Tim and I recently got an Alexa for our teeny tiny apartment. We mainly got it to play music for the mutts while we are at work but since she’s joined our family, I find myself using her more and more. With all the features that Alexa and GoogleHome feature planning your next vacation is really as easy as saying “Alexa…” because with all of the capabilities the smart speakers have now, planning a getaway has never been easier. Here are some ways you can use your Alexa for travel and have help planning your next vacay!
How to Use Google Assistant or Alexa for Travel
“Make a dinner reservation”
Want to grab a table at your favorite restaurant? Heard of a new place to check out for your next anniversary? The AAA Restaurants skill is there to help! It offers information on more than 31,000 AAA Diamond-rated restaurants that you can access and even make reservations through. Make sure you enable the AAA Resturants skill on Alexa and pronounce AAA as “triple A.”
If you’re heading to a destination in the states you can also make a dinner reservation via OpenTable with a linked account on both Alexa and Google Assistant!
“How do you say “Thank You” in Vietnamese?
One of my favorite things about traveling to a new country is learning how to say some basic, everyday phrases. From “hello” to “thank you” it always makes me feel better knowing that as a guest in another country I am making an effort to know their language. It never ceases to surprise me how happy locals get to see you making an effort, even if it is broken and mispronounced, the intention is still there! Alexa’s Translated Skill and Google Translate each have plenty of languages to learn new phrases in.
And if you’re big on proper pronunciation like I am, Google Assistant will even slow down and repeat the phrase as many times as you need!
“What is the weather like in Paris?”
If you follow me on Instagram you know that Chicago has some weiiird weather. And not like Florida weather. I’m talking about two snow storms in April, one of which was a mere 12 hours after a gorgeous 70 degree day. Asking Alexa about the weather every morning has turned into a vital part of my morning just like brushing my teeth and grabbing a cup of coffee. If you’re packing for your upcoming trip don’t forget to ask your smart speaker how the weather is looking at for your destination. That light jacket you were going to leave behind? Maybe you should carry it just in case!
Get information on flights, hotels
Both Google Assistant and Alex work with Kayak, the travel search engine. Since Kayak offers hotel and flight information you can ask your smart speaker to help find flights to Paris for starting costs for a few flights from your location. The best part though is getting destination ideas! You can say “Ask Kayak where I can go to for $500” and see where you can afford to fly to within your budget.
With Google Assistant you can also track flight prices and look up information on previously booked flights, which is really awesome considering that Google has its own Flights section (is that what we call it?) to make booking a flight easy! You can even ask about fight prices with specific airlines!
Rent a Car, Grab an Uber, Catch a Lyft
Get your ground transportation taken care of and squared away with Alexa before leaving! The future is now and you can reserve a car for your destination using your smart speaker. With a linked account and saved payment information, you can use Alexa’s Avis and Expedia skills to rent a car. Don’t need a rental? Not to worry. You can also catch a ride with the Uber or Lyft skills.
Suggest activities at your destination
Traveling and site-seeing can get expensive really quickly! You can search for “free” or “cheap” things to do at your destination for ideas on budget-friendly options. And if the price point isn’t a deciding factor you can also search for “popular attractions” at your destination. Google Assistant might suggest National Park trails, public gardens, or popular destinations like Notre-Dame depending on your destination. This is one of my favorite things to do when using Alexa for travel especially if you’re out of ideas.
Make a Check List, Check it Twice.
As you guys know by now, I am a biiiiig biiig fan of checklists. My bullet journal is my life and I keep lists and notes in there that keep my life together. But let me tell you that even though I love my pen and paper analog system, there is something pretty awesome in just saying “Alexa, add travel-size shampoo to my shopping list.” With Amazon’s Alexa you can create a number of lists including shopping and packing lists. The lists will show up, automatically, in your Alexa app which makes buying everything you need for your trip even easier. Like, how did we do anything before cellphones and smart devices?
It seems that every day there are new Google Assistant features and Alexa skills being added. While we don’t think that smart speakers will completely replace travel agents, there is a lot they can help with in between! Chances are your travel agent will still have to do most of the heavy lifting.