Google today announced Trips, a new app that serves as a trip planner and travel guide for anyone who is exploring a new place. The free app, which is available on Android and iOS, will organize your plane tickets and hotel reservations, offer editorial guides to more than 200 cities, and make personalized recommendations based on your Google history. Best of all, it works offline: you can download everything to your phone before you leave, including maps and walking directions — sparing you from having to use an expensive international data plan.
Trips is the culmination of more than two years of work on improving Google’s travel products, said Richard Holden, a vice president of product management at the company, in an interview. In recent months Google introduced Destinations, a travel-planning feature inside mobile search, and revamped its hotel and flight search features.
Now the company is introducing an app that it hopes will become the default way for travelers to organize trip information ahead of their travels and get around town once they have arrived. “We’re doing a great job on the planning stages, but we really need to help consumers when they’re actually at their destination,” Holden said.
The app will compete with offerings like TripIt, the travel-planning app from business-expense company Concur. But Trips is much less geared toward business travel than TripIt, which offers a $49-a-year premium service that tracks your reward points and alerts you when a better seat becomes available on your flight. What Trips lacks in pro-travel features, it makes up for with useful city guides that leverage a wide range of Google services (and editorial talent).