Planning your upcoming trip is one of those things you can’t efficiently outsource entirely. It generally requires a couple of things: knowing where you’re staying, where you’d like to go, and where exactly all these places are in a city that you have absolutely no idea about. Now, wouldn’t it be so much easier if everything was collated onto a specific map? Enter the holy grail of usefulness: Google Maps. If you take a moment to think about it, that’s absolutely INSANE! The very fact that this technology exists (and is available for free). Here, we present 6 ways Google maps make your next weekend trip better.
Plan a road trip route
Road trips are a classic way to go on vacation, and many families still enjoy hitting the road when they get some time together. To travel by road, you need an accurate route planned, whether it is across different states. Skip the old-fashioned paper maps and use Google Maps for the most accurate trip planning. Google Maps offers turn-by-turn directions as well as accurate times and distances for each lap of the trip. To plan a road trip, open Google Maps. Search for your first destination, and then click on the directions button. Look on the upper right corner above the map. You will see three dot icon. These icons give you the options including add stop to further add more destinations. When you’re done, Maps will calculate the total mileage of the trip and offer step-by-step directions that are easy to print.
Plan your itinerary
You have the power to build your own custom Google Map and fill it with a destination that is important to you. Go to maps.google.com. Click the hamburger menu > Your places > Maps > Create Map. Search your destination on the search bar and then click ‘Add to map’ on the bottom left of the pop up on the map, and the destination goes to an Untitled layer on the left side. Once in the My Maps feature, you can add pinpoints with info cards, highlight whole sections, or create customized walking or driving directions.
Share your route with friends
Google Maps lets you share some of your favorite places with a friend and families. To share your new map or invite others to edit, click on the “Share” button in the top left corner and your friends or families will understand your itinerary. After you have planned your route, click Share or open the menu and click “Share or embed map” to share your route with others. Recently Google added a new feature that allows users to share their location, you can share your route with friends so that they can see what time you will arrive at a place. So simply use location sharing to let your friends know where you are.
Save your maps for offline use
There might be a time and place where solid data connection will not be available, mostly it happens outside the city. To prevent these issues, Google Maps offers offline maps supports. To do this, open the Google Maps app on your phone and search for the area you want to save. Click on the address at the bottom of the screen, then choose Download. The app will show you the area of the map you will be saving and how much space the saved map will use on your phone. The map area must be downloaded before leaving the safety of your city’s strong data connection. You have sacrifice plenty of storage space to download the maps. These can take up to 1.5 GB, depending on the area. Google maps have the ability to offer turn-by-turn navigation.
Find the best places in town
Google Maps can recommend the best place to hang out in the destination city. After you search for a city in Google Maps, click Nearby to find the top-rated restaurants, hotels, pubs, coffee shops, and more. Also, if you’ve wondered what the orange shaded bits on Google Maps indicate, they’re “area of interest” Google believes to be worth exploring.
Use Street View to see a location
Street View is one of the amazing features of Google Maps with the huge collection of street imagery captured over the years. It is just like a virtual time machine where users will get a 360-degree experience of a particular area. In fact, the company dubbed this feature Time Travel. You can access this 360-degree view when in Street View by clicking on the little stopwatch icon in the top-left corner (not available in all locations), which will prompt a sliding scale that will allow you to jump through street views over time.