Booking travel online isn’t as easy as it used to be. COVID-related restrictions and case counts are constantly changing, many flights are grounded, and there’s a good chance at least some of the sights on your bucket list are closed.
But Google sees you still searching for pandemic vacation ideas and wants to help. The search giant is pulling together coronavirus data and information on local attractions, flights, and hotels to position itself as a one-stop shop for pandemic travel planning.
Type in any destination at google.com/travel, and you’ll now find key details including the percentage of available hotel rooms and the percentage of flights operating the route. You’ll also get information on average prices for flights and hotels as well as links to travel advisories and local disease trends.
“The No. 1 question we are getting is: Can we travel safely at all? And we’ve tried to address that by including advisory updates in travel searches,” Richard Holden, vice president of product management for Google Travel told Bloomberg. “The next question is where? And when I do decide to emerge, what will be operational?”
Destinations with soaring numbers of confirmed coronavirus cases are highlighted in red. “The more cases at your destination, the more likely you are to get infected during travel and spread the virus to others when you return,” the CDC warns.
In the coming weeks, Google plans to add information on accommodations that offer free cancellations. “Due to the uncertainty around COVID-19, people often want flexibility when making travel plans,” reps for Google said.
Earlier this year, Google added alerts for coronavirus checkpoints and closed borders to Google Maps, making it easier for travelers to navigate their summer road trips.
If you’re not quite ready to travel yet, google.com/travel allows users to plan ahead by pinning must-see sights onto a Google Map and tracking flight and hotel prices in one spot.
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