How to Make a Custom Travel Map

In light of our upcoming annual trip to New York City, I want to share with you THE biggest game changer when it comes to vacation planning....a custom travel map!

I mentioned in this post that I am an over-planner. I like having my Google Spreadsheet itinerary in hand at all times and knowing what's next on the agenda....with backup plans in place, of course! When the bakery you originally planned on visiting for a mid-morning coffee has too long of a line, sometimes you need a good plan B! It's SO important to have an idea of where you are and what is around you at all times, just incase you need to implement or kill some time.

Insert: Custom Travel Maps with Google

My saving grace. My best friend. My favorite travel buddy (sorry, Cole).

I used to print out a map and draw on every restaurant, activity, etc. and list it by number according to type. It was super time consuming, very old school, messy and inconvenient. When I discovered I could make my own personalized Google map AND have access to it at all times on my phone......hallelujah, yes and amen. All the praise hands! It has made planning our NYC vacation so much simpler and I know it will make the trip itself smoother, as well.

So, without further ado......

How To Make a Custom Travel Map with Google Maps

  1. Go to and click "Create new map."
  2. Name your map in the top left hand corner.
  3. Using the search bar, add locations. You can search by name or address! Click "+ Add to map."
  4. Repeat as many times as necessary!
  5. You can change the icon style and color to keep everything organized. 
  6. You can add notes and pictures to each location to remind yourself what it is, why you chose it, or what you want to do/order. 
  7. You can add layers per your choosing. I have a layer for each day's agenda, plus one for plan B restaurants, one for shopping/activities, and one for coffee shops......because, well, coffee :) 
  8. Click the "share" button underneath the map title to share your map with your travel companion so they can access/edit, too!
And that's it! You can access your map through the Google Drive app on your phone. I hope this helps you as much as it has me! What are your favorite vacay planning tips? 

xoxo, Amanda

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