One of the things I like most about Google Maps for Android is the large number of functions it offers to plan a journey to help you find not only the best route but also the best time to leave for a trip or which areas to avoid when parking your car.
Next, we will review nine features of Google Maps that will help you plan your routes for your next vacation, weekend getaway or work trip.
Configure your driving and public transport options
The first thing we have to do to plan our trips is to personalize the driving options. When we are calculating a route we have to click on the ‘Options’ option. there we can avoid tollshighways and/or ferries.
If we move in public transport these options are found within the ‘All Media’ and ‘Best Path’ filters. There we can choose our preferred means of transport and if we want fewer transfers, walk less, etc…
Add stops before you leave
If you are going on a long trip, or have to run an errand at different points, you can add stops before you start driving. To do this, when you are calculating a route, go to Add stop menu. You can add and organize the order of your stops. In addition, you can also add stops directly by exploring the site files on the map with the ‘Add stop’ option.
Download the route
It is highly recommended always download route if we go to a place that we do not know, since that way we make sure that the application will continue to work normally even if we are in areas without coverage during the journey. If we do not download the route, it is possible that without a data connection it will not know how to recalculate the route in case we get lost.
Check the traffic
When we are going to calculate the route to a destination, Google Maps shows us the travel time with a color. If it is green, there is no traffic, orange is that there is some heavy traffic, and red is that there are delays. By displaying the indications we can see a graph with the traffic forecast for the next few hours. So you can find out if it’s worth delaying your trip a few hours.
Define the departure or arrival time
If you are going to make a trip for another day, the best thing is and you want to know right now the duration that this journey will have, the best thing is to go to Menu > Set departure or arrival time. So you can choose the day and time you are going to leave or arrive. With the arrival time you can know what time you have to leave to arrive on time at your destination.
For the displacements of public transport we also found that option in your search filters. There you can choose the time of departure, arrival or catch the last transport that leaves for the day, although here it is highly recommended to always check from the official public transport websites.
Find out if it will cost you to park
If you are going to make a trip to a town that you do not know and you want to avoid driving around for half an hour to park, on Google Maps you can see the **difficulty in parking*. The route card can show notices with the difficulty that there is usually to park at your destination.
Google Maps does not tell you which areas are the easiest to park but it does tell us which are the busiest areas, painting the areas yellow next to an indicator. This way we can know which areas are the ones with the most movement and perhaps with the most traffic and the most difficult to park.
Set your routes
If you make or are going to make a lot of trips and you don’t want to always be calculating the route, you can pin up your favorite routes to have direct access to them from the tab ‘To go’ from Google Maps. The problem is that this feature does not allow to set routes with stops.
Add your routes on the home screen
Another interesting feature, and one that does allow you to save routes with stops, is the option to add the route to the home screen. When we are calculating a route and we have already selected its route and its stops, we can go to Menu > Add route to home screen. A shortcut will be added to the home screen with the path.
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