Feb 26, 2014

Travel Like a Boss Series: How to Create a Custom Itinerary Map


As many of you know, one of my favorite things to do since moving abroad is plan trips all over Europe. And I've planed A LOT! So many that trying to count them up would be pretty labor intensive. So, just take a peek at our WANDERLUST page and you'll get the idea. :) I love being organized and having a good itinerary for hitting all the "must-see" sights in whatever destination we travel to. In my planning arsenal, Google Maps has been infinitely helpful in facilitating touring strategy maps and jumping off points to get the most out of our time in a new city. I've created many custom itinerary maps with the help of my trusty Google Maps and love taking them with us on our adventures. Have you ever thought of creating your own itinerary map? It's SUPER easy to do…and is a resource this traveling girl can't live without!

Google Maps has recently updated their map system and with that, their custom mapping options have changed. I've gotta admit, I'm in LOVE with the new format presented with Google Maps Engine! It's so much more user-friendly and navigates quite easily, making mapping a tour route a total sinch! I know what you're thinking…the idea of customizing your own map sounds daunting and wayyy too time consuming. I did too, my first go-round. That's why I've done all the confusing work for you and built this nifty guide! Introducing my quick tutorial on how to create your own custom itinerary map with the NEW Google Maps! Follow the easy steps below and you'll be well on your way to mapping out travel plans all around the world! Ready, travelers?! LET'S MAP IT!


STEP 1: Go to mapsengine.google.com then click Create a new map to get started! (Ahem, ignore my 5-yr-old chicken scratch doodles. Gives the tutorial character, don't you think?)


STEP 2: Type your destination city in the search bar. I chose Dublin, Ireland as my example city since we're planning a trip there soon!



STEP 3: Once your choice city is brought up, then add a fun name to your map. Just click where it says "Untitled map" and name it! I kept it simple, just naming our map "Dublin, Ireland Trip," but feel free to get as creative as you like. Just don't forget to save it!




STEP 4: Now you can start adding your attractions. To do so, type in an attraction name, airport, hotel, or restaurant in the search bar. I chose to start with our hotel. FYI, your map will save your progress automatically. How nice!



STEP 5: Once your attraction is found…click "Add to Map" located at the bottom of the white pop up screen…and it will be added to your map! Notice the green icon changed to red once the item was added to your map.




STEP 6: You can change the red attraction icon to be any color or icon you choose for easy viewing and deciphering between attractions. Since this location on my map is a hotel, I'm going to change my icon to reflect that. To change your icon, hover over the attraction on your map list until the paint bucket appears…then click the bucket.



STEP 7: In the next small popup screen, you can change the color, icon shape, or browse more icons. Click "more icons" to see what other fun icons you can choose from.



I found my hotel icon! Click "Ok" to save it!




STEP 8: In addition to changing your icon, you can also add/edit information to the map that might be helpful to you during your trip. To edit, just click the pencil icon at the bottom of the white popup box (you can click the hotel icon to get the white popup box to appear). FYI, Google has already given some information about your attraction in the gray area. Great, right? :)



STEP 9: Type in whatever information you'd like to add to your map and click "Save!"



STEP 10: Search and add more attractions!! I went ahead and added in all my attractions…you can see the complete map key on the left. Don't forget to change each attractions icon to something different so you can easily decipher each point on your map.



STEP 11: Want to see all your map info laid out in list form? Click "data" in your map key and a list will pop up for you. You can also edit this list within this popup.




STEP 12: SHARE IT! Export this map to your email (so you can open it on your phone and use it while you travel!), share a link with friends, post it to your Google+ wall, Tweet it, Facebook it, or even share it on your blog…Google gives you endless options to get your map seen and used by all!




There you have it…your own custom itinerary map! An easy way to plan and make the most out of your next sight-seeing adventure! There are many other fun settings and features of the new Google Maps Engine…feel free to email me if you get stuck or have any other questions. Want to view my completed Dublin map? Click here! If you found this tutorial helpful, share the wealth and Pin it, Tweet it, or Facebook it to all your travel-loving friends! 
Happy traveling! :)

46 comments:

  1. Travel LIKE A BOSS?! What a sweet series! can't wait to read the rest of these! Thanks for this tutorial btw I've never done this before!

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  2. This is amazing! I am about to redo all of my itineraries :) thanks!!

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    1. YAY! Thanks, Jamie!! Glad you found it helpful! :)

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  3. "Travel like a boss" series. LOVE IT! Can't wait to see what else you have up your sleeve! We use Google Maps for all of our trips, but not to that extent. Can't wait for our next road trip :)

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  4. I found this so helpful as I am planning a May trip to Istanbul. Thank you so much Casey!

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    1. WOO HOO! Thanks, Amy! Enjoy Istanbul…it's AWESOME! :)

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  5. This is so awesome! I have never heard of this, but it is certainly going to be my new favorite thing for all of my travels! Currently working on one for my honeymoon in Thailand. Thanks for sharing this!

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  6. Such a great idea! I am totally going to use this on my next trip because that makes it so much simpler instead of having a bunch of papers with you.

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  7. Looks like Google has really upped their game with the custom mapping. I used to make travel maps with Google but I gave up a few years ago because it was so not user friendly. Might have to give it a try again...

    Life+1
    New Post: Babymoon Again and Again

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    1. It was SO not user-friendly before…I agree!! It would never load my maps correctly and I'd always have to go in and out of the program to get things to show up after I added them to the map. So frustrating! They've definitely worked out the kinks and it's much more fun to use now!

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  8. This is awesome. I am going to create one for every trip from now on!

    ~Ashley @ A Cute Angle
    acutelifestyle.blogspot.com

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  9. umm this is the greatest!! so doing this next time!

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  10. This is brilliant! I had no idea you could do all that with Google Maps and can't wait to try it out. This post is a keeper, thanks for sharing in such detail.

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    1. You're so welcome! I knew it'd be worth the doodles! :) Thanks, girl!

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  11. This is sooo smart! And the doodles really made it extra special :)

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  12. This is such a great idea! I'm certainly going to use this for planning my next trip!

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    1. Glad to hear it! Thanks, Elizabeth!

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  13. This is awesome! My family and I are traveling to the East coast this summer and this will be perfect!! Thanks :)

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  14. This is exactly what I do. Great tip! :)
    http://liveitinerantly.com/

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  15. This is really helpful, actually, I'm always having trouble with this feature! It's not nearly as straightforward as it seems!

    belle + compass

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    1. I agree! It's sometimes tough to navigate these programs. Glad you found it helpful, Isa! :)

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  16. I never knew you could do this. How helpful!!
    Claire xx

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  17. Wow this is such a cool idea. I didn't know google had got even more helpful. I'm planning a move to Dubai and although it's not a holiday I think this will still be super useful for learning my way round a new city.

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    1. Oh yes…it would definitely be useful for learning your way around and sight-seeing in your new city!

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  18. Now I found this to be really interesting, thank you

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  19. This is fantastic, I had no idea about this but will definitely be using it!

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  20. This is awesome! Thanks so much for sharing!

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  21. Thank you for sharing this! It is so so helpful!!

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  22. This is actually such a great idea! Thank you for sharing!

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  23. This is really helpful - I had no idea about this feature... I always used 'directions' and did a screen capture, but it was irritation because it didn't always show the route I wanted.

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  24. I never knew you could do this! Will come in handy on future trips for sure.

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  25. Stumbled on your travel blog via bloglovin and this post caught my eye!.

    I LOVE google maps, i've always used it to plan my trips. Great to see someone else who uses it fanatically like I do haha :)

    www.shershegoes.com

    Sher

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    1. Yep, I'm totally crazy about Google Maps and this feature! It saves us so much time and trouble in the long run!

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  26. I love this! I used Google when I was planning a vacation to Salt Lake City, but mine wasn't as fancy as yours :)

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  27. This looks very cool. Google always offers you something or the other that has its own unique feature. Love it.

    Regards,
    Kamal
    Soul Search

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  28. I'm visiting Paris next week for the first time and this article could not have fallen into my lap at at better time! Thank you! PS. I LOVE reading your blog!

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    1. Awesome!! And thanks so much!! Enjoy your Parisian vacation! :)

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  29. What a great idea!! I didn't know you could do this on google maps hehehe I'm going to start a map for my next trip :) Thanks!

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  30. This is awesome! I'm addicted to maps and itineraries and travel spreadsheets!! Thanks for the tip!
    picturehappiness.wordpress.com

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  31. I am looking for a great tour article for just interest and for some knowledge about here enjoyment and much more related to travel. Because I want for visit washington dc bus tour. I read your article it’s informative and have some nice valuable things for me to do on my tour. Your blog article is creating a benefit for your site users. Good work and thanks for your nice sharing.

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  32. Such a useful post - I will definitely get on this when I am on my travels! x

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  33. I want to travel like a boss! PINNING THIS!
    Don't forget, if you'd like any Dublin restaurant and pub recommendations, give me a shout :)

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  34. Oh wow, this is GREAT! I made maps of both my England and Wales itineraries (I don't need to do Scotland, as I'm only going to one place). This will make it really easy to see how far apart stuff is, which is a big deal when you're not driving.

    Thank you for posting this tutorial!

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I appreciate your feedback, friends! I read every comment and try my hardest to respond to each one, but if your email address isn't attached to your blogger profile, you might find my response in the comment thread instead. And as always, thanks for reading!

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