As much as your vacation is probably about unplugging and 'being in the moment'; here are four Google services to help you with some seriously smart planning and saving money too whilst abroad.
1. Use an Incognito Window to book flights and hotels - Have you ever searched for a flight, only to return to the same flight a few days later and seen a significant price hike?
This is because your search history can be monitored by airlines. To avoid these price hikes, use incognito mode in your browser to search undetected.
If in Google Chrome, you can do this by pressing Ctrl + Shift + N or by opening a new incognito window. When you decide to book, you can then log into your account.
2. Use an offline navigation app to save on data.
There are plenty of free map apps for both iOS and Android, so there's no need to use your bandwidth or waste time in Wi-Fi memorizing where to go. With just your GPS on, you can navigate any destination and find the nearest ATM, supermarket or subway.
For example, I often use the Maps.me app (download the country map prior to your trip). You can also download sections of Google Maps to use offline and another idea is to simply snap a screenshot of the map..
3. Take advantage of Google Translate.
Heading somewhere where English isn't even the second language? Google Translates' app can work offline too - so you can use it to translate things on the go whilst travelling (again without having to use 3G or search for Wi-Fi).
For example, you can translate a menu that's in a different language simply by taking a photo of it. BTW use the great free app duolingo to learn the language before you go.
Use Google Maps to Preview your Destination
Before a recent trip to Sicily, my Daughter and I spent time on Google Map's looking at the places we wanted to visit - we explored the streets, our hotels and surrounding areas.
By viewing it in Earth view we were able to really get a feel for the area and spot places we may want to visit. The other week I wrote about using Geotags in Instagram when planning travel.