how to plan a road trip or add a stopover to your itinerary

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Google Maps is a tool that is packed with features. One of them is to create a complete map to plan a vacation, a trek on foot, by bike, or by car for a road trip. The set is very complete and we will show you how to do it here.

If you need create a complete travel itinerary on Google Maps, this guide is made for you. This can come in handy if you are planning to go on a road trip this summer or need a solid itinerary to build on, also to work out with your loved ones or to share with your friends.

Google Maps is a very comprehensive tool. You can create your own map, including one or more fully customized itineraries, identifying all the museums, monuments, cafes and other places you want to visit. Or, write little notes next to each location and change the colors and icons of each pin.

So how do you go about planning a complete route on Google Maps? We tell you everything here.

See as well : Google Maps now shows the best route to save fuel

How to prepare a road trip on Google Maps?

Create a new card

To plan a road trip using Google’s navigation application, you will need to create a map. Here is how to do it. Go to Google Maps, if possible on a browser from a computer for more convenience.

  • Click on the Google Maps menu, top left (three horizontal dashes).

  • Select the tab Your addresses.

  • A menu will appear. Click on Cards. Then on Create a map, down.

  • A new blank card opens. Click on Untitled Map at the top left or on the three dots to give your map a title and description. Click Save when the title and description are complete.

Once you’ve named your map, you’re ready to pin down the stops and prepare for your road trip. Read on to learn more about adding and customizing location pins.

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Add location pins

A road trip contains many stops, whether for points of interest (museums, historical places), cafes, restaurants, hotels, etc. It is therefore essential to prepare these stops in advance. Here’s how to add stops to your Google Maps map by pinning their locations.

  • Type the name or address of the location in the search bar. Select the correct location from the drop-down menu. Google Maps will then drop a green marker under a small text box containing the address details. Click on Add to map to save the location. The green marker will turn blue. You will almost always pin locations using this method.

  • Once you’ve saved your Pins to the map, they’re blue by default. But you can customize a Pin by changing the color, icon style, description, and title. Just click on the logo resembling a paint bucket. You can even add photos or videos if you feel like it.

To change the location title, click To modify (the pencil icon) in the text box. You can also add notes in the area Notes. Use the notes area to add more details about finding trailheads, the logistics of the hike, etc.

For add media (i.e. photos or videos), click Add Image or Video (the camera icon) in the text box. You can also add your own photos and videos if you want to create a card to share with others.

For remove a pin, click it, and then click the trash can icon. You can also find even more icons by clicking on More icons when you edit a pin.

See as well : Google Maps: how to activate the new dark mode?

Add layers to your trip on Google Maps

Google Maps layers are very useful for organizing your travel itinerary. But what is a layer? A layer in Google Maps is, by definition, a way to contain arbitrary geospatial data. In other words, each layer can be used to display different types of information on your map.

You can dedicate different layers to different types of places like restaurants, cafes, hotels, hiking trails, etc. Or you can dedicate layers to different days of your trip. Or you can stick to just one layer.

  • To add a layer, click Add a layer. Here we have two layers: the first is named Day 1, the second Day 2, to organize our map this way.

  • To modify a layer, click on the three small dots next to. You can rename it, for example.

Add directions to your Google Maps route

What is the point of creating a route on Google Maps without any route? Here’s the most important part of your planning, adding directions.

  • To add a route to your Google Maps, click on Add a route (the arrow icon) below the search bar. Then type the name of your starting point in the search bar. It will be added at the bottom left. A new layer will appear: you cannot add directions without adding a new layer.

  • Under your new layer, to the right of tab B, type the name of your arrival location then select it to let Google Maps calculate your route. A blue road will then appear. If Maps can’t find the route, change one of your two locations (or both).

The original directions will only give you the option to add A and B points. To add more destinations, click on Add destinations. You can add up to 10 destinations.

  • To choose between routes by car, on foot or by bicycle, click the Route button in the layer (the blue car icon). Then click on the appropriate mode of transport. The trip will automatically update.

  • You can find your detailed itinerary by clicking on the three small dots then on Detailed instructions.

  • As you can see here, this will give you the full route from point A to point B, just like using Google Maps.

Google Maps will however automatically calculate the shortest route between locations. But you can easily change route if you prefer to take a different route (i.e. to take the more scenic route, avoid tolls and highways, etc.).

  • To adjust the route between two points, place your cursor anywhere along the blue line. Your cursor will change from a hand to an arrow on a white point. A dialog will say ” Drag to edit route “. Click and drag the white dot on the desired road or highway on the map.

See as well : Google Maps: 10 features to get the most out of the application

How to share your Google Maps map?

Your entire itinerary or road trip is finally finished, you have spent hours there (or even several days) and you now want to share it with others. You might want to get help from friends to plan your road trip. Here’s how.

  • To share your Google Map, open the map and click on To share in the gray bar above the layers. You can click the first button to allow other people to edit this card. Copy the link given below and send it to your friends for them to access. You can also share it on Drive.

To embed your map on a website, make sure your sharing settings are set to Public. Click on the menu (the three dots) next to the title of the map and then click on Embed on my site. Copy the HTML code and paste it into the source code of your page. You can also print your road trip by clicking on Print map.

There we are. Of course, Google Maps is full of options of all kinds to configure your route in great detail. With this tutorial, we have given you the outline, the most important menus so you can get started. Happy planning!

Why use Google Maps for a travel itinerary?

First, you can view your Google Maps on any device and on any platform: Windows, macOS, Android, iOS. So you can work on your map on your Windows computer and then resume later on your iPhone.

he is also very easy to share these cards with your friends which is perfect if you are planning a group trip. Everyone can have access to the same map on their phone, and your friends can even edit maps if you give them permission.

You can even share these cards with everyone, if you wish it. Just set their privacy to Public and anyone will be able to see them with the link. If you have a blog, you can also easily integrate the card in your site.

The number of cards is unlimited. You can add different layers to these maps, change the icons and colors of the pins, which gives you full control over the appearance of your menu personalized. You can give each pin a different color or use a chat icon for each place you want to visit.

See as well : Google Maps: how to delete your trip history on Android and iPhone

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