Planning a trip is often almost as fun as the experience of a vacation itself, and the preparation can help you relax and enjoy your trip even more. Remember to give yourself room for flexibility as you plan for surprises like traffic, bad weather, rest room stops or unexpected tourist spots. Creating a detailed itinerary map takes some time, but the effort will ensure that your adventure goes smoothly.
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Things you need
- Google Maps
Go to Google Maps and click on "My Maps," then "Create a New Map." You will need to sign into your Google account if you aren't already.
Type in the title of your map, along with any notes, and choose whether you'd like the map to be public or private, then click "Save."
On the map, zoom in on your starting point. On the top left, select the blue pinpoint icon. Drag the pinpoint to your desired starting location, and click to drop it. A window will open, allowing you to add a title and notes about the location. Make notes here with arrival and departure times, addresses and phone numbers of stopping points in the area, and any other important details.
In the top right corner, you will see the blue pinpoint icon. Click on this to change the colour or style of your pinpoint in this location, then click "Save." You can edit this window again by clicking on the pinpoint.
Repeat Step 3 for every stop you want to make on the trip. To make stops easy to find, choose relevant icons for each stop in the Edit window. Remember to keep notes underneath with restaurants, hotel information and tourist attractions as you drop pinpoints. You also can add pictures or video by clicking "Edit HTML" and adding the code. Continue until you have a pinpoint on your final destination.
Return to your starting point. On the top left corner of the map, choose the line icon, located next to the pinpoint icon. Click once on your starting point and drag a line down the path or road you want to take. Click every time you need to change directions. If you want to stop the line to take notes, click the box at the end of your line. A window will open that allows you to give your line a title and notes. You also can change the colour and style of the line by clicking on the line icon in the top right corner of the box.
Continue, keeping notes on your route if necessary, until you have mapped a line through all of your pinpoints to your final destination.
To search for specific places near your pinpoints, click on the pinpoint, then select "Search Nearby." Enter a specific name, or something general like "restaurants," and the map will generate pinpoints for any that are in the area. Click on any pinpoint to get the name, address, phone number, website and directions to the location, and click "Save to My Maps" to add the location to your map.
Click "Save" on the left side of the screen when you are finished. On the right side above the map, click "Print." A new window will open with a printable version of your map, along with a complete itinerary underneath listing all of your titles and notes. There is an additional space for more notes on the top right corner. Click "Print" when you are ready, select your printer from the drop-down box, and click "Print" again.
Tips and warnings
- There are many other websites that allow you to create organised itinerary maps for free. One example is TravellersPoint.
- Keep a list of addresses and contact numbers you might need regarding flight information, car rental or hotels.
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