I know you’re thinking it, because it’s all I’ve been thinking about myself: This summer is going to be filled with travel as the blanket of general anxiety that’s been draped over us for the last year slowly falls off thanks to more available vaccines. And with the CDC giving the go-ahead to be outside without a mask once you’ve been fully vaccinated, there’s bound to be plenty of Google research already underway for trips that facilitate relaxing without masking.
That’s why Google announced new features to help you plan your post-vaccine travel. The disparity of rules and vaccinated populations between counties, states, countries, and continents can make it difficult to know where to go or what will happen upon arrival, so now you can sign up to have Google email you about covid-19 travel advisories once you’ve made your plans. This method is much easier than the before-pandemic method of signing up for travel advisories through, for example, a state agency, which is what I used to do before heading overseas.
The same travel advisories will pop up as a badge when you search for hotels or flights, along with quick access to the destination’s local travel advisory page. As long as you’re logged into Google, you’ll see an option to get notified of any travel advisories related to your trip.
Google also updated the Explore page so that now you can browse airports and things to do around smaller cities and national parks. You can filter trips by type, like whether you want to be maskless in the woods or maskless at the beach.
And finally, Google also updated Maps on the desktop for those planning to hit the road for the summer months. It’s now easier to add route stops, including parks, campgrounds, and rest stops. You can even navigate away from your trip planner to find parking lots, hotels, and any other stop you want to add to the itinerary. Previously, you’d have to scope out a separate app to help you plan for those niche stops along the way, or zoom in and pan around Google Maps to figure out what’s around and manually add it to the trip. This new methodology is much more convenient.