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Google Search's latest feature: Now Destinations bundles hotel and flight data on mobile

Who needs separate tabs or travel search apps when you can plan the whole vacation in Google's mobile Search app?

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The Destinations feature integrates Search with Google's travel products, Google Flights, and Hotel search.

Image: Google

Google has rolled out a new feature in Search called Destinations, designed to boil down all your travel-related questions and answers to a single screen on mobile devices.

The new feature can be surfaced by typing in a location such as 'Europe' followed by 'destinations' or 'vacations'. The feature integrates Search with Google's travel products, Google Flights, and Hotel search.

The idea is to make Google's Search, be it in the browser on Android or via the Search app on iOS, the one-stop shop for researching and planning trips.

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It's only available on mobile and for now has only been launched in the US and a few select markets. Users in Europe can see a partial view of what Google is launching minus the summary of hotel and flight pricing, which are both otherwise available in unintegrated forms.

Destinations can also be triggered by combining a location and activity in a search, such as 'Spain surfing', 'New Zealand hiking', or 'Colorado skiing'. Google Search will suggest places that match users' specifications and interests.

Having all the information in one place also means no switching between links in different tabs in a browser, or indeed different apps, to find answers to questions about different aspects of travel, such as destinations, the best time to visit a place, and the all-important prices for hotels and airfares.

The Destinations feature also offers a 'flexible dates' filter that can refine results by month to reveal seasonal price variations across multiple destinations.

Integration with Google Flights and Hotel search ensures instant delivery of prices to the Search app. However, as with Google Flights and Hotel search, actual bookings are passed off to partners such as airlines and hotels, as well aggregators across both industries.

According to TechCrunch, Destinations currently has suggested itineraries for 201 cities worldwide.

Google explains in a blogpost why the feature is available exclusively for mobile phones. Besides alleviating the burden of switching between tabs and apps, it saw a 50 percent increase in travel-related questions on mobile phones.

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