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4 ways Google Assistant can plan your next day trip

Here's how to use Google Assistant to map out your fun day.

I live in D.C., but sometimes I like to take the hour-long trip to nearby Baltimore. Up in the morning, back by midnight.

After several of these day trips, I've learned many tricks to get the most out of my time. Here's how Google Assistant helps me map out my day trips and how it can help you, too.

These tips can be used anywhere Google Assistant is available, including the Google Assistant app and Google Home ($129 at Walmart) speakers.

Get where you're going

I own a car, but sometimes I like driving something different, so I'll rent a car for my short road trip. There are several ways to do this with Google Assistant.

If you happen to be an Avis preferred member, Google Assistant will let you book a rental car with Avis.

Expedia and Google Assistant have joined forces to let you book travel, including rental cars. Just a heads-up that when you book a reservation with Expedia through Google Assistant,  you'll be asked link your Google account to an Expedia account, so it might be worth it to create an account on Expedia in advance.

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If you live on the West Coast, another option is Flixbus, which offers bus rides from Northern to Southern California, and to Las Vegas. Just say to Google Assistant "OK, Google, Get Flixbus" and tell it where you're going. From there, it will ask your departure and destination information, then let you pay for the ticket with your voice.

Tour guide

Asking Google Assistant for great tourist sites in Baltimore (and other cities, too) will just give you basic search results. Instead, I recommend using a great third-party service called Musement.  

You can say, "Hey Google, Ask Musement what good museums are in [city name]" and it will give you can some great options. While Google Assistant offers the same service, Musement seems to have more range in its responses.

Getting around town

If you're without a car, getting to know the mass transit schedule in the town you're visiting will help you get around. Try using Transit Now. This third-party service will give you subway arrival times and nearby bus stops in various cities.

If you'd rather use Lyft or Uber to get around, Google Assistant can help too. Just say, "Book me a ride to (destination)," and it presents a list of options with prices and destination times for your car. This cuts the time it would normally take toggling between the Lyft and the Uber apps.

If you're really eager to get from A to B like me, you can ask Google Assistant how long it will take to arrive at your destination. It's usually good at predicting travel times, but not traffic conditions.

Dinner time

If you own a Google Pixel ($280 at Amazon) phone, you can make reservations without making a call using Google Duplex. Just ask Google Assistant for a nearby restaurant, then ask it to make a reservation. Duplex will ask if it can give your number to the restaurant before even making the call.

However, be forewarned: some restaurants don't allow you to book reservations with Duplex, so Google Assistant's screen will pull up Open Table.

For iPhone users like me, we have to find and book restaurant reservations the old-fashioned way, by asking Google Assistant for suggestions and making a call. You can find the number of the restaurant and tell Google Assistant, "Call (phone number to restaurant)."

The CNET Guide to Smart Living: Everything you need to know to live smarter.

Smart Home 101: How to create your own smart home.