Charles Saldarini, Fri Sep 21, 2018

The Trip Management Platform Challenge: Relovate vs. Google Trips

The Trip Management Platform Challenge: Relovate vs. Google Trips

Trip planning courts a lot of attention in the travel world.  Everyone in travel seems to agree that the trip planning function for users is terribly messy, time consuming and in many cases, altogether frustrating.  It's not a surprise then, that Americans don't use their vacation time.

According to research conducted by Project: Time Off, powered by the US Travel Association, from 2000 to 2013, the average employee has steadily reduced the amount of vacation time taken, from 20.9 days per year to just 16 (in other countries, up to 41 days off are granted each year). That doesn’t mean we’re not thinking about it!  According to comScore in its report State of Travel 2017, 71% of US internet population is thinking about a trip in the next 12 months.

It’s not shocking then to learn that attempts to produce a bona fide, end to end planning capability keep showing up. One that receives allot of attention in the last couple of years is Google, which introduced Google Trips back in 2016.  

Inspired, or challenged by, a couple of reviews we read, How to use Google Trips for planning and during a trip and another, Google Trips; The Best App for Planning your Next Vacation, we wanted to take a shot at comparing Relovate’s Trip Management Platform to Mother Google and her aspirations to help you plan trips. Remember, Google Trips is not an online travel agent, like Expedia and Orbitz and others, so if you would like a comparison to those, please see our trip management comparison chart here

We fully acknowledge this is our view, and we’re more than a little biased, so read on with that caveat communicated. 

To help compare Google Trips specifically, we took a look at the technology offered, how that tech delivers trip automation for faster more convenient organizing, the usability across different planning stages, the opportunity to book, usefulness when you are on the road, and then more granular trip requirements such as travel options integrated. We also looked at how it helps with saving trip history and, for kicks, whether it could be used to collaborate with friends, share trips or publish them to different social platforms.  

We reduced it all to a table for your reference.  If you’ve got any feedback for us, feel free to reach out to us at contact@relovate.com.

The Technology
Features & BenefitsGoogle TripsRelovateAdvantage
What is it?Google Trips is an app.Relovate is a web site.Relovate, since web sites offer accessibility from any device.
What does it primarily do?Google Trips integrates booking confirmation emails after you have booked an option, placing them under a Reservations label.Relovate is a stand-alone, ad free, private application for creating and building and collaborating trips from one place.Relovate, unless you're welded to gmail
What else does it do?Google Trips integrates search for items such as Things to Do, and Food & Drink near the destination you are considering.Relovate integrates flights, hotels, vacation homes, car rentals, restaurants, activities, tours, attractions, maps, photos, weather, and destination insights for planning and booking.Relovate integrates more content you can use for trip planning and for booking.
Before You Can Use It, You Must…Download Google Trips and, to realize the promised benefits, connect your G Mail.Visit www.relovate.com, enter a destination.Relovate. Fewer steps to get started.
The Magic…?Google Trips reads your email, parsing information from booking emails, then posting it to your Google Trip.Relovate integrates all travel options and planning tools into a single application, organizing all your trip actions by location, date and item.Relovate delivers convenience without the creepiness of reading your emails and using your data.
Operating System LimitsAndroid & IOS devices onlyAny device with a web browserRelovate offers more operating system choices.
Devices LimitsSmartphone OnlyNoneRelovate offers more device choices.
Trip Automation
Features & BenefitsGoogle TripsRelovateAdvantage
Automated OrganizationOrganizes reservations, and items you consider from Things to Do and Food & Drink into a Trip.Organizes everything including bookings, into a Trip.Relovate has more travel options, including direct booking, so edge to on total organization.
Automated Eye CandyCreates a pretty cover shot for your trip.Creates a pretty cover shot and lets you customize it with your own photo.Slight edge to Relovate on customization option.
Automated MonitoringNo active monitoring.Active monitoring for all considered items, including prices and availability, schedule and date changes.Relovate, especially in pre-booking planning phase.
Automated SuggestionsActive suggestions based on location.Relovate is user driven; automated prompts are coming soon.Google, better in destination prompts.
Automated Itineraries, BasicCreated from email account.Created from all booked and considered Trip items, populating full booking details and contact information.Relovate, on strength of full booking info available.
Automated Itineraries, AdvancedDay Planning supported.Two views, by date and by location.We'll give Google a slight edge on the day planning view.
Planning Stages
Features & BenefitsGoogle TripsRelovateAdvantage
ResearchNot supported.Full WikiVoyage integration with add location from content option.Relovate
SearchLimited to Things to Do, Food & Drink categoriesUnlimited, 10 categories.Relovate
ConsiderLimited to Things to Do, Food & Drink categoriesUnlimited, 10 categories.Relovate
BudgetNot supportedBudget tool embedded, automatically populates prices of all considered items.Relovate
BookNot supportedDirect booking available with all integrated providers.Relovate
ChangeNot supportedChange management and cancelation included for all bookable providers.Relovate
Booking Travel Options
Features & BenefitsGoogle TripsRelovateAdvantage
Reservations & TicketsNot supported.All travel options are bookable, directly with provider.Relovate
Loyalty Rewards, Earned CreditNot supported.Relovate books directly with providers who credit your loyalty programRelovate
Traveler ProfileNot supportedUnlimited number of traveler profiles with full contact and booking details, including loyalty and frequent flyer numbers.Relovate
During Your Trip
Features & BenefitsGoogle TripsRelovateAdvantage
Companion Tools(smartphone)Available through application.Available through Itinerary function; itineraries with booking details and contact information can be downloaded to calendar.Enables on the go access to all booking details and contact information
Getting AroundProvides local public transportation options and directions.Directions coming soon, integrated from Google.Give it to Google Trips…for now.
Adding New ItemsAnything Google Trips supports.Anything Relovate supports.Relovate
Change ManagementNot supported.All travel options can be changed or canceled, subject to provider policiesRelovate
Initial Trip Planning
Features & BenefitsGoogle TripsRelovateAdvantage
Trip StartSingle field entry and launchSingle field entry and launch.Tie
Trip PlannerAutomatically launches on destination entry.Automatically launches on destination entry.Tie
Destination Search, CityDestination level, e.g.; Chicago.Destination level, e.g.; Chicago.Tie
Destination Search, AddressNot supported, surprised us too!By precise address, e.g.; 237 S. Whacker Drive, Chicago Ill to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington DC.Relovate. You are always traveling to a specific address, sooner or later.
Destination Search, CountryNot supported.Automatic popular cities drop-down with integrated explorer.Relovate
Destination, InsightsNot supported.Full WikiVoyage integration with "add location" from content optionRelovate
Bookable Travel Options
Features & BenefitsGoogle TripsRelovateAdvantage
Flights, BasicNot supported, Google Flights is not integrated.
  • Global inventory
  • On demand search
  • Price Monitoring
  • Availability Monitoring
Flights, AdvancedNot supported, Google Flights is not integrated.Top 10 Filter displaying choices optimized against travel time, cost, layovers, connections and moreRelovate
HotelsNot supported
  • ~450k properties integrated
  • Trust You reviews
  • On demand options
  • Price Monitoring
  • Availability Monitoring
Vacation HomesNot supported.1.2M properties integrated with full detailsRelovate
Car RentalsNot supported.
  • Scheduled car service included
  • Local shuttles
Activities & ToursOffers Things to Do.
  • Viator tours and activities integrated
Attractions & LandmarksOffers Things to Do.Yelp integration with reviewsTie
RestaurantsOffers Things to Do.Yelp restaurant integration with reviewsTie
Getting Around (local public transportation)Hit and miss by locationComing soon; local directions integrated from GoogleGoogle
MapsGoogle map with highlighted options.Google map with all considered items displayed.Tie
Events Creation, e.g.; Lunch at Pico’s’ Bar & GrillNot supported.Manual event creation for any reason.Relovate
DiscountsIncluded for Things to DoFeatured deals and special prices offered directly by all integrated providers.Relovate, on strength of discounts offered across flights and accommodations.
Trip History
Features & BenefitsGoogle TripsRelovateAdvantage
Trip LibrarySaves all Google Trips including current and past.Saves all Relovate trips including current and past.Tie
Re-Using & CopyingNot supported.You may copy a trip and reuse all search and considered items.Relovate
Socializing Your Trips
Features & BenefitsGoogle TripsRelovateAdvantage
CollaborationNot supported.Multi-party, simultaneous trip planning – all users see all actions taken.Relovate
SharingNot supported.You may share your trip, in any state, with anyone you like via email or text.Relovate
PublishingNot supported.You may publish your trip to any social platform you like, your friends may click the trip and customize it for their own use.Relovate