How to use Google Assistant on your travels

google assistant
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When you think of Google Assistant, you might immediately think of Google's range of smart speakers that include the super-smart voice assistant.

However, Google Assistant also has an important place in your smartphone, which means it can help you while you're traveling. If you have an Android smartphone, it's likely that you already have a built-in app, while iPhone users can download it for free from the App Store.

Having an AI assistant in your pocket has many benefits, like the ability to help you on your travels. So if you're booking a vacation to a new destination or simply planning your daily commute to work, here's how you can use Google Assistant for all your travel needs.

How do I use Google Assistant?

Android devices have an edge over iOS devices when it comes to using Google Assistant on your smartphone. After all, Google's mobile operating system was developed by Google.

If you are using Android 5.0 or later, you can simply hold down the Home button or say "OK Google" to enable the assistant. If you have turned this feature off, your phone will prompt you to turn it on. You can then ask Google Assistant a question or give it a command.

You can also enable Google Assistant by opening the Google Assistant app, or if you have a Pixel 2, Pixel 3, or Pixel 3A, you can just squeeze the bottom half of your phone, which is pretty neat.

If you have an iPhone, you need to download the Google Assistant app from the App Store and open it every time you want to give it a command or ask a question.

However, there is a hack you can use to enable voice activation for the AI

assistant, which means you hijack Siri. Simply enable a Siri shortcut phrase that lets you open the Google Assistant app with a phrase - for example, "Hey Siri, Hey Google."

An article in Lifewire describes the process you need to complete to do this, and it can prove to be a useful feature if you want the same features as an Android user.

google assistant

(Image credit: AngieYeoh /

How to use Google Assistant with Google Maps

An easy way to use Google Assistant to help you on your travels is to use it with Google Maps. iPhone user? Just download the app from the App Store first.

For example, if you want Google Assistant to help you find the best way to get home from work, you must enter an address like 'Home' in the Google Maps app.

Once done, you can say "take me home" to Google Assistant, and it will retrieve information from Google Maps to show or verbally explain the best route based on your current location.

You can also check for traffic updates and get the latest information about redirects and closed roads, which is especially useful if you're driving and you can't look at your phone.

google assistant

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How to book hotels and flights with Google Assistant

If you are planning a vacation, you can use Google Assistant to book your hotel and explore the best flight options, thus facilitating the booking of a trip.

To book a hotel, you can give Google Assistant commands like "book a room at [hotel name] at [location] or" book a room at [hotel name] at [location] for [travel date] ".

You can also get Google Assistant to investigate suitable flights by asking questions like "how much does it cost to fly to Berlin?" or commands like "find flights to Rome".

Have you already booked a flight? If you are in the United States, you can even check out your flight and find out if it is delayed, although you have to keep in mind that this feature only works for US domestic flights.

When you arrive at your destination, you can ask Google Assistant for vacation tips, like asking for "things to do in London".

How to convert currency and translate language

Not sure how many Swedish kronor you get for your US dollars? You can ask Google Assistant for almost all conversions you can think of.

The same goes for translations. If you are wondering what the word for "hello" is in Swedish, you can just say "What is the Swedish word for" hello "?" And the assistant answers directly with the correct answer: "Hej!"

Olivia Tambini

Olivia was previously TechRadar's Senior Editor - Home Entertainment, covering everything from headphones to TVs. Based in London, she's a popular music graduate who worked in the music industry before finding her calling in journalism. She's previously been interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live on the subject of multi-room audio, chaired panel discussions on diversity in music festival lineups, and her bylines include T3, Stereoboard, What to Watch, Top Ten Reviews, Creative Bloq, and Croco Magazine. Olivia now has a career in PR.