When I travel abroad, one of my main goals is to see the most around and make sure I don’t get to waste time zig zagging back and forth the same places or running in circles.
For that I keep myself very organized before heading anywhere choosing all the spots I want to visit.
Here it is step by step on how to map your trip and make sure you get the most out of it:
STEP 1: Making a list of all spots to visit.
Well, we need a starting point so choose your location.
If I could recommend: London, Iceland, Italy, Portugal, Germany and Spain and very easy to navigate and with tons of great places to see.
Once that’s done, I start with a notepad and a pen by my side and a simple search on Pinterest.
You can choose to start with key points like:
⁺ Places to visit in London
⁺ Favorite London spots
Here it is an example:
Open all pins and read all blog posts that you find interesting and add them name by name to a list, keep taking notes of all places you see out there. Don’t worry much about distance or if it is on the way or close to where you are. Just write down each and all places you like and make your list.
Once your list is set, we are ready for our next step: MAPPING IT OUT.
STEP 2: Mapping all your locations.
There are several ways of mapping your trip but creating a pin pointed map on Google Maps will be your best options since you get to connect the dots afterwards figuring it out what would be the best route to go.
For this, our main goal is to: VISIT SEVERAL LOCATION FROM THE CLOSEST TO THE FARTHEST WITHOUT WALKING IN CIRCLES.
For that, we will use Google Drive:
Go to NEW > MORE > GOOGLE MY MAPS
1. In the search bar, start typing the first location from your notepad.
2. Click + Add to the map.
3. You will see your first pin point being added to the left side column.
4. Name your trip, it’s cute!
Keep repeating the same 3 first steps to add all the locations to your map.
⚠️ DO NOT forget to add your airbnb / hotel location to the pins since that will be our starting point.
STEP 3: Finding the best route.
Now that your map is all set with all the places you have found and would like to see, we will start creating a route that works best from where you are staying.
A few disclaimers here:
⚠️ You probably will notice that some locations will be super far or maybe even crossing into another country (especially if it is Europe). That’s totally ok and its totally up to you if you want to stretch that far to go see something. It’s whatever works best with your schedule.
⚠️ I tend to walk A LOT when I travel abroad. I like to go from point A to B, to C, to D and so forth walking because I believe you always get to find nice corners while looking around. In case you don’t want to walk, you can probably take public transportation or Uber.
⚠️ I also like to see A LOT in one day so I tend to start early and pack most of my days. Plan according to what fits best for you.
Here it’s the step by step of this next process:
1. Click on ADD LAYER
2. You will see an untitled layer showing up (2), name it DAY 1. That will be all the places you will include for your first day route.
3. Click on DRAW A LINE (3). A menu will drop giving options of how you want to get around. I have chosen WALK.
4. Click on your airbnb / hotel pin point (4) on the map to start since this is where we will leave from every single day.
5. Then take a look at your map and see what would be the best next step to head around your stay pin.
⚠️ I would recommend tracing your path as a circle that always takes you back closer to your stay.
6. You will see your first point being added to the left side column (6).
7. Click ADD DESTINATION (7) and repeat the process until you have routed all your points.
Here it is a photo and a quick video of each step:
After that, keep creating layers and grouping other locations separating them by days until all the places you want to see are traced and ready to be explored.
Now you have your locations mapped and that means: no wondering around wasting time and going in circles.
Once getting to your destination, pull up the map and open it with Google Maps to follow the route.
Hope you get to explore many cool places!