Why Google Trips is my new favorite travel tool

This April, I went to Japan for cherry blossom festival (which was one of the coolest trips I’ve taken in recent memory). Before arriving, my friend Shawn had mentioned a new app that he loved — Google Trips. I decided to give it a whirl.

Only having a few days in Kyoto, the app presented me with a few options and I selected “Day Trips.” From there, I have the option to pick between a few options and, based on my hotel’s location, I went with “East side highlights.” There were also options which included “Kid-friendly attractions” and historic monuments.

The app provided me with a map of all of the destinations I’d visit, including opening/closing times, a brief history, and transit options (see screenshots below).

This turned out to be the perfect day trip, hitting all the major spots with plenty of incredible views and sakura. When I’d get lost in the map, I could click a destination and the app seamlessly integrated with Google Maps, which was also very helpful. Picking the route I should travel was very helpful and turned out to be super efficient, even though I walked instead of taking cabs and public transit as the app suggested.

The experience was an upgrade from the Lonely Planet walking guides and, while those are still pretty great, I’ll be switching those out for Google Trips for the foreseeable future.

What are your favorite travel apps?

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