I am a huge proponent of booking my accommodations directly with the hotel. But I use many sources to research where I want to stay first. Very often, location is the most important factor to us in booking a hotel, resort, condo or villa. If you are skiing you may want to be as close as possible to the ski lift. If you are visiting the beach you may want to be as close as possible to the water. Maybe you like to be near a park or play area for the kids. By using Google Maps vacation planner, you are going to find the hotel best suited to your priorities. Now that you know why you should book hotels using Google Maps, let us show you how!
How to Use Google Maps Hotels
There are a couple of ways to use Google Maps as a vacation planner. You can simply go to Google.com/hotels, enter your destination and start looking at hotels there. This is a great way to get started. You can zoom in to whatever is of interest to you and see nearby hotels as well as pricing and reviews. This is all in one place.
For example, in the image above, I searched Vail, Colorado. I knew that I wanted to stay in family-friendly Lionshead so zoomed into the Eagle Bahn Gondola (red dotted lines). From there I can see the surrounding hotels with prices, reviews and a photo. I can see that Arrabelle is the closest, but that the Antlers at Vail is pretty close too and is quite a bit less expensive. Both properties have the same review rating of 4.6. I can then click into the individual hotel listings, and even over to their websites for additional details.
Use Google Hotels to Find Vacation Rentals
We are planning a multi-generational trip to Costa Rica. The point of this trip is to spend quality time together in an amazing place. We very specifically need an apartment, villa or home, and on the beach. Guess what?! Google Hotels includes vacation rentals. I was able to use it to find a vacation rental right on the beach. It works exactly the same as using Google Hotels to find hotels. It shows the vacation rentals closest to the location chosen on the map. The information includes pricing, reviews, photos and more right at your fingertips. Then easy links to click through to get more information.
How to Use Google Maps Nearby Function
If you have already done your homework on hotels and their location, you may want to start in Google Maps. Go directly to Google.com/maps. Search your destination or hotel property. Then you can click the “Nearby” circle in the middle to bring up a search bar to look for hotels, restaurants and more.
For example, we stayed in La Jolla in San Diego, California earlier this year. We really lucked into an awesome area and hotel, fantastic for families. Out hotel, La Jolla Shores, was a recommendation from a friend. There is a fantastic park directly adjacent to the hotel. This can be seen in Google Maps. Now the one failing of this system is that many small businesses (restaurants) don’t keep up their Google listing. There are many restaurants in the La Jolla Shores area, but most don’t show on the map.
Google + Maps + Hotels & Vacation Rentals = Vacation Planning Made Easy
I can’t tell you how excited I am about this discovery. I spent so much time trying to figure out the location of different hotels in the Arenal Volcano area of Costa Rica. Google Hotels & Google Maps makes seeing it easy, seeing locations in a very visual way. The information is organized well. And, it is very easy to click through for additional details. This can be useful for any destination, but particularly for foreign destinations. Google Hotels and Google Maps will be my go to now for planning international travel, particularly for less trafficked destinations.
Google Maps Trip Planner
Google Maps also offers the ability for you to save places to a trip. I will be testing out this functionality for our trip to Costa Rica. I’ll be saving our vacation rentals here, along with the attractions and restaurants that have been recommended. Look for an update later in the year!