If you’re still annoyed that Google discontinued the stand-alone Trips app in August 2019, they have been building and updating the functionalities in other apps like Search and Maps. But still, it would be great to see all of those things in just one app. Well, we’re not getting an app per se but we are getting a Travel PWA or Progressive Web App that you can easily access through google.com/travel and now you can add a shortcut to your home screen as well.
When you access the Travel PWA, which should function almost the same as an app but is on your browser, you’ll see a card that says “Return to your trips anytime”. 9 to 5 Google says you will also see an “Add to Home Screen” prompt which you’ll probably need if you take a lot of trips or if you’re planning a few travels this 2020. You’ll see the Travel suitcase in Google colors on your app launcher and tapping it will lead you to google.com/travel.
When you tap the shortcut for the first time, you might see the “Trips all in one place” tagline that they’re using before you’re brought to the mobile site. The site actually looks like an app and you won’t see any browser UI. You’ll see tabs for Trips (upcoming and potential), Explore (suggested), Flights, Hotels, and Packages. Unfortunately, the PWA doesn’t have any caching ability so tapping on the tabs can sometimes involve a bit of lag, depending on your connection.
If you’re using your desktop, you can also save it as a dock or as a desktop icon on your Chrome for Mac, Windows, and Linux laptops or computers. Sadly, the offline functionality of the now defunct Trips app cannot be carried over to this PWA and Google’s recommended solution for this is to just use the offline function of the Maps app. But at least, this homescreen shortcut will bring you faster to your Travel page.
Google probably has more plans for the Travel PWA so we can expect new features that will hopefully make it more powerful and useful for frequent travelers. If you don’t want to add shortcuts and whatnots, you can still access this by going to google.com/travel.