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Did you know the plain ol’ Google search box you use every day is good for a whole lot more than you’re likely asking of it? Forget going to ten different sites to get your  travel  info quickly. Just Google it!

Internet Cafe Traveler
© Delgoff.

Here are twelve essential Google travel shortcuts you might have missed:

#1: Get Local Weather

Type: “weather [city name or zip/postal code]”

Example: “weather 02818″ or “weather london”

Weather

#2: Check Flight Status

Google automagically pulls flight data from FlightStats.com. All you have to do is enter the flight

number.

Type: [flight name and/or number]

Example: “aa123″ or “united 959″

Flight Status

#3: Currency Converter

Type: “[amount] [first currency] to [second currency]”

Example: “1000 usd to euro”

Currency US Dollars to Euros

… or:

“500 yen to pesos”

Currency (Yen to Pesos)

#4: Find the Local Time Anywhere

Type: “time [city/state/province/country]”

Example: “time tokyo”

Time

#5: Identify People, Foreign Objects, and More

A great tip from Lifehacker:

Google Image search results show you instead of tell you about a word. Don’t know what jicama looks like? Not sure if the person named “Priti” who you’re emailing with is a woman or a man? Spanish rusty and you forgot what “corazon” is? Pop your term into Google Image Search (or type image jicama into the regular search box) to see what your term’s about.

A while back, someone told me of a fruit I’d never heard of called “rambutan”. Plugging the phrase into Google image search revealed that it’s a bright red, quirky looking fruit that’s not likely indigenous to the U.S.:

Identify Peope, Foreign Objects, and More

#6: View Airport Conditions

Type: “[airport name/code] airport”

Example: “logan airport”

Airport Status and Conditions

#7: Convert Temperatures

Type: “[temperature] [C/F] to [F/C]”

Example: “40 C to F”

Temperature

#8: Convert Distances

Type: “[value] [first distance unit] to [second distance unit]”

Example: “400 kilometers to miles”

Distance

#9: Convert Driving Speeds

Type: “[value] [first distance unit] to [second distance unit]”

Example: “70 kph to mph”

Speed

#10: Find a Phone Number

Find a Person:

Type: “[person’s name], [city or zip/postal code]”

Example: “john smith, london”

Personal Phone Number

Find a Business:

Type: “[business name or type], [city or zip/postal code]”

Example: “apple store, manhattan”

Business Phone Number

#11: Find Local Food and Restaurants

Type: “[food type], [city or zip code/postal code]”

Example: “pizza, london e1″

Food

#12: Track Your Packages

Wondering where that extra pack of socks Mom was supposed to forward you is?

Type: [any USPS, UPS, or FedEx tracking number]

Example: 706479610009807

Track Packages

Voilà! No longer must you login to each shipping carrier’s official website.

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