If you think Google maps is good only for locating your immediate whereabouts and locating a part of the world you never knew about, you’re wrong.

Google maps is your best friend for planning your travels – more specifically, plan travel routes.

If you’re looking for a Google map trip planner to plan a road trip on Google Maps, this post will guide you step by step on how to plan a trip in Google Maps easily.

Many do not know about this feature on Google Maps where you can:

  • Create an itinerary in Google Maps
  • Create a map with bookmarked pins
  • Add descriptions to your bookmarks
  • Plan your routes with accurate distance and duration
  • Share the map with your friends to let them contribute
  • Print your map

After I learned how to create my own maps on Google Maps in 3 simple steps and pin bookmarks, I never stopped using it in all my other travel planning, especially for my Jeju family trip, when I went cafe-hopping in Bali, and even during our complicated South-East Hokkaido road trip.


Afternoon tea set at Hanging Gardens of Bali

It has plenty of features that makes your map everything you ever need when you visit a foreign city. So I thought I would share with you this really useful feature on Google Maps so you can benefit too!

With the ‘Share‘ feature, I was also able to rope in my New Zealand road trip buddies while doing my travel planning on Google Maps to input their bookmarks and contribute to planning a road trip on Google Maps, with multiple stops.

Damn, you can even print your map.

Road trip New Zealand map, new zealand on a budget, new zealand trip cost, new zealand expensive, cost to travel to new zealand, Overview of our New Zealand road trip route on Google Maps

Road trip New Zealand map

This step-by-step guide will show you just how simple it is to make your very own Google Maps itinerary.

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As always, I find the best way to source for the cheapest flights is by checking on Skyscanner & Momondo.

As for accommodation, I found HotelsCombined to provide the most comprehensive, unbiased comparison of different hotel sites. 🙂 Airbnb is another reliable one for accommodation. Use this link to get $62 off!

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How to plan a road trip on Google Maps

Do you already have a destination in mind? GREAT. Read on then.

If not, head to my Destinations tab and you can be inspired from there.

Follow the 3 steps (only 3!) and you’ll be on your way to planning your own Google travel maps.

Step 1

Go to Google Maps.

Step 2

To create an itinerary, click ‘Menu’ on the top left button > click ‘Your Places’ > click ‘Maps’ on the 4th tab > click ‘Create Map’.

Step 3

Search your destination on the search bar > 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.

While planning your travel map, there are several additional features to make your map more informative.

Feature 1: Add descriptions for each landmark you’ve bookmarked.

It will appear under the title of your pin.

How: Click on the pin that you have bookmarked > Click ‘Edit’ at the bottom of the pop up.

Add description for bookmarked pins, google maps itinerary, how to plan a trip on google maps

Add description for bookmarked pins

Read: Useful Travel Accessories You Must Have

Feature 2: View the list of pins and descriptions in an organized spreadsheet.

You can choose to copy this into your own spreadsheet and print it out for easy reference when you are on the go.

How: At the top of your layer on the left panel, click on the 3 grey dots on the side > Click ‘Open data table’.

View landmarks and descriptions at one glance on Google Map., google maps itinerary, how to plan a trip on google maps

View landmarks and descriptions at one glance on Google Map.

Feature 3: Colour code your pins according to different categories.

E.g. Food, Parks, Viewpoint, Shopping, etc. This makes your map look less cluttered and helps you plan the rest (food) stops in between attractions!

How: Click on the pin that you have bookmarked > Click ‘Style’ at the bottom of the pop up.

colour code your pins on Google Map, google maps itinerary, how to plan a trip on google maps

colour code your pins on Google Map

Feature 4: Find directions from Point A to B.

How: Click on the pin that you have bookmarked > Click the 4th icon, ‘Directions to here’ at the bottom of the pop up. Input your start/ end point.

Find directions on Google Map, google maps itinerary, how to plan a trip on google maps

Find directions on Google Map

Feature 5: Delete a pin.

How: Click on the pin that you have bookmarked > Click the 5th icon, ‘Delete feature’ at the bottom of the pop up.

Feature 6: Create different layers for when you want to create different maps and want to show/ hide certain groups of destinations.

This is useful if you want to have a separate itinerary daily and have your map looking more organized.

How: Click ‘Add layer’ on the left panel, under your map title.

Feature 7: Share your map with your trip friends so they can view your itinerary and contribute too!

How: Click ‘Share’ on the left panel, under your map title.

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Cafe-hopping in Melbourne

Read: 11 Best Melbourne Foods You Must Try

Feature 8: Print your map for ease of convenience when you’re on the go.

How: Beside your map title on the left panel, click on the 3 grey dots on the side > click ‘Print map’.

You can use Google Maps to plan your trip with multiple stops along the way.

You can make use of this Google itinerary map maker to see at a glance how far each attraction is from the next by creating map with pins. This can help you plan which attraction should be done together in a day and which others should be done on another day.

Isn’t this Google Maps trip planner method such a deal?! With this virtual Google travel map, you can access your Google Maps itinerary anytime, anywhere!

In my next post, I share how you can export your Google maps to your PHONE and use it OFFLINE. I was blown away when I found out of this feature. Never again do I have to input these bookmarks manually on any phone apps.

Nakajima Park cherry blossom sakura sapporo hokkaido

Catching these beautiful cherry blossoms in Sapporo, Hokkaido

Got your attractions locked in? Great! Now, it’s time to check off some important things on this pre-travel checklist before you leave for your big trip!

P.S. Don’t forget to pack these travel essentials too! They truly are a life-saver when it comes to packing everything into a luggage.

Read other useful travel tips!

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Isabel Leong

Isabel Leong

An explorer at heart, the world is Isabel's playground. She enjoys seizing every moment exploring every hideout and doing the unimaginable, like bungee jumping in Phuket and couchsurfing in Europe. If she had wings, she’d definitely be soaring right now. Also a fitness trainer, if she’s not at the gym, you can find her doing yoga or rock climbing! Read more about her on belaroundtheworld.com/about.


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