservation while stood in front the receptionist...

In doing its research for the app, Google found a GoodThink study which showed that 74% of travellers feel the most stressful aspect of travel is figuring out the details. Something for travel brands to bear in mind as they go about optimising their services.

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