Google’s new travel service can help you choose: Paris or Kabul?

Ah, Kabul in the spring! And Paris in December? Google’s new search function for mobile phones puts the world at your fingertips. And it doesn’t judge your travel choices.

On Wednesday, the tech firm rolled out “Destinations,” a one-stop-shopping function in Google Search that brings up a wealth of information on potential travel spots — including flight costs and schedules, and hotel prices — when a user types in the name of a continent, country or state, plus the word “destination” or “travel.”

The service integrates “a deep understanding of all the places in the world” with Google Flights and a hotel search. “There are a dizzying number of questions to answer when planning a trip: What are the best places to visit? What time of year is good to go? What kind of prices can I expect?” a Google blog post said. “Instead of jumping between a dozen links or tabs to get the information you need, you can sit back and scroll—and leave the heavy lifting to us.”

Google said that last year it saw “a whopping 50 percent increase” in travel-related questions asked via cell phones.

To bring up information tailored to particular travel interests, Destinations users can add to their searches words such as “surfing” or “hiking,” Google suggested. Since many people have specific windows in which to travel, the service allows users to put in a date range, and it finds the best travel deals for that period, according to Google’s post.

Typing “travel” after a location instead of “destination” brings up a “travel guide” that includes points of interest and suggested itineraries.

Also, Destinations offers “when to visit,” based on “historic visits from other travelers,” according to the blog post. Thus we learn that May is the best month to go to Kabul, Afghanistan, a city that features “zoos, skateboarding, music, history, culture,” according to the search results. No mention of violence in the war-torn country, but Destinations has a handy “see Web results” button at the bottom of the page that facilitates gathering of additional information useful for travel planning, such as news stories about the location.

The visit-timing information tells us, somewhat surprisingly, that December is the best time to visit Paris, and, unsurprisingly, that December is the rainiest and second-coldest month in the City of Lights.

Photo: The Louvre Museum, Paris (Wikimedia Commons/Kurt Muehmel)


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  • kindell

    i will love to try both of these. If as a traveler someone will ask me to try any of the place like this. I am pretty much excited about my family day tours from los angeles and i am sure that i will be have fun at any of the place.

  • kindell

    Its really good to know about this one.