I had been planning my next trip to Europe for six months, tracking things in Google Docs, saving restaurant recommendations on TripAdvisor and storing my confirmations in Gmail. When I downloaded Google Trips two weeks ago, everything was already there. Google Trips is smart enough to read my emails and almost flawlessly display all those details in one place in the app. It’s almost indistinguishable from magic.
Many of the granular details that I would write up in a Google Doc are already in Google Trips. It’s like Google was spying on me and made this app in my honor. Planning for transport from the airport to city center is something I always do for example, and now it’s done for me:
Tipping, hours of operation, and local foods are just some of the things I researched manually that Google Trips now does. The information and details are in a style I like.
Is this app a game changer for me or do I enjoy the manual process of discovering these details too much for myself? I love TripAdvisor and I love discovering these things myself. But there are times when, like my recent trip to Albuquerque, where I don’t have time to plan those granular details. For others, it might be the only app they need.
There are a few kinks to work out, for example, it doesn’t understand day trips very well and if you are staying at grandma’s house instead of a hotel, I would like to be able to add her address like a reservation. If you don’t use Gmail, I can’t imagine the app is as good, as adding stuff on mobile manually always sucks. Of course, you could always forward your confirmations to Gmail, but why not just use Gmail to begin with?
So there you have it. I am still trapped in a tug-of-war between TripAdvisor and Google.