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Here’s how you can use Google to travel safely this holiday season

Google Source: Android Central

What you need to know

  • Google has a number of travel-related features that it's highlighting for holiday travel.
  • Some of the features are already available, like a dedicated COVID-19 layer for Google Maps.
  • There are some new features, like a Trips tab for tracking past travels.

As the COVID-19 pandemic begins to see another surge in cases, Google expects some 40% of Americans plan to travel during the holidays and has highlighted some features, a few of which are new, that are aimed at helping users stay safe. The company has already added a COVID-19 layer to Google Maps, which shows trends in cases by country, state, and even county.

Google Travel Infographic

Google Travel InfographicSource: Google

One of Google's new features will allow users to check on any possible travel restrictions for potential holiday destinations, in addition to a filter for hotels that are offering free cancellations in case travel plans change, the latter of which was added earlier this year. Another handy feature is the ability to check up on hotels' cleaning and sanitation procedures. Google is working with hotels to provide this information, which they can do through Google's business tools

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. Other alerts include driving checkpoints and updates to local transit mandates.

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Google Maps Timeline Tab

Google Maps Timeline TabSource: Google

In an effort to aid in contact tracing, Google, along with Apple, has already developed a contact tracing API which local and state governments can use to develop and roll-out apps on both iOS and Android. In addition to this new API, a feature called "Trips" is being rolled out on Google Maps Timeline (above).

This allows users to take a look at past trips they've taken, as well as modes of transportation and itineraries that could include hotel stays. This could make it much easier for users to retrace their steps in case of potential exposure. This feature will be expanded upon in the Photos app, which will soon let users see their photos grouped by location, as well as a timeline of the photos taken.

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Put simply, Google is putting as many tools in the hands of users to ensure safe travels, as we all work to mitigate the impact of the global pandemic. And for those of you who are travelling, you wouldn't wanna be caught without some of these useful travel accessories as well.



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