Plan a Trip with Google Maps

Two more weeks until our Europe trip! We’ll be going to London, Paris, Switzerland and then New York on the way back. I personally like to make itineraries so that we can make the most of our time there and do everything we want. I always make sure there’s enough time to enjoy ourselves and wander around without a stressful rush though….it is a vacation after all.

Since I am starting to make the itinerary details for Paris, I thought I’d show you, step-by-step, how to use Google Maps for trip planning. This is a simple, useful and amazing tool that makes life so much easier! Planning trips can get overwhelming, but this Google feature helps makes it do-able and fun.

1. Open to view menu on Google Maps.gm1
2. Click “My Maps.”
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3. Create a new map.
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4. Enter your destination or location you want to visit.
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5. Add to map.
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6. Customize the icon and add details if you’d like.
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7. Keep building your map, which will automatically save.
You can see here that the icons help me group categories: lodging, metro stations, attraction points, places to eat, etc. 
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8. Create an itinerary based on your map.
I do this after I build my map because now I know how far/close everything is from looking at the icon pinpoints. Now that I have a better idea of each area location, it becomes more manageable to figure out the rest of the puzzle.

COMPLETE EXAMPLE
Since I’m not done with Paris yet, here’s my interactive Chicago map to show as an example. (You can click on it.)
After I set my itinerary, I went back to organize and color-code the icons by days in chronological order.

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9. Pull up your map on your phone for easy access to directions.
This is convenient and fast for getting directions when you’re traveling since the location is already set.

10. Share!
When friends and family ask you for recommendations, you can share your map like a pro. Win-win for all.

End note:
Traveling with David is great because he helps me remain calm and flexible when things out of our control don’t go as planned. I may be the map maker but he may be better at actually finding the routes. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve missed the bus or got off at the wrong stop…team effort is good ;).

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