Use Google AI to plan your next trip

These 3 updates will help you discover hot spots, hidden gems in more than 40 major cities

As summer approaches, many of us are making plans for vacations and getaways. To help make trip planning easier, Google Maps has released three key updates for travelers.

One of the most significant additions is curated lists of things to do and see in more than 40 major cities across the United States and Canada, Fast Co. reported. These lists are created by respected travel websites like OpenTable and Lonely Planet, as well as knowledgeable users in the Google Maps community. The lists highlight everything from must-visit restaurants to hidden local gems you may have otherwise missed.

“In the coming months, we’ll also start highlighting some of the best lists from the Maps community, so if you’ve made a list you think others will love send it to to nominate it,” Google states in a press release.

Not sure where to start your research? Google has you covered with automatically generated lists showcasing trending, top and hidden gems in each city. “The Trending” list is updated weekly based on recent search popularity and traffic data. This way, you can discover the hottest new restaurants, parks or attractions locals are buzzing about.

Once you’ve scoped out a destination’s highlights, you can save them to a custom list to build your own itinerary. These personal lists can be organized, ranked and shared easily with travel companions. You can even link to relevant blog content or social media channels, like restaurant reviews.

To further enhance the research process, Google is tapping into AI technology. A new feature will provide AI-generated summaries of what people appreciate most about a particular location based on online reviews. For example, you might see that a certain cafe is praised for its delicious doughnuts but has mediocre coffee, saving you from sifting through pages of reviews yourself.

Rounding out the updates are design improvements for a cleaner Maps interface and new colored pins to help you better visualize points of interest on the map.

With its latest AI and user-powered content updates, Google Maps is shaping up to be an even more powerful travel companion this summer. The ability to tap into both expert recommendations and on-the-ground local insights will allow you to plan richer, more personalized trips tailored to your interests.