Plan your next getaway with Google Maps

Jeam Out of Town Blog Hub (Outoftownblog.com)After pausing vacation plans for nearly two years, the excitement to travel again is very evident as tourists flock to popular destinations and restaurants fill up again. If you’re planning a long drive to visit usually busy places, here’s how Google Maps can help you plan your next trip.

Plan your next getaway with Google Maps

Trace your route

Save on toll fees

While highways offer us a much shorter travel time, toll prices can take up a significant portion of our travel expenses. If you want to take an alternative route and avoid tolls altogether, just click ‘Options’ on the route page and enable ‘Avoid Tolls’ under Route Options. Other options include avoiding highways and ferries, as well as identifying wheelchair accessible routes.

Save on toll fees
Save on toll fees

Find gas stations along the way

When you need to make a pit stop, Google Maps lets you find nearby gas stations. In ‘Drive’ mode, simply click on the magnifying glass icon or choose the ‘Search along route’ option and select ‘Petrol stations’. You will have the option to add it as a stop in your itinerary. This also works for other destinations where you want to stopover along the way.

Find gas stations along the way
Find gas stations along the way

Enjoy quick access with Widgets

If you’re an iOS user, set up your Google Maps widget to easily access frequent routes that are pinned to your Go Tab. To add a widget, first make sure you have the latest Google Maps app. Touch and hold a widget or blank area on your home screen until your apps wiggle, then tap “Add button” in the top left corner. Once you find the Google Maps app, tap it, swipe to select a widget, then tap “Add widget”.

Plan like a pro!

Plan as a group

If you and your family or friends are the type of travelers who want a complete itinerary in their pockets, then “group listings” in Google Maps is for you. It gives you the ability to create a vacation itinerary together by adding places to go and things to do as a group. To create a list, simply search for a destination and press the “Save” button. This will allow you to either save the destination to an existing list or create a new one. You can enable the option to allow others to edit the list and anyone with the link will be able to edit it.

Plan as a group
Plan as a group

No data, no problem

If you’re not sure if your destination will have a good signal or just want to save data, download an area map before you hit the road and it’ll be available offline. To do this, tap your profile picture in Maps, tap Offline Maps, then select your own map. From there, adjust the map to cover the area you want to download and which will be available for you to refer to on your adventures.

No data, no problem
No data, no problem

Use vacation time wisely

Outsmart the traffic

During peak season, traffic to popular destinations can be unpredictable. To make sure you don’t get stuck in traffic for most of your trip, set the time you want to leave or arrive to see how long it will take you to get to your destination. This is easily available in the “Routes” tab of your preferred destination. You can also use voice commands to check your ETA or other information you need. Just say “OK Google” and ask!

Outsmart the traffic
Outsmart the traffic

Make car journeys more entertaining

If you’re stuck in traffic, liven up your commute and stream music from Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play Music and more to Android and iOS devices directly from Google Maps. No more switching between Maps and your music player! Tap your profile picture on your Google Maps app and select “Settings”. Go to “Navigation”, tap “Music playback controls”, then select your favorite music streaming app.

Make car journeys more entertaining
Make car journeys more entertaining

Find the best time to visit restaurants

Use ‘Popular Times’ information to see when a restaurant is busiest so you can know which places are likely to seat you right away. Check out the menu, photos and reviews to find out what the restaurant has to offer.

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