If you’re looking for the most convenient and easy to use travel planning platform… it’s probably already downloaded on your phone!
Google Maps is my favorite travel planning tool & I’m here to explain why.
I love google maps because it allows you to create individually tailored maps, it’s easy to use, && maps can be used offline when traveling.
Google Maps allows you to create individually tailored maps. Just navigate to the “menu,” click “your places,” “maps,” then “create map.”
You’ll want to name your new map and then start adding pins! I typically create a google map for each city that I plan to visit. However, it can sometimes make sense to map out a region or country.
There are many ways to organize your google map. I’m a little scrupulous, so I create a layer for attractions, restaurants, and beaches when applicable.
It’s often easier to skip the layer step and simply use a different color pin for each type of thing that you want to map. For example, green pins for restaurants and blue pins for attractions.
If you’d like to add some more flare, you can also modify the icon of each pin. Use a martini glass icon for bars or a house icon for your hotel. This can be another way to distinguish between the pins (although, I think colors translate more clearly).
Once you get started with google maps, you’ll find it quite intuitive and easy to use. The best part is that you never have to click “save.” Each change you make is automatically saved.
You can also add notes with each pin. These notes can be quite helpful later. Such as, "don't forget passports here." Or "our tour group meets here, look for the yellow umbrella." You can also use the notes section to include cultural or historic information about the place you're visiting. It might be helpful to specific whether a restaurant is "casual" or "dressy," or if the restaurant has a particular dress code.
Once you make your first google map, you’ll see how easy it can be to put together common-sense itineraries. You’ll be able to see visually where everything is.
You might find that some activities are much further removed on the map. If you were on the fence about these, it’s easy to completely disregard them.
You may find that other activities are really close to one another. You’ll be able to knock them all out at once. Also, you’ll easily see what restaurants are within walking distance to the attractions that you want to see.
Plotting your desired travel sites and foodie spots on a map will help you get the most out of any trip! Also, you’ll be able to see more without feeling rushed.
Google Maps is also wonderful because it allows you to save the maps you’ve created and use them offline. This is perfect for destinations with poor reception or cities where you don’t necessarily need a new SIM card.