Google adds some useful features for finding flights and hotels

You can now track flights between cities for six months to find the best prices.

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The summer is fast approaching and many people are perhaps gearing up for their first big vacation in a few years. To help them plan, Google is rolling out some handy travel updates. These include upgraded flight price tracking and ways to find and save hotels for later.

If you know where you want to go and have flexible travel dates, this one's for you. Google Flights will let users track flight prices between two cities for up to six months. If it detects fares that are lower than usual during that time, you'll receive an email notification. Google has long allowed people to track flights between two airports for specific dates, but this should particularly come in handy for long-haul destinations, to which flights can be much more expensive.

Once you know when and where you're going to, you'll need a place to stay, and Google is adding some hotel-related features that might help. If you're traveling for an event such as a conference or wedding, you might want to rest your head somewhere close by. Starting today, Google's travel site will show places to stay within a 15- or 30-minute walking or driving distance — just search for a landmark or address to get started. New map filters can also help you find neighborhoods with great sightseeing, dining or shopping options.

The Explore Nearby option in Google Travel
The Explore Nearby option in Google Travel (Google)

Similarly, the travel site's Explore option now has an "Explore nearby" option with a filter for locations within easy driving distance. It will show details like expected weather and average hotel prices. That could help you plan a much-needed weekend getaway.

There's also a new bookmark icon for hotels and vacation rentals, which you can use to save them for later. This could be especially useful if you want your travel partner's input on where to stay. You'll be able to view properties you've saved through the right-hand panel on desktop or by accessing the Saved tab on mobile.