23 June 2012

Seven Search Tips for Travelers

As I was preparing for my trip to San Diego and ISTE 2012, I relied heavily on Google. There are a ton of features that make Google Search the perfect place to go to plan your trip. Since your summertime holidays are just around the corner, I thought I'd share seven search tips that will make planning your trip easier than ever.

1. Search for Flights
In a Google Search, simply type airport code of the departing airport, the word to, and the code of the arriving airport.  For instance, in this example I searched for bhm to san for a flight from Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport to San Diego International Airport. You can then choose the date for your departing flight and returning flight.  If you click "More Google flight search results, you can even narrow your search down by round trip vs. one way, price, airline, etc.

2. Track Your Flight
Once you've booked your flight, you can track your flight with a quick Google Search.  Simply type in the airline and flight number--for example, united 4322--and you can easily track the status of your flight.

3. Find the Local Time
Once you've landed, find the local time by typing the word time into the search box.

4. Check the Weather
Simply type in the search modifier weather followed by a colon and the zip code (no spaces).  For example, if I want to know what the weather is like in San Diego, I just type weather:92101.

5. Find a Movie
Similarly, you can find movie listings in a city by searching for the search modifier movie followed by a colon and the zip code (e.g., movie:92101)

6. Find Local Attractions
If you're looking for something to do that's not a movie, it's also easy to find local attractions with a quick Google Search.  Search for the type of attraction you want to find (I searched for museum), click on the Show search tools link on the left side of the results page, and click Nearby.  This will give you a listing and map of all of the attractions near you.  Once your at the map, you can even get walking directions or public transportation information.

7. Find Out More About Local Sports Teams
A quick Google Search for the name of the local sports team (in my case, San Diego Padres) will yield a goldmine of information.  Player rosters, scores, upcoming games, links to purchase tickets, and more right on the results page.

There are even more ways to use Google Search if you're an International traveler (translation, currency conversion, Google Goggles on mobile), but these are some of my favorite.  I hope these tips help you on your next outing.

How do you use Google to help plan your trips?  Let me know in the comments.

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