On Wednesday May 1, 2013, I had the pleasure of attending the Toronto Travel Massive event at Google Canada. Not only was I looking forward to meet some new people but absolutely thrilled to hear about travel and tech (2 of my absolute favourite things)! I was so blown away by the travel stuff Google has to offer, I have decided to take it upon myself to share some of these with you.
If you are like me (or most other 20-somethings), you are more concerned with budget than the actual dates or even exact location of travel. I know as a 22 year old travel enthusiast, I just want to go. It doesn’t matter when. It doesn’t matter where. I just want to go. Google has an amazing little tool called Flight Explorer that I instantly feel in love with. Simply put in the destination (anything as specific as a city or as general as a continent) and you will be given a huge selection of flights over the next months with the cheapest flight highlighted. Once you’ve found the flight that works for you, click the book flight button and Google will take you directly to the airline’s website checkout page with you’re flight already selected. I’ve actually had a lot of fun just playing with Flight Explorer. I always loved airplanes and I enjoy just seeing all the possibilities at hand with flights whether I’m seriously planning a trip or not. I’ve know about this for about a week and have already spent hours just playing with it.
After you’ve found your flight to anywhere, you’re going to need to find somewhere to stay. Personally, I’m still at that stage in my life where cheap hostels are more than enough and usually preferred over nice hotels. Google’s Hotel Finder is going to be perfect for anyone who has moved on from their hostel days. It will most likely come up along the side while looking for a flight with Flight Explorer or Flight Finder and will even show you what’s available during the days you’ve selected for your flight. My favourite feature is the map Hotel Finder uses. It will point out all the hotels listed on the map for you to see where it is in comparison to everything else in the city. If there is a specific area you want to have your hotel located in, select it on the menu near the top of the map and Google will highlight that neighbourhood for you and only show the hotels within that area. Once again, after you found the hotel you like, click the book button and Google takes you off to the booking page for the hotel. Hotel Finder really takes out a lot of the work when it comes to finding the right place to stay.
This last point brought up at the Travel Massive event wasn’t exactly something new and exciting but more of just cool information I didn’t realize before: the power of the travel video. If you have spent any time on my blog, you would have come across my travel YouTube videos. The video aspect is actually where the Nomadic Meg idea started and the written blog came second. I always loved travel videos (both making and watching) because it can give me ideas and insight in an entertaining way. Over half of Canadian travellers are inspired to start planning a trip after watching a video. That little fact blew my mind. I knew I was always into travel videos but I never thought that travel videos were quite that popular overall. Craziness! It makes me feel like I’m on the right path with making videos and this inspires me to keep it up. I’m not giving up my travel vlog anytime soon. (Psst… You should go subscribe to my YouTube Channel HERE)
I know I will definitely be using all these awesome Google travel tools in the future to simplify my travel booking. Do you have any favourite sites or tools that make your travel booking easier?