With all of the technological advances that have happened in the last few decades, travel has become easier than ever. One thing that has remained the same, though, is road trips. Somehow, these types of trips still maintain all of the nostalgia that they did when the automobile was first created, and it’s one reason why we still love them so much. The cars may have changed, but the way we take them is still very much the same.

Speaking of which, the actual planning of the road trip is half the fun, and it seems like everyone has their own way of doing so. This means that we’re here to let everyone know that Google Maps is an incredibly valuable tool when it comes to creating everything from the itinerary to each stop, and this is how to use it. Trust us – road tripping will never again be the same.

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A Crash Course In Google Maps For Road Trips

Let’s be honest: Many of us don’t realize that when we use Google Maps for directions, we can also use it to create our own directions. Both the app and the site have undergone significant changes that have made it super easy to plan, map out, insert notes, and bookmark specific spots by the user. Additionally, this mapped-out itinerary can also be shared easily with family and friends which makes a game plan ridiculously easy. They can be given permission to change, add, or alter the map, as well, which is a unique tool to have when it comes to planning a trip for a group.

The Options For Map-Building Are Almost Overwhelming

Those who enjoy an abundance of details will be thrilled to know that Google Maps allows users to create various layers on each map. This means that an itinerary can literally be broken down day-by-day, with each day becoming a different map layer, all on the same map. Additionally, details – such as cafes, restaurants, hotels, attractions, and the like – can all be added with ease, along with notes for each one. And if a fellow traveler doesn’t approve? Simply give them map permissions and allow them to add a new place to the itinerary.

Pins make it easy to pinpoint (no pun intended) specific locations, and they can also be color-coordinated. This means that if a pin is in red, it could mean an optional spot. All the pins in orange could mean breakfast spots, while pins in blue could mean dinner locations. In terms of a road trip, all the green pins might mean hotel stops while yellow pins could mean possible attraction stops along the way. In between points, creators can add ‘driving directions’ which are helpful in navigating from one place to another throughout the day. The options are truly endless, and it all exists in the palm of the map creator’s hand – and it’s all for free.

Creators can also search for locations through Google Maps, which is a huge help in regard to finding restaurants, lodging, or attractions. A simple search can provide travelers with all the options they need before adding the best to the map with a pin. Therefore, users will never need to leave the app or browser in order to find places to stop along the way.

Use It Across Any Device, Then Share It With Friends

The great thing about Google Maps is that it can be used across any device, on any platform. So, if the creator has an iPhone and a friend has a Samsung, there’s no issue – it works both ways. For tablets, Google Maps can still be used via the web browser rather than the app, which is still just as easy to use.

Sharing the map is as easy as utilizing a web link to copy, paste, and share. The creator of the map itinerary has the option to keep the map private or make it public, which means that anyone who has the link can view it. If the app permissions are changed, then anyone who has the link can also edit the map.

Things To Note When Road-Tripping With Google Maps

While the app can practically do anything regarding an itinerary, there are some things that it can’t do, and they’re worthy of note. For starters, Google Maps allows users to have full control over their itineraries, driving directions, and location markers, but the map itself can’t be used for actual directions. Therefore, it should be used as a guide, with travelers plugging in each destination to a separate GPS according to what the map dictates. Additionally, the map must have an internet or data connection in order to work; however, the loophole is to open the map prior to going offline in a browser, and then leaving it up in the background.

Another thing to note is that only ten layers can be added to any individual map. While this isn’t an issue for those who aren’t planning trips that span longer than a couple of weeks or so, it could be for those covering a large distance. In this case, multiple maps must be created, which can be a hassle when switching back and forth between maps and map layers.

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