Travelling to Lagos? Google it!

2017-10-23 12:30 - Anje Rautenbach
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You can stand out from the crowd and be unique, you can rebel and rage and live a life free of social media, eradicate your digital footprint, strive to play by your rules, find your own way, be too cool for school, abstain from the norm, do everything differently and avoid hashtags.

But in 2017 there’s one thing you probably can’t do and that would be to live (or survive) without Google.

Back in the day when Google first saw the light in 1998, the internet was more of an accessory than a necessity. Today – with Google as the biggest game changer of the 21st century - things look a bit different.

SEE: Google Street View: 'Discover South Africa', a visual experience of four amazing sites

Google – or rather the act known as, Googling - has changed the way that we speak, think, act, do, read, view, work, form opinions, get information, do business, process news and communicate.

And while exploring Lagos – fondly known as Gidi between the locals – with Google Africa and some of Africa’s top influencers hailing from South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria, we also got to experience how the Big G on the tip of everyone’s tongue has changed the way that we travel for the better.

Your go-to Google Travel Apps

Google’s nifty apps are geared towards every type of traveller, from backpacker to suit-and-tie business traveller; it is an easy in-your-pocket guide that allows you to have information on your next destination right at your fingertips. But of course there is more to it than meets the eye and there’s more to it than just simple old school Googling. That’s so 1998.

Google’s travel products help you to explore more than just destinations, it keeps everything in order, sync from one device to the next, act as a reminder and a personal travel guide; for solo travellers these apps are the perfect travel companion, for couples it is the best third wheel, for business travellers it is a consultant, and for groups it’s a plus one to the party, the more the merrier right?

Do you have the following apps on your phone? You might want to start downloading, because these apps are ready for an adventure, are you?

SEE: Google Street View is letting us see heritage sites in a new way

Google App: As mentioned before, simple old school Googling is so 1998, so why not try Google Voice? It’s like a genie in a bottle, but it is in your phone and when you say “Okay Google”, the genie pops out at your demand and grants you the wish you were searching for. Stop worrying about opening another app to check the exchange rate, just ask Google and you shall receive.

We asked Google how long the Third Mainland Bridge is in Nigeria and the answer? A whopping 11.8 km! This used to be the longest bridge in Africa until the 20.5 km 6th October Bridge was completed in 1996 in Cairo.

SEE: WATCH: Google maps adds real-time location sharing

Google Trips: Think of Google Trips as your free travel assistant who is at your beck and call any time of any day. With Google Trips you can share and keep track of your reservations in one place, stay on top of last-minute changes, find things you want to do, get inside info, see nearby attractions and you can download it all before you go which will enable you to still use the information even when you are offline.

Did you know that nearly a quarter of Google Trips users are offline for more than seven hours at a time while travelling?

SEE: #LocalGuidesZA: Here's how you can earn yourself a free trip with Google

Google Photos: You know that person who promised to send you a photo but then “forgot” and “forgot again” and before you know it more than a year has passed, you’ve gained grey hairs and the promised photo is only a distant memory you’ve never got to see?

Sharing photos shouldn’t be difficult and Google Photos understands just that. Its aim is to be a home for all your photos and videos, organised and brought to life, so that you can share and save what matters. And with shared albums you now have a fast and simple way to get everyone from your trip to upload their favourite shots.

Of course, that’s not all. You can also make GIFs and videos from your photos and/or videos and share it straight to social media! Now how nifty and oh-so-2017 is that?

SEE: Google Maps rolls out Lists to let you plan your entire trip in-app

Google Maps: Let’s be real for a second, millions of people would be lost if you take their Google Maps away, mayhem would break loose; we would miss important meetings, end up in dead-end roads and be stuck in traffic because we didn’t know better.

Google Maps shows you real-time traffic updates on major roads and highways and in a city such as Lagos, which is most famous for its traffic, you definitely want to know what goes on where and at what time.

Besides navigation and traffic, it also allows you to become a Local Guide by sharing experiences on Google Maps, and you can add reviews and photos to help other travellers, earn points, get invites to events and more, and rub shoulders with other high-ranking Local Guides.

SEE: Google Maps rolls out Lists to let you plan your entire trip in-app

Google Maps got you covered; you’re even covered if you visit Blue Mountains in Australia now.

Have a look at the video and how we used the Google Apps during the #GidiWithGoogle adventure in Nigeria.