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When you search hotels in Europe, vacation rentals may also crop up now.
For those looking to book a vacation abroad, Google can be an invaluable tool. Not only does it have a robust flight comparison tool, it also lets you search and compare hotels. And now, the latter could become even more useful with the addition of vacation rental listings.
Google appears to be testing vacation rental search as part of its hotel search tool, Skift discovered recently. When you search “hotels in Paris,” for example, traditional hotel listings will populate, but above that, a notification saying “Vacation rentals are also available for your selected days” cropped up. If you tap that link, you’re taken to a view with listings from Booking.com, Hotels.com, and others. (Airbnb, HomeAway, and some other notable vacation rental destinations were not included among the results, though.)
Google showed results for a variety of European metropolitan areas including Barcelona, Frankfurt, Madrid, Naples, Paris, and Rome. In total, the feature brought up more than 7,000 property listings.
You can also specify whether you prefer to search hotels or vacation listings under a new “Accommodation Type” drop-down menu.
When we tried to replicate Skift’s results, we were unable to. However, the “Accommodation type” drop-down menu did appear for a second before disappearing when the page fully loaded. This would suggest that Google is indeed testing this vacation rental search feature with select users.
Google hasn’t yet commented on the discovery, so it’s unclear how much time or effort Google is putting into building the feature out. Right now, Skift reports, the listings are lacking when it comes to viewing descriptions and photos for properties. Still, it could be useful just to know that vacation rentals are an option in a given area. Adding vacation rental search to its hotel search tool does seem like a logical next step though, given the popularity and expansion of Airbnb-type listings in recent years.
Christina Bonnington is a tech reporter who specializes in consumer gadgets, apps, and the trends shaping the technology industry. Her work has also appeared in Gizmodo, Wired, Refinery29, Slate, Bicycling, and Outside Magazine. She is based in the San Francisco Bay Area and has a background in electrical engineering.