We’ve come a long way since the days of physical maps and asking strangers for directions, but there’s still a lot to learn and improve when it comes to making travel an easier, more enjoyable experience.

Luckily for us, industry giants are constantly trying to find that next great feature that’ll revolutionize the way we travel, and the latest to come out with some truly exciting news is Google.

Three brand new updates were introduced for Google Maps, which, at the risk of sounding biased, has been my holy grail during my travels these past few years.

These recently launched features are set to make the app experience that much more effortless and helpful – so, people, summer travel just became easier than ever.

Here’s how:

You’ll Get The Most Up-To-Date Recommendations

This first update is designed to help you get the most up-to-date recommendations on places to see and things to do in a new city from people who already know the place inside out.

Let’s say you’re traveling to Greece this summer, which, by the way, I highly recommend you do.

Porto Katsiki beach, Lefkada, Greece

You’re excited but you quickly realize you know very little about the country and the places that are worth visiting beyond what you’ve seen on social media.

That’s when you can go on Google Maps, search for your town/city, and swipe up so you can view a meticulously crafted list of the latest recommendations from locals or travelers who’ve just been to that same exact place.

That way, you can quickly browse through the already-vetted sights and attractions and either go through them all or pick the ones that grab your attention – that goes for bars and restaurants, too.

Leaving a review on a smartphone

What’s more, you can further control the results you get by choosing one of three available recommendation lists.

The “Top List” features what you’d consider classic tourist attractions – think the Eiffel Tower in Paris or Times Square in NYC.

These are longstanding favorites that have always been (and continue to be) loved among travelers, so if you’re spending a very limited amount of time in your destination of choice, these are the places you’ll want to prioritize.

Times Square, New York City

The “Trending List,” true to its name, is a collection of attractions that have just recently spiked in popularity – the perfect round-up of the coolest places that have yet to be overrun by mass tourism.

Lastly, the “Gems List” will take you through some of the best local sights and eateries that are still flying under the radar – ideal for those looking to venture a bit off the beaten path.

You’ll Be Able To Create An Itinerary And Share Recommendations All In One Place

There’s nothing worse than being somewhere completely foreign (likely with limited data, too) and having to scroll back and forth between your itinerary and map trying to figure out where to go first and how long it’ll take to get there.

Person using the Google Maps app

Google Maps has finally found a solution to this problem – not only can you create an itinerary right there on the app, but you can also keep track of the places you’ve already seen (with ratings, of course), and send them directly to a fellow traveler so that they know what’s worth seeing, as well.

All you need to do is tap on the “New List” button in the “Saved” tab, write and reorder the places you want to see, and even link content from social media if you’d like—you can’t imagine how helpful having everything you want to see right there on the Google Maps app can be!

Man and woman looking at a phone and a map

You’ll Get Valuable Information On Attractions and businesses Within A few Seconds

Finding good shops and restaurants someplace new is always a challenge, especially if your first pick didn’t pan out and now you’re frantically looking for a good place to eat near you when it’s way past lunchtime.

Woman eating street food in Paris

Well, now, just by tapping on a restaurant (or other business) on the Google Maps app, you get to see photos and verified reviews that give you a run-down of what you need to know about the place, what’s worth ordering, the overall vibe, prices, and so on.

And when you’re scrolling through the photos, the app will even let you know the name of the dish you’re looking at, so you can order it right away!

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