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At Last, Online Travel Planning Is Becoming (a Little) Easier

The internet has made it easier for us to plan our own trips and see how much we can save, but there are hundreds of pages of research on destinations, hotel and home rental options, You have to wade through a myriad of flight routing options. Amateur travel agency on the way.

But this summer, several travel platforms launched or announced fixes to make it easier to plan trips by improving searches, creating more informative maps and streamlining loyalty programs. did.

If you’re looking for a holiday home on the island, you can easily find a hotel a 15 minute walk from your nephew’s Bar Mitzvah, or an electric car, Airbnb, Google or Skyscanner.

Analysts say these and other platforms are not yet complete. “We expect more brands to develop and upgrade these types of features as travel information, pricing and reservations remain fragmented and disjointed,” said the market research firm.

Finding the right vacation rental is like sifting through search results and looking for a needle in a haystack.In between measures Airbnb hired this summer to make renting easier. For example, small houses, castles, “ski in/out”, near national parks, “great pools”, and even “OMG!” categories of architecturally unusual options.

Additionally, the new “split stay” feature is intended to help renters who want to split their time between two locations. The tool suggests available nearby rentals for part of your trip, and on longer stays he easily pairs the two rentals, streamlining the booking process for both.

“People are far more location-free than they were before the pandemic. Air Donnais a market research firm that specializes in short-term rentals, noting the rise in long-term travel associated with working remotely. “Airbnb makes it easy to organize longer trips by finding listings that meet your criteria and stay open for the duration of the trip.”

Another new addition, a free policy known as air coveris automatically included in all rentals and protects consumers by guaranteeing a similar stay or a refund if the host cancels within 30 days of travel.

“We want to be more competitive with hotels,” Lane said. “Guests can rest easy knowing they’re getting what they booked or getting a refund.”

expedia group I want your loyalty. Named after the flagship online travel agency, Expediathe collection of travel agencies includes online agencies Travelability When Orbitzminpaku platform VrboHotel Discount Reservation Site Hotwire.comcar rental site rent-a-car.com more. In early 2023, we plan to bring them together under One Key, our loyalty program across 12 brands. This means you can apply the points you earn from booking flights with Expedia to the cost of future rentals with Vrbo.

“It’s very difficult for people to track programs and rewards,” said Jon Gieselman, president of Expedia Brands, the group’s consumer arm. I added that I came up with it when I opened the program for . A travel wallet packed with dozens of membership programs and credit cards.

“We realized that our superpower opportunity was to create a connection between all brands in the minds of our customers while at the same time making it easier for them to understand the different programs,” he added. I got

Expedia, Orbitz, hotels.comalready has a loyalty program with 154 million members and has yet to disclose a conversion formula for earning and spending points or a rate for One Key.

Most loyalty programs encourage members to stay with one brand, but One Key allows users to apply points across multiple categories in a scheme that Gieselman called a “non-loyalty program.” We are able to do that and set ourselves apart from our competitors.

“Expedia’s expanded loyalty offering will bring more people to the brand’s umbrella with flexible options for earning and spending points on Expedia brands that offer the best options for their particular trip. Friction between Expedia’s often overlapping brands.

What’s new in Google Travel, announced In May, road trips, restaurant-dense neighborhoods, and more will be shown on the map, giving visitors a visual sense of the geography of areas they may not know before booking.

When I searched for hotels on the platform, Google Maps already showed hotels with relevant prices. With new icons representing transportation, dining, attractions, and shopping (Google calls them “interest layers”), users can, for example, overlay a map of public transportation to find out about transportation to hotels. You can check the route. Attractive shopping and dining icons shade the map in areas with many shops and restaurants. Museums and more can be added to the hotel map by clicking on the attraction icon.

At the bottom of the map, users can slide the bar next to pedestrians to see the radius an average person can walk from a given location in up to 30 minutes (there is also an option to map the driving radius ). The feature could help identify hotels near wedding and conference venues, the company suggests.

Google spokesperson Craig Ewer said:

it is new exploration tools Identify destinations within a few hours drive. Click on a road trip destination to see attractions, hotels and directions there.

“We’ve seen a growing preference for car and non-airport travel due to COVID-19,” says Ewer. “I used the Explore tool to try and get some inspiration.”

If you would like a discount, google flights Now you can track prices between two cities of origin and destination, click ‘any date’ and let the platform monitor the lowest fare for the next 6 months .

Tracking, like most other Google features, requires you to sign in with Google or create a free account. For travel purchases such as flights and hotels, the platform links users to those businesses or online travel agencies.

Two more platforms are helping consumers narrow down their searches by providing more targeted results.

travel search engine skyscanner has added a new filter to car rentals for electric vehicles. After entering a date and location, users can check the electric box to see all available EVs, along with other search filters such as unlimited mileage and 4×4.

The initiative grew out of a similar green filter that Skyscanner started with flight searches a few years ago, showing options with lower carbon emissions than the average for each search.

Car rental filters help travelers “understand the environmental impact of travel and how to reduce it,” said Martin Nolan, a sustainable travel expert at Skyscanner.

online travel agency booking.com It aims to make it easier for LGBTQ travelers to find comfortable accommodations. Introduced a partner training program for hotels on our platform on the challenges facing LGBTQ travelers.

Since last August, the free program, known as Proud Hospitality, has certified more than 10,000 properties in 95 countries and territories.Certification includes digital pride of travel badge for that list.

Chief Marketing Arjan Dijk said: Booking.com’s officer and senior vice president said in a written statement.

Elaine Glusac writes the Frugal Traveler column. follow her on her instagram @eglusac.

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