How to plan a more sustainable vacation with Google search

Google Search Dark
Google Search Dark (Image credit: Babu Mohan / Android Central)

In October, Google announced a series of new features that allow users to make more sustainable choices while navigating Google Search and Maps tools. Revealed during the Sustainable with Google event as part of the tech giant's goal to operate carbon-free by 2030, the new features specifically allow users to plan "greener" travel. With that in mind, we've rounded up a list of tools that will help you plan a more sustainable vacation with Google search.

How to plan a more sustainable vacation with Google search

As part of its rollout to help users plan more eco-friendly getaways, Google promotes a new set of features that allow users to search for flights, hotels, and activities that put their carbon footprint at the forefront. Here's a detailed breakdown of those tools.

Finding sustainable flights with Google search

Google makes it easier to find more sustainable flights by displaying carbon emission estimates on your flight search results and booking pages. Here's what you need to do to find emission estimates related to your flights:

  1. Go to Google Flights.
  2. Search for a flight. Source: Android Central and Android Central

  1. On the right, click the down arrow.
  2. You'll find the emission estimates for each part of your trip.

You can also choose to sort your flight results by carbon emissions. All you need to do is click "Sort by" and "CO2 emissions," located on the right side of the screen.

Finding sustainable hotels with Google search

Another way to make your vacation more sustainable is to stay in an eco-certified hotel. With that in mind, Google now allows you to search for hotels that have been certified by an accredited independent organization for meeting certain standards of environmental sustainability. Here's what you need to do to find "eco-certified" hotels using Google search.

  1. On, search for hotels.

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)
  1. Select a hotel with an eco-certified label.
  2. On the hotel's detail page, select the About tab. Source: Android Central

  1. Scroll down to the Sustainability section.

Under the Sustainability section, you'll find more details about what the hotel is doing to decrease emissions and its carbon footprint. This should include information about specific Eco certifications awarded to the hotel, water conservation and sustainable food-sourcing efforts, energy efficiency actions, and waste reduction methods.

Finding sustainable transportation with Google search

Once you've arrived at your vacation destination, Google also gives you the option to find more eco-friendly transportation options and routes within the Google Maps app. Specifically, the default route on the Google Maps app now highlights the most "eco-friendly" option. From there, users choose to opt out of it and find a quicker route.

Source: Keegan Prosser / Android Central

Google Maps additionally allows users in 300 cities worldwide to use the app to find bike or scooter shares in the town they're either living in or visiting. And if you want to take your sustainability efforts to the next level, you can also check out our list of the best sustainable and repairable phones available right now.

While the eco-friendly routing started rolling out in the U.S. on Android and iOS this fall, Google plans to expand the ability to plan a more sustainable vacation with Google search across Europe and beyond in 2022.

Keegan Prosser

Keegan Prosser is a freelance contributor based in the PNW. When she's not writing about her favorite streaming apps and devices for Android Central, she's listening to a true-crime podcast, creating the perfect playlist for her next road trip, and trying to figure out which fitness tracker she should try next. You can follow her on Twitter @keeganprosser.