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How To Use Google Maps To Plan A Day Trip


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Michell Nugent



Welcome to the world of travel planning made easy with Google Maps! Whether you’re exploring a new city or planning a day trip to a nearby town, Google Maps is your ultimate tool for navigation, discovery, and organization. With its user-friendly interface and powerful features, Google Maps has become a go-to resource for travelers seeking to maximize their experience.


In this article, we will guide you through the process of using Google Maps to plan a day trip like a pro. From finding the best attractions to creating a personalized itinerary and getting turn-by-turn directions, we’ll cover it all. So, grab your virtual map and let’s get started!


Before we delve into the step-by-step process, let’s take a moment to highlight the key benefits of using Google Maps for your travel planning:

  • Comprehensive Coverage: Google Maps boasts an extensive database of locations, making it effortless to discover attractions, restaurants, hotels, and more.
  • Real-Time Information: With live traffic updates, public transportation schedules, and even indoor maps for malls and airports, Google Maps keeps you well-informed at all times.
  • User Reviews and Ratings: Thanks to the integrated review system, you can easily access feedback from fellow travelers to ensure you make informed choices about the places you visit.
  • Seamless Integration: Google Maps is seamlessly integrated with other Google services like Google Search, Google Photos, and Google Trips, allowing you to access all your travel-related information in one place.

Now, let’s dive into the step-by-step process of using Google Maps to plan your day trip. Whether you’re a travel enthusiast or a first-time user, you’ll find our guide easy to follow and packed with useful tips to make your trip a memorable one.


Step 1: Opening Google Maps

The first step to planning your day trip using Google Maps is to open the app or visit the website. Google Maps is available on both mobile devices and desktop computers, ensuring you can access it anytime, anywhere.


If you’re using a mobile device, simply locate the Google Maps app on your home screen or app drawer and tap to open it. For desktop users, open your preferred web browser and go to maps.google.com.


Once you have the app or website open, you’ll be greeted with a map of your current location or a search bar at the top. Take a moment to familiarize yourself with the various features and icons on the screen. You can zoom in and out using the pinch gesture on your mobile device or the plus and minus buttons on the website.


Google Maps uses your device’s GPS and internet connection to provide you with accurate location information. To ensure the best experience, make sure your device’s location services and internet connection are enabled.


Now that you have Google Maps open and ready, let’s move on to the next step: searching for your destination.


Step 2: Searching for your destination

Once you have Google Maps open, the next step in planning your day trip is to search for your destination. Whether it’s a specific location or a general area you want to explore, Google Maps makes it easy to find what you’re looking for.


To search for your destination, locate the search bar at the top of the screen. Tap on the search bar if you’re using the mobile app or click on it if you’re using the website.


Start by entering the name of the city, town, or landmark you plan to visit. Google Maps will automatically suggest options as you type, making it quicker to find your desired location. Once you see the correct suggestion, either tap on it or press the Enter key on your keyboard to proceed.


After selecting your destination, Google Maps will center the map on that location and provide you with additional details. You can see the address, opening hours, phone number, website, and even photos of the place if available.


If you have a specific point of interest in mind, such as a restaurant, museum, or park, you can also search for it directly. Simply type in the name of the place and let Google Maps work its magic.


Google Maps also offers category-based searches, allowing you to explore nearby attractions, restaurants, hotels, and more. To do this, tap on the “Explore” button located at the bottom right corner of the screen. You’ll be presented with options like “Food & Drink,” “Shopping,” “Sights & landmarks,” and more. Select the category that interests you, and Google Maps will display relevant places in the area.


Once you have found your destination or have explored nearby attractions, it’s time to move on to the next step: exploring the attractions in the vicinity.


Step 3: Exploring nearby attractions

After you have searched for your destination in Google Maps, it’s time to explore the nearby attractions that might interest you. Google Maps offers a wealth of information about points of interest, ranging from popular tourist spots to hidden gems waiting to be discovered.


To view nearby attractions, ensure that you have selected your desired destination on the map. You can do this by tapping on the location marker or selecting it from the search results. Once your destination is selected, you’ll see a variety of icons indicating different types of places nearby.


For example, you might see icons for restaurants, cafes, parks, museums, and landmarks. Tap on these icons to view more information about each place, such as user reviews, ratings, photos, and even the estimated time of arrival on foot or by car.


If you’re looking for specific types of attractions, you can use the search bar located at the top of the screen. Simply type in the category or name of the place you’re interested in, such as “coffee shops,” “beaches,” or “art galleries.” Google Maps will then display relevant results in the vicinity of your destination.


As you explore nearby attractions, take advantage of the filtering options provided by Google Maps. You can filter by rating, price range, opening hours, and more to refine your search and find the attractions that best suit your preferences.


Aside from the icons on the main map, Google Maps also provides a “More Places” option. This feature allows you to explore additional attractions beyond the immediate vicinity. Simply tap on the “More Places” button located at the bottom of the screen, and Google Maps will present you with more options further away.


By taking the time to explore nearby attractions, you can uncover hidden gems and create a more comprehensive itinerary for your day trip. Once you have discovered the attractions that capture your interest, it’s time to save them for future reference.


Step 4: Saving places of interest

Now that you’ve explored nearby attractions on Google Maps, it’s time to save the places that caught your interest. Saving places ensures that you can easily access them later and incorporate them into your day trip itinerary.


To save a place on Google Maps, simply tap on the location icon or select the desired place from the search results. This will open a card with detailed information about the place.


On the place card, you’ll find a “Save” button. Tap on this button to add the place to your “Saved” list. You can also choose to create a new list specifically for your day trip or add the place to an existing list.


Lists on Google Maps help you stay organized and categorize your saved places. For example, you can create lists such as “Morning Coffee Spots,” “Must-Visit Restaurants,” or “Historical Landmarks.” To create a new list, tap on the “Saved” button at the bottom of the screen, then select “New list” and give it a name.


Additionally, you can access your saved places by tapping on the “Saved” button at the bottom of the screen. This will show you all the lists and saved places associated with your Google account.


By saving places of interest, you can effectively build an itinerary for your day trip. You’ll have all the information you need about each place, including its address, contact details, and reviews, conveniently accessible in one place.


Once you have saved the places you want to visit, it’s time to move on to the next step: creating a custom itinerary.


Step 5: Creating a custom itinerary

Now that you have saved the places of interest for your day trip, it’s time to create a custom itinerary to make the most of your time. Google Maps allows you to easily create and customize your itinerary, ensuring a smooth and organized experience.


To start creating your custom itinerary, open the Google Maps app or website and access your saved places by tapping on the “Saved” button at the bottom of the screen.


Here, you’ll see all your saved places organized by lists. To create a new itinerary, you can either create a new list specifically for your day trip or use an existing list. Tap on the list you want to work with.


Once inside the list, you can arrange the order of the places by pressing and holding on a place and dragging it to the desired position. This allows you to prioritize the attractions that you want to visit during your day trip.


To further customize your itinerary, you can add additional information or notes to each place. Tap on a specific place in the list, and you’ll see an “Edit” button. Here, you can add notes, reminders, or any other relevant information for that particular place.


Google Maps also offers a feature called “Your Timeline,” which allows you to see the estimated time it takes to travel from one attraction to another. This feature helps you plan your itinerary more effectively by considering the travel time between places.


Remember to give yourself some flexibility in your itinerary, as unexpected discoveries or detours may occur along the way. It’s great to have a plan, but also be open to spontaneous adventures during your day trip.


Once you have created your custom itinerary, it’s time to move on to the next step: getting directions and navigation to your chosen attractions.


Step 6: Getting directions and navigation

Now that you have your custom itinerary prepared, the next step is to get directions and navigate to your chosen attractions smoothly. Google Maps offers comprehensive navigation features that make it easy for you to reach your desired destinations.


To get directions to a specific place in your itinerary, open the Google Maps app or website. Access your saved places by tapping on the “Saved” button at the bottom of the screen and selecting the appropriate list.


Tap on the place you want directions to, and on its detailed information card, you’ll find a “Directions” button. Tap on it, and Google Maps will calculate the best route to reach your destination.


You can customize your route by selecting your preferred mode of transportation, such as driving, walking, cycling, or using public transportation. Google Maps will provide you with turn-by-turn directions and real-time traffic updates to ensure a smooth journey.


During your day trip, if you encounter any unexpected detours or changes in your plans, you can easily modify your route. Google Maps will dynamically update the directions and guide you accordingly.


For added convenience, you can also make use of the voice-guided navigation feature in the Google Maps app. This allows you to keep your eyes on the road while listening to step-by-step instructions on your journey.


If you’re connected to the internet, Google Maps will provide you with live traffic updates and alternate routes if necessary. However, it’s always a good idea to download offline maps of the areas you’ll be visiting to ensure uninterrupted navigation, especially if you anticipate limited internet access.


When you arrive at each destination, Google Maps will automatically notify you and display a message on the screen, ensuring you don’t miss any of your planned attractions.


With directions and navigation taken care of, it’s time for the final step: sharing your day trip plan with others.


Step 7: Sharing your plan with others

Sharing your day trip plan with others can be a great way to get input, coordinate with travel companions, or simply keep your loved ones informed about your adventure. Google Maps makes it easy to share your plan with others, allowing for seamless communication and collaboration.


To share your day trip plan, open the Google Maps app or website and access your saved places by tapping on the “Saved” button at the bottom of the screen.


Select the list that contains your day trip itinerary. From here, you have a few options for sharing:

  • Share the entire list: Tap on the “Share” button, and you’ll be presented with various sharing options such as email, social media, messaging apps, and more. Choose the method that suits your preference, and the selected recipients will receive a link to the entire list.
  • Share individual places: If you prefer to share specific places from your itinerary, tap on the desired place in the list, and then tap on the “Share” button on its details card. This allows you to share the place directly with others via email, messaging apps, or social media.

When someone receives the shared link, they can open it in their own Google Maps app or website and view the places you have saved. They’ll be able to see the locations, descriptions, and even navigate to them if they choose to do so.


This sharing feature is especially helpful if you’re coordinating plans with travel companions or seeking recommendations from family and friends.


Additionally, if you’re planning a day trip with a group, you can collaborate with others by creating a shared Google Map. In the Google Maps app or website, tap on the “Saved” button and select the list with your day trip itinerary. From there, tap on the menu icon (three dots) and choose “Collaborate.” You can then invite others to contribute to the map by adding or editing places.


Sharing your day trip plan ensures everyone involved is on the same page and can contribute to the overall experience.


Congratulations! You have successfully learned how to plan your day trip using Google Maps. By following these steps, you can confidently navigate unfamiliar places, explore nearby attractions, and create a customized itinerary that suits your preferences and interests.


Now, go out there and enjoy your day trip knowing that Google Maps has your back every step of the way!



Planning a day trip has never been easier, thanks to the powerful features and user-friendly interface of Google Maps. In this comprehensive guide, we walked you through the step-by-step process of using Google Maps to plan your day trip like a pro.


We started by opening Google Maps and familiarizing ourselves with the layout and various icons on the screen. Then, we moved on to searching for our destination and exploring nearby attractions. By saving the places of interest, we were able to create a custom itinerary tailored to our preferences.


With our itinerary in place, we then learned how to get directions and navigate to our chosen attractions seamlessly. Google Maps provided us with turn-by-turn directions, live traffic updates, and even voice-guided navigation to ensure a smooth journey.


Lastly, we covered the importance of sharing our day trip plan with others. By sharing our itinerary or individual places, we could collaborate with travel companions, receive recommendations, or keep our loved ones informed about our adventure.


By following these steps and utilizing the features of Google Maps, you can take full advantage of this powerful tool to enhance your day trip planning experience. Google Maps provides comprehensive coverage, real-time information, user reviews, and seamless integration with other Google services, making it the ultimate resource for travel planning.


So, the next time you’re planning a day trip, remember to rely on Google Maps to discover attractions, create an itinerary, get directions, and share your plan with others. With Google Maps by your side, you’re sure to have a memorable and enjoyable day trip filled with exciting adventures and unforgettable experiences.