Organizing trip information can be a challenge. Reservations for planes, hotels, and rental cars alone produce a variety of emails and a variety of details. How do you keep it together? How do you make each piece of information come back when you need it? That’s where Google Travel comes in. You’re going to love it!
In this example, I was selected to present at the National Association of Elementary School Principals Conference. It’s being held this summer in Louisville, Kentucky. Wanting to get my choice of hotels, I decided to book early. As you might expect, when I made the reservation, I received an email confirmation. I use Gmail along with a Google Calendar. What you are about to see is one reason for that choice.
Some Google Calendar Magic
The organized person would put the hotel information on the calendar, right? Wouldn’t it also be good to hang onto that confirmation email?
After getting the confirmation email for the hotel, I did nothing more than archive that email (with Gmail keyboard shortcuts turned on, that’s simply hitting the letter “e”).
Look what appeared on my Google Calendar without my doing anything:
If I double-click the entry on the calendar, I see more details. As for hanging onto the email, there’s no need to put it in a special folder. Just click the icon beside where it says: This event was automatically created from an email.
When I reserve my flight, the exact same thing will happen. The email confirmation in Gmail will trigger each leg to appear on Google Calendar for the correct dates and times. Clicking the entries will provide the details and the option to access the original email confirmation.
Now for Google Travel
Now I go to Google.com/travel. I see Google has created a new trip for me and has given it a title. Scrolling down the page, I see similar banners for other trips I have scheduled. I also see past trips.
I click on the banner to open the trip. There is the hotel reservation along with all the details. When I book my flight, Google is smart enough to understand that flight is part of the same trip. It will add it to the “Louisville” trip. If I reserve a rental car, that information will also appear. It’s all happening automatically. All I do is make the reservations.
As I scroll down the page, Google offers suggestions for things to do on the trip.
Since I haven’t yet made the flight arrangements, Google adds both driving directions and a link to flight availability.
Remember how I told you Google also keeps up with past trips? Can’t remember where you stayed during that trip to the Grand Canyon? Google Travel can. Click the trip and review all the information. (I blurred the information about location and dates for privacy reasons.)
So How Do I Get Google Travel?
You already have it. While logged into your Google account, go to Google.com/travel. The permissions are turned on by default. You may want to check just to be sure something has not been turned off.
In Google Calendar, go to your settings and scroll down to “Events from Gmail” in the sidebar. Be sure “Show events automatically created by Gmail in my calendar” is checked.
In Gmail, go into the settings and look at the “General” tab. Scroll down to the “Smart features and personalization” checkboxes and be sure those are checked.
We live in a world rich with opportunity and information. But, our information is only as good as our ability to put our hands on it when we need it. While technology brings us “information overwhelm,” it also brings us tools that make organization not only easy but automatic.
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