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How To Plan A Trip With Google Maps (Tourist Approved)

How To Plan A Trip With Google Maps (Tourist Approved)

Whether you are planning a road trip between Santa Barbara and Los Angeles or a road trip between Los Angeles and San Diego, Google Maps is going to be your best friend.

We have even used Google Maps for a day trip between Positano and Capri!

Google Maps is a powerful tool for tourists in an unknown place. It allows you to optimize your routes and get more out of your trip instantly. We highly recommend learning how to plan a trip with Google Maps and making it like your own guide in a city.

To get this right, we are going to share some of the tips we have picked up over the years. These tips will help make your life easier as a traveler.

How To Create Map On Google Maps

Create A New Google Map

To get started, you are going to focus on creating a new Google Map through the website.

To do this, you are going to go to

From here, you are going to be on the main screen and you will go to “Saved” and then press “Maps”. You will now choose “Create Map”.

You can name your map based on whatever you prefer for the route. This is up to you.

Add Location To Your Custom Google Map

You are now ready to begin working on completing the map.

To do this, you are going to add a location to the custom map. This is simple, you are going to type the address or location in the search bar at the top, choose it from the list, and then wait for it to show up. It will turn into a blue marker on the map once you have selected it.

It’s important to note that you can also free-hand the selection and click on the spot you want to pin. You can do this ten times before needing a new map layer.

We always recommend naming and describing the pins, especially if you are clicking in a specific area on the map. This will prove to be useful when you are finalizing the custom map later. It’s possible to add pictures, colors, and more to each pin.

Create A Map Layer

Layers are essentially just as the name suggests.

They are layers on top of each other that are used to signify specific types of locations. For example, you might want to have a layer for restaurants, a layer for key attractions, and then a separate layer for personal addresses along the way.

You can also use these layers for different parts of the trip including different days.

You can have up to 10 layers per custom map with 10 pins each.

To do this, you are going to click “Add Layer” and then name the layer based on what you are going to be using it for. You can then toggle through the layers and add pins to each one based on what you need the layer to represent.

Add Directions

You can click “Add Directions” under the search bar to begin adding directions to the custom map.

The general premise is to create a route between one pin to the next on the map. You can choose which locations you want the directions from and to.

Take the time to do this if you are going to be planning a specific route between two points. You can also add additional points up to ten on the same layer.

View Map On All Linked Devices

When you have the custom map ready to go, you are not going to be carrying your computer with you on the road.

So, how are you going to access it?

You are going to save the map to your Google account (Google Drive) and then log in using your phone. You are then going to go to the Google Drive app, press “…More” and then choose your saved custom map.

Tips On How To Plan A Trip With Google Maps

Create In-App Notes

In-app notes are quite useful when you are using Google Maps for a trip.

When you are adding the location pins to the map layer on Google Maps, you are also allowed to add notes including pictures within that specific pin. This is useful depending on key points you want to remember at the time you are heading to this specific location during the trip.

Sometimes, you forget key tidbits at that point, so having the in-app notes is a must.

Add Stops

You will also be able to add more stops to your route with the help of Google Maps.

Most people are not going to be stopping at one place along the way. You are likely going to be creating a full-fledged map that is going to have to be tailored based on your needs. This includes restaurants, bathroom breaks, parks, and/or other attractions you might have in mind.

The same applies to those who are also going to be heading to a specific hotel along the way.

Adding these steps using location pins is easy to do with Google Maps.

Switch Between Routes Based On Preferences

You can change routes based on which path you want to take.

Google will often offer the fastest route between point A to point B. We are aware this might not be what you want as a traveler, so it’s okay to make adjustments.

To do this, you are going to go to Google Maps, click the line indicating the route, click “Drag to Change Route” and then drag it to the route you want to take or feel is better. The map is going to be immediately adjusted based on this feedback.

You can continue to make adjustments until you are satisfied.

Share Your Route

What if you are not going alone on this road trip?

You might be bringing others along with you including an additional vehicle or two. This means you are all going to want to take the same planned route.

This is wonderful and it can be managed with Google Maps.

To do this, you are going to click the custom map’s name, click “Share” and then choose who you want to share it with. This will send the map’s link to the desired recipient.

Final Thoughts

This is how to plan a trip with Google Maps.

The tips that have been mentioned here will make sure things work out as planned. You are going to maximize the results by doing this and the trip is going to be a breeze.

You can also read about road trips between Denver and Estes Park or the drive between San Diego and Phoenix.