How to plan a road trip with multiple destinations on google maps

Brady Gavin has been immersed in technology for 15 years and has written over 150 detailed tutorials and explainers. He’s covered everything from Windows 10 registry hacks to Chrome browser tips. Brady has a diploma in Computer Science from Camosun College in Victoria, BC. Read more.

Justin Duino is the Reviews Director at How-To Geek (and LifeSavvy Media as a whole). He has spent the last decade writing about Android, smartphones, and other mobile technology. In addition to his written work, he has also been a regular guest commentator on CBS News and BBC World News and Radio to discuss current events in the technology industry. Read more.

Whether you’re planning a day out on the town, or want to orchestrate the perfect road trip across the country, Google Maps allows you to add up to nine stops, excluding your starting point, when you make directions from both the website and the Maps app. Here’s how you do it.

Add Multiple Stops Using the Website

First, open up your browser and head on over to Google Maps. Click the “Directions” button to the right of the search bar.

By default, Maps will use your device’s location for the starting point. If you want this to be a different location, enter it now.

Next, enter the location of your first destination into the field provided, and then hit Enter. Alternatively, you can click any location on the map to get the same results.

Make sure you have either the driving or walking option selected, as Maps only lets you make multiple destinations with these two travel modes.

To add another destination, all you have to do is click either the “+” or the space below your first destination, and then start typing a new location. You can repeat this to add up to nine total stops. If you have more stops than is allowed, you may need to make another map from where you left off.

If at any point you decide you want to change up the order of your destinations, just drag any location up or down on the list using the circles on the left.

And once you’ve created your map in your web browser, you can click the “Send directions to your phone” link to send it to your mobile device by email or text message. Assuming you’ve got the Google Maps app installed, you can open it right up.

Add Multiple Stops Using the Mobile App

You can use the Google Apps mobile app (free for iPhone, iPad, and Android) to create a map with multiple destinations in much the same way.

Fire up the Google Maps app on your mobile device, and then tap the blue “Go” button on the bottom right of your screen.

By default, Maps uses your device’s location for the starting point. If you want this to be a different location, enter it now.

Start typing in your first destination or tap a location on the map below to start your journey.

Next, open the menu (the three dots at the top right), and then tap the “Add Stop” command.

Enter the location of your next stop, or tap anywhere on the map to add the next destination.

To change the order of your destinations, just drag any of the locations up or down the list using the “Hamburger” (three stacked lines) on the left.

When you’ve added all the stops to your trip, go ahead and tap “Done” so you can start your journey.

We show you how to add more than 10 destinations in Google Maps using Notepad and a handy URL bar trick. Then, we show you how to send it to your phone.

Google Maps is a fantastic tool for online navigation and geographical awareness, but it can start to break down once you try to plan a route with more than 10 destinations.

In a bid to make things less complicated, Google limits the numbers of stops a user can add, which can be frustrating for long road trips. With a relatively simple trick, however, you can bypass this restriction.

Navigating in Google Maps with unlimited stops

To add more than 10 destinations in Google Maps, you need access to the web app on PC or mobile. It’s then possible to add additional co-coordinates by modifying the URL in your search bar.

This method of adding more than 10 multiple stops in Google Maps is a bit more work. But a more complex Google Map route will ultimately stop you from going astray.

How to Add More than 10 Destinations on Google Maps

Once you have Google Maps open, follow the guide below to add more than 10 destinations.

    Plan a route map with multiple stops in Google Maps

If your URL bar lists place names instead of co-ordinates, head to each location, remove it, and right-click to add it to the list rather than typing in its name.

Click and drag on your URL bar or press Ctrl + A to highlight all of the text. Then, right-click the bar and select “Copy” or press Ctrl + C on your keyboard.

Press Start and then type “Notepad”. Click the top result.

Paste the URL in your Notepad document for editing

Delete everything from the “@” symbol or later. We won’t need this for our route to work.

Plan a new route on Google Maps

Start a new route on Google Maps with your remaining destinations, making sure to right-click and choose “Directions from here” rather than typing the place name.

Copy the URL of the new route

Paste the text into your Notepad document

You’ll want to copy all of the text after “dir” and before “@”.

Paste the Google Map route co-ordinates at the end of your first URL

As a reminder, this should replace everything from the “@” symbol forward. Leave it in and your URL will not work.

Paste the URL into your browser bar and press ‘Enter’

You should now see more than 10 destinations on Google Maps in its sidebar. But now that you know how to add multiple locations on Google Maps desktop, you’ll want to know how to get them to your mobile.

Press the ‘Send directions to your phone’ button in the sidebar

After selecting your device, you’ll get a notification in your Google Maps app. After clicking it, the route will automatically populate with more than ten stops.

If you found this tutorial helpful, you may be interested in our recent guide to measuring distance on Google Maps. Like most of us, you’re probably deep in the Google ecosystem, so here’s how to change your Windows 10 search to Google instead of Bing.

Planning a road trip can be daunting, but the process can be a cinch with the right tools and resources. By plotting travel locations into Google Maps, you get a birds-eye view of your itinerary, trip mileage, driving times, and you can load your custom map on your smartphone for turn-by-turn navigation. Here’s how to plan a road trip with Google Maps.


To plan a road trip with Google Maps, open My Maps to create a custom itinerary. From there, you can pin multiple locations, draw routes, and share the map with others.


How to create a custom map for your road trip

To properly plan a road trip, you’ll have to create a custom map, which requires accessing Google Maps from a desktop. However, you can view your custom map on the Android or iOS apps once completed.

To start, click open the Menu in the top left corner of the screen and then Your Places. From there, select Maps on the far right tab and Create Map at the bottom of the list. This will bring you to a new page to create your custom map.

The first thing to do would be to give your map a name. Click where it says Untitled map in the upper-left box to open the Edit map title and description menu. Add a name and description for your map, and then click Save.

Next, select the theme for your base map. Different themes can be helpful for various purposes. For example, it might be beneficial to have a terrain layout for hiking trails, while planning driving routes with a basic Map or a Simple Atlas theme might be more precise.

Click the downwards-pointing arrow beside Base Map to choose your preferred theme.

Additionally, your custom map can be composed of multiple layers, each with unique details and destinations. You can add more layers by clicking Add layer in the top greyed-out bar and remove or rename layers by clicking the three dots beside its name.

Check out our complete guide for more details on what you can do with a custom map.

How to pin locations on the map

Pins help mark specific locations with unique descriptions. To add a pin, search for a place you’d like to go to, or you can click Add marker below the search bar to pinpoint a spot on the map.

Once you’ve placed your pin on the map, you can edit its title, description, and style to highlight important details. In this example, I’ve marked a ferry ramp with a departure time to Vancouver Island by clicking Edit. I’ve also customized the icon to reflect a vehicle ferry by clicking the paint-bucket icon.

How to draw a route with multiple stops

You can draw a few types of routes on your custom maps, such as driving, walking, or bicycling routes. For this example, I’ll draw a driving course and demonstrate adding additional stops to it.

First, click the Draw a line icon beneath the search bar and then Driving route.

Next, select your starting point on the map. I’ve chosen my Ferry Ramp Arrival pin as my starting point in this example. Then, select your destination. For this example, I’ve chosen the small town of Chemainus. Google will automatically create a new layer with the fastest route between the two points.

To see the distance and time it will take to drive, click Step-by-step directions from the menu on your new layer.

Let’s say I want to stop for lunch along the way. You can add a stop to your driving route to plan just that by clicking Add destination. In this example, I’ve zoomed in on the map to find a highly-rated restaurant I want to visit.

From there, type in the name of the stop you want to add or click it on the map. Then, you can click or drag the stop to prioritize where you want to go first. In this case, I’ve moved my lunch stop from C to B since it will be in the middle of my visits.

The new stop will be added to your custom map, and the step-by-step will be updated accordingly. You can add as many stops along your route as you wish.

How to share your road trip and make it collaborative

You can share your custom map with others, so you can all collaborate on planning the road trip together. This is a great way to have your travel companions on the same page or let those you’ll be visiting keep track of your route.

Head to the Google My Maps website, sign in, and select the Owned tab to share a map. Your custom map should be listed here.

Click the Share Map button on your custom map. This will give you options to share your custom map on Facebook or Twitter, through email, or by embedding it on your website.

With road closures, traffic jams and multiple locations all over town, reaching all your destinations for the day seems like an impossible task.

Well, whatever route you are attempting to plan, don’t fret, as we have the solution to your worries.

We can not only, help you plan a multi stop route – in the most stress-free manner – but also, calculate most efficient driving route, with time to spare.
Hold up, we know what you’re thinking: don’t I have Google for that?

Well, to a degree you’re right. But, – and it’s a big but – while Google Maps allows users to enter multiple destinations (separately), it doesn’t calculate the most efficient route. This is where we come in! Users can add as many as 1000 addresses, and sit back and relax while the route optimization tool calculates the most cost and time efficient route for you, saving you a lot of money and resources.

The Biggest Player

When it comes to the mapping industry, we all know that Google Maps wears the crown, as the ultimate route planner.

Whether you’re getting real-time updates, beating traffic, and receiving navigation guidance to avoid wrong turns, Google guarantees that with its constant updates, the Map’s possibilities are endless!

As Google nicely puts on the app store, “Google Maps makes navigating your world faster and easier”

But, at the end of the day route planning isn’t just about plopping the addresses into Google and expecting the hard work to be done for you. Anyone who has ever tried to plan a multi-stop trip is well aware of how much of a hassle it is. Your best bet is to figure out an optimal route plan. This can be done by defining several parameters such as:

  1. Locations – where, when, how many.
  2. Your main priorities – which locations you need to reach immediately, which ones can wait.

However, even after considering these things, Google has a big problem that seems to be overlooked. When it comes to using Google Maps to find the shortest route with multiple destinations, Maps seems to fail. Google Maps is great if you’re just making a small number of stops as you can easily plan the route yourself. However, for a long journey with multiple stops, Google Maps falls short, as it requires you to manually enter each destination one-by-one in the order you would like to visit them – a very tedious job, wouldn’t you agree?

Luckily, with MyRouteOnline’s Google Maps multi route planner you can enjoy the best of both worlds. We utilize Google Maps incredible platform to form the basis of our online route planner.

You wouldn’t travel from A to C to B, right?
Google Maps is used for planning routes between A to B, while MyRouteOnline has the ability to plan a multi stop route. However complex this may be, we take into consideration all your planned destinations and calculate the optimal route for you. Saving you time, money and fuel.

We help you make smart business decisions by removing the hard work and doing all the calculations for you. Our map produces a clear and efficient plan for you to follow, that factors in travel time and the proximity of destinations – to avoid backtracking and wasting valuable work time.

We aim to focus on the quality of your journey, and all that goes with it while maximizing the number of destinations you’re able to reach.

For example: Here you can see multiple addresses plotted out:

Google Maps Route Planner

If you need to make dozens, or maybe even hundreds of stops, it becomes impossible to map a route by yourself. MyRouteOnine route optimization tool, helps you plan the best route between multiple locations. This can be done in three simple steps, with our Multi-Stop Route Planner:

  1. Import your list of destinations from Excel — no need to type anything
  2. Click Plan My Route – the system will plan your route for you
  3. Open your route with MyRoute app – to navigate with Google Maps

MyRouteOnline – Route Planner

MyRouteOnline customers who require a navigation assistant can take advantage of the MyRoute app. Available for iPhone and Android, the app allows you to manage any route we plan using a mobile device. Plus, if you’re accustomed to Google Maps layout, you can use it with Google Maps to enjoy the best of both worlds.

Key Takeaways

When you have numerous destinations, it’s very likely you’ll find yourself backtracking or losing valuable time due to road closures, traffic jams, changes in the schedule and so on. Having a route planner is an advantageous step to secure your survival in your industry’s competitive field. Choosing to implement a route optimization tool is the key to keeping track of all customers, and guarantee you’re utilizing face-to-face working time. You’ll be shocked to discover how much your productivity levels increase with our great tool.

In 2020, Google Maps was used by a billion users per month. It’s the go-to free route planner and route mapping tool when it comes to planning personal trips, measuring the distance between two locations, and discovering new, exciting landmarks from one’s surroundings. It’s a great multi-stop route planner for personal use.

Although it has many benefits for both individual users and small mom-and-pop stores, there is one thing Google Maps can’t do – route optimization for commercial routing. And logistics-intense businesses need route optimization to cut costs, make more money, and save time.

Table of Contents

When to Use Google Maps as a Route Planner

The Google Maps route planner was created for helping individual users to:

  • Get from point A to point B
  • Discover new places
  • Find local businesses
  • Mapping a bike, jog, or walk route
  • Planning personal trips

How to Optimize My Route Using Google Maps

Google Maps can be used for any type of routing as long as it doesn’t require route optimization: there is no such thing as a Google route optimization tool. When adding more than 2 stops to a Google Maps route, you have to manually change the sequence of stops to ensure you’ll navigate the shortest and fastest route.

When Not to Use Google Maps as a Route Planner

The Google Maps Route planner might not be what you’re looking for if you run a delivery business, courier service, field service operation, or any other logistic-intense company. Furthermore, if you need a multi-stop route planner that should be capable of routing more than 10 addresses, Google’s routing solution is not it.

When you need to plan routes as per your business needs and optimization constraints, Google Maps cannot help you.

You need to switch from the Maps route planner to a multi-stop routing software, route optimization software, or route planner when you wish to:

  • Plan routes with hundreds of thousands of addresses in seconds
  • Optimize your routes as per your type of fleet, customer variables, and business rules
  • Make more money by visiting more customers in less time and with fewer resources
  • Spend less on gas and payroll
  • Analyze routing data and generate reports with logistics KPIs
  • Enable delivery team communication and collaboration

For more detailed advantages and disadvantages comparison, we recommend comparing Google Maps with dedicated route planning software solutions. For example, Route4Me vs Google Maps or Google driving directions vs MapQuest, etc.

How to Plan a Multi-Stop Route on Google Maps

Although it requires planning your stop sequence ahead, you can plan a multi-stop route on Google Maps. You can add up to 10 stops to a Google Maps route. The downside to planning a Google Maps multi-stop route is that you can’t optimize it. In other words, to plan a cost-efficient Google Maps route you need to sequence your stops manually.

Here’s how to plan a multi-stop route in 6 easy steps:

1. Open the Google Maps Website & Click on the Directions Icon

Open your internet browser and go to Google Maps either by typing the web address manually in the address bar or by simply searching for “Google Maps” on Google.

After opening the Google Maps website, click on the blue arrow button on the top left side of the screen.

2. Input the Start Address

The Google Maps web route planner allows you to type in an address, use your current location, or pick a point on the map as the starting point of your multiple stop route. To choose a start address right from the map, you need to right-click on the map and select the Directions from here option.

Alternatively, you can input addresses completely or partially and select one of the suggested options.

3. Add the Destination Address

Next, type in the address of your first destination or drop a pin on the map and use it as the first route stop.

4. Add Multiple Stops on Google Maps

After completing step 4, click on the circled plus button to begin adding your multiple stops. Repeat this process until you’ve managed to add all of your 10 delivery addresses. After adding each address, you will automatically get Google driving directions to it from the previous stop.

Move added stops to change the sequence and manually select the best address order for your route. You can change the order of the stops on your route by clicking on an address, dragging, and dropping it to the right place in the list.

5. Dispatch the Google Maps Route to Mobile – Send Route to Mobile

The final step of creating a multiple stop route with the Google Maps route planner is sharing the route with your drivers. To dispatch the Google Maps multiple stop route, click on the Send to your phone button at the top of the screen.

6. Navigate the Google Maps Route on Mobile

After planning your multi stop route on Google Maps and sending it to your phone, you can navigate the route using the Google Maps route planner app on an iOS or Android device.

Route Planner vs Google Maps Web Route Planner

When planning a multi-stop route on a route planner or routing software, you will get considerably better outcomes than with Google Maps. The route distance and route duration will be significantly smaller on a route planned on a multi-stop route planner than on Google Maps.

Since you have to manually optimize Google Maps route planner multi-stop routes, the final routing result might not meet your expectations. Whereas the stop routes on a route planned and optimized on the Route4Me route planner will be automatically sequenced in the most cost-efficient and cost-effective way.

Below, you can see an example of Route4Me vs Google Maps driving directions for the same locations on the map. Additionally, you can try comparing Google Maps vs MapQuest driving directions or any other route planning or route optimization software.

Get the Route4Me Free Route Planner Unlimited Stops Trial today and Win the Last Mile!

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Create a Road Trip Map with Multiple Stops

When planning the perfect road trip, you are filled with excitement and anticipation. Many people forget about essential errands such as packing snacks, tunes to listen to on the way there, clothes for different climates along the travel route—but not everyone forgets that they should have their car checked out before leaving.
On-road trips, the most common problems occur when individuals are unprepared for emergencies and don’t consider fuel costs. Often people get stranded without water or other supplies on highways with few rest stops and gas stations. It is important to identify the nearest gas stations at certain points in your journey to prevent this from happening.

Create your Road Trip

People who benefit from multi stop road trip planner

When planning a road trip with the most efficient route between multiple destinations, various people would benefit from the features of our road trip planner are:

  1. Families who take vacations benefit from the ability to plan out different paths and checkpoints to maximize their time together, along with minimizing the amount of stress during travel.
  2. College kids on break going home would also like having an easy way to go back home and explore areas they’ve never been before by taking alternate roads or trails that get them there faster via more popular highways. Parking is more accessible too.
  3. People about to embark on a post-graduate road trip enjoy taking one last big adventure before settling down into adulthood. Sharing costs would be easier when the route is efficiently planned.
  4. Retirees who want to see the country while travelling at leisurely speeds want to enjoy the scenery instead of cutting corners through cities using interlinking highways.
  5. Tour operators planning a scenic route with specific stops at tourist hotspots and eateries.

Solutions to the Common Problems
Before heading out on your road trip, be sure to have a mechanic check over your car. Top off all the fluids and make sure it is in working condition for an extended drive. While you’re at it, plan out where you want to visit along the way so that stops are planned accordingly.
Pack an emergency kit that includes flashlights, blankets, bottled water, and non-perishable snacks to be prepared for being stranded in the middle of nowhere. Having a roadside assistance number on hand like AAA is also helpful if you get stuck, so don’t forget to include it when packing your car with supplies.
This program is easy to use, allowing you to set up routes before heading out with the saved directions accessible through your smartphone once driving. With hands-free navigation of these preset paths, this app ensures focus on both road safety and family or friends in tow. Using a multiple stops road trip planner will save you fuel and ensure that your car doesn’t break down in a deserted spot.
When trip planning, having a good route planner will give you some additional information. For example, it will be able to tell you any service stations in the surrounding areas that you may want to visit.
Try Our Driving Route Planner for Free!

We have long been able to get directions to multiple destinations at once using Google Maps on our computers, but the mobile version has limited users to one destination at a time until recently. Newer versions of the Google Maps app allow users to add a stop to their navigation. Unfortunately, we are currently limited to one stop at a time, so we still need to use the web version of Google Maps to find routes with more than two destinations.

The addition of stops in the mobile app is mostly geared towards finding a gas station or a place to eat along your way, not planning extended road trips. I would like to see more of the desktop functionality added to the app, but for now, the single stop is a step in the right direction. Here’s how to use it.

1. Launch the Google Maps app on your phone. Type the address or name of your final destination into the search bar on the top of the screen.

2. Tap on the car icon in the bottom corner.

3. You will be shown a lot of information, such as how long it will take you to get to your destination by car, bus, bike or by walking. There may be alternate routes shown in gray that you can tap to select. Tap the icon in the bottom right corner of the screen to start navigating.

4. Tap on the magnifying glass to find your stop.

5. Find your stop in one of the suggested categories, or search for it by name or address by tapping Search for more places. If you use one of the pre-set categories, the results will be shown on your map, and you can see how far out of your way they are to choose the quickest stop.

6. Tap to confirm the added stop when prompted.

If you try to add a second stop before you reach the first, you will be prompted to replace your stop or cancel. You cannot have more than one stop and one destination at a time.

Ashley is a mom, engineer, writer, and lover of gadgets and doing things efficiently.

A good route map for your trip is always handy! There are various options for creating these and so designing your route as needed.

Which route is your easiest or most convenient? That will mainly be your personal preference. We discuss the options known to us and you decide which one you like the best. Is any option missing for you? Let us know!

Some questions we have received from different visitors in recent years:

– How to add more than 10 destinations in Google maps
– Can I add more than 10 destinations on Google Maps?
– How do I add multiple locations on Google Maps?
– How many stops can I add to Google Maps?
– How do I add multiple destinations on Google Maps app?

Those are great questions, because in Google maps you cannot add more than 10 waypoints.

This feature is hidden, and you can only find it using a difficult work-around. Hence this Google maps route generator.

You can now easily plan routes for work, vacation or a road trip. By combining various maps, you can now generate a route with a few clicks.

A workaround is available, but you have to copy and paste the url into your browser, and then make various changes to it. Not easy, and certainly not fast!

How can I add more than 10 waypoints in Google maps, and how can I process a route without having to use different Google Maps URLs or maps?

Here an explanation how you can add multiple locations in Google maps. Then use the Google Map Generator to connect multiple locations with each other.

Add Stops on Desktop Navigate to Google Maps in your browser. Click the blue arrow next to the search bar to start entering directions. Enter a start and end destination. Click the plus () sign below your final destination to select Add Target.

In this article :

How do I add multiple locations to Google my business?

To add a new location to an existing business group: See the article : How to add destinations on uber.

  • Log in to Business Profile Manager.
  • At the top left, click the & quot; Business & quot; tab. …
  • Use the drop-down menu to select a business group. …
  • Click Add Location.
  • Enter your business name, location, and other details.
  • Follow the instructions to create the new profile.

Can a business have 2 addresses? Answer: Yes, but … In order to have more than one Google business list at the same address, you must legally operate several legally separate businesses. It’s not uncommon for more than one business to be found at a common address, but you should keep reading for more supplies and details.

Can you have 2 places in Google My Business? Google does not allow multiple businesses to post to all sites at once. You can copy and paste your message to any location if it’s similar, but for now, the only way to post on multiple profiles at once is with 3rd party software (more on that later).

  • What destinations does southwest fly to
  • What cities does southwest fly to

Can you have multiple destinations on Google Maps?

Whether you’re planning a day out in the city, or want to direct the perfect road trip across the country, Google Maps allows you to add up to nine stops, excluding your starting point when making directions from both the web and the web. To see also : What destinations does jetblue fly to. Maps application.

Can you add multiple destinations to Google Maps? When you find what you’re looking for, click the Directions button. Now click on the three dots at the top right and select ‘Add stop’. Enter the details and the stop will be automatically added to your list. You can add up to nine stops at a time.

Can Google Maps make multiple stops? Here’s how it works: Just open the app, enter a target, click the corner menu, and then click “Add stop.” To rearrange the order of your stops, press and hold the stop you want to move, and drag it to the position you want. Once you’ve added all your stops, tap “Done” and your multi-stop route is complete.

How many destinations can you put in Google Maps? You can only have 8 intermediate destinations plus the final destination, just like on Google Maps. If you need additional destinations to plan your trip, you can split the trip into several stages and create a layer direction for your usual map in My Maps for each stage. There are a maximum of 10 layers in Google My Maps.

Video : How to add destinations on google maps

How many stops can I add on Google Maps?

You can add a stop to Google Maps if you need to change directions before your final destination. It’s easy to add a stop on Google Maps with a desktop computer or the Google Maps mobile app, and you can also rearrange your destinations on both devices. To see also : What cities does jetblue fly to. You can add up to nine stops on Google Maps.

Can I have more than 10 destinations on Google Maps? To add more than 10 destinations to Google Maps, you need access to the web application on a computer or mobile phone. Then you can add more coordinates by modifying the URL in your search bar. This method of adding more than 10 multiple stops to Google Maps is a little more work.

Can you add more than 20 stops to Google Maps? Google Maps is the app to design your route, whether it’s local, national, or international, but it has some limitations. All that Google has allowed you to add for real sites is ten sites, we want to go to more, much more.

Can you make a list of destinations on Google Maps?

To create a list, simply open a place in Google Maps. Next, click the place name and the save icon, which displays several preset lists such as “Want to Go” or “Favorites. This may interest you : How to delete navigation destinations.” You can also create and name a new list.

Can I create a Google map with multiple locations? Make sure you’re logged in – you can do this by clicking the Log in button in the upper right corner. In the upper left corner, next to the search box, click the menu icon to expand the menu. Click “Your Places”, “Maps” and then click “Create Map” to edit your map.

Can you add more than 10 stops on Google Maps app?

How many stops can you add to the Google Maps app? Find your destination or hit it on the map. See the article : How many destinations does southwest fly to. Add a stop. You can add up to 9 stops.

  • You can draw a route on Google Maps that includes a driving, walking, or cycling route and save it or share it with others.
  • To create a route, open “Your places” in the menu on Google Maps and then choose “Create Map” on the Maps tab.
  • Google also allows you to draw lines and shapes on your saved maps in the Your places menu.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Google Maps may be best known for its ability to deliver turn-by-turn directions, but it has another useful purpose: You can use it to create maps on which you can draw routes, lines, and shapes. You can then save those maps or share them with others. It’s a handy way to pre-plan a trip or share driving directions with someone without needing an internet connection.

How to draw a custom route on Google Maps on a computer

Google Maps includes the tools you need to draw a route on a map and save it for future reference — you can open it anytime you want to or share a link with others.

1. Open Google Maps in a browser and make sure you are signed into your Google account.

2. Click the three-line menu at the top left corner and then, in the menu, click Your places.

3. Click the Maps tab at the top of the page. You should now see any maps you’ve already saved. If you’ve never used Your places before, this list may be empty.

4. At the bottom of the page, click Create Map.

5. On the Untitled map page, you can now choose the kind of map you want to put the route on top of. Click the dropdown arrow to the left of Base map and choose the map style you prefer.

6. Under the search field at the top of the page, click Add directions (the button looks like a Y-shaped road. You should now see an Untitled layer with fields to enter driving destinations.

7. By default, you’ll get driving directions. If you want to make a different kind of route, such as cycling or walking, click the car-shaped icon and choose the kind of route you want to draw, then click the X to close the flyout window.

8. Click in the A field and enter an address or location name, and choose it when you see it appear in the search results.

9. Repeat that process to select a location for B.

10. If you want to add additional waypoints or destinations, click Add destination and continue to add new places.

11. When you’re done, click Untitled map at the top of the page and give it a name.

Quick tip: You can send this map to another person using the Share link below the name you’ve given the map. You can also return to Your places in the future and find this map saved in the Maps tab.

How to draw a line or shape on Google Maps on a computer

Google Maps has a couple of simple drawing tools you can use to customize a map that you’ve saved to Your places. Here’s how to draw a line or a shape (like a square, triangle or polygon) on a map:

1. Open Google Maps in a browser and make sure you are signed into your Google account.

2. Click the three-line menu at the top left corner and then, in the menu, click Your places.

3. Click the Maps tab at the top of the page.

4. Open an existing map or click Create Map at the bottom of the page to create a new one.

5. Under the search field at the top of the page, click Draw a line (the button looks like three lines and three dots). Click Add line or shape in the dropdown menu.

6. Click the map where you want the shape to begin. Then:

  • To make a single straight line, drag the mouse to create the line and double-click where you want the line to end.
  • To make a line with multiple intermediate points, make a series of single clicks wherever you want the line to go, and double-click the last point to end the line.
  • To make a polygon (any shape with three or more sides), click on the map in each place you want to put a corner. To close the shape, double-click on the starting point.

7. Name the line or shape in the dialog box and click Save.

You can edit the shape after you create it. Position the mouse pointer over the line or shape — when it changes from an open hand (which you can use to drag the map around) to a closed hand with a pointing finger, click. You’ll then see the edit window. Use the tools in the lower-right corner to change the color, rename the shape, and upload an image to associate with the shape.

Quick tip: It’s often easier to select lines and objects using the layer menu, where all the objects appear in a list.

How to draw a line or shape on Google Maps on a mobile device

It’s easiest to draw lines and shapes on maps in a browser on your PC or Mac, but if you need to work on a mobile device, you can use Google’s My Maps, a web app that you can access from both Android and iOS.

1. Open My Maps in a browser on your mobile device.

2. If necessary, tap Get Started.

3. Tap Create a New Map or tap an existing map to edit.

4. Under the search field at the top of the page, click Draw a line (the button looks like three lines and three dots). Click Add line or shape in the dropdown menu. Then follow the directions in the previous section to add and edit lines and shapes on your map.

Whether you’re planning a day in the city or want to orchestrate the perfect trip across the country, Google Maps lets you add up to nine stops, excluding the starting point, when you route from the site and the Maps app. That’s how you do it.

Add multiple stops using the website

First, open your browser and go to Google Maps. Click on the “Routes” button to the right of the search bar.

By default, Maps will use your device’s location as a starting point. If you want this to be a different location, enter it now.

Then enter the location of your first destination in the field provided and press Enter. Alternatively, you can click anywhere on the map to get the same results.

Make sure you have selected the option of car or walk, as Maps only allows you to make multiple destinations with these two modes of transport.

To add another destination, all you have to do is click on the “+” or space below your first destination and then start typing a new location. You can repeat this to add up to nine stops in total. If you have more stops than allowed, you may need to make another map of where you left off.

If at any time you decide you want to change the order of your destinations, simply drag any location up or down in the list using the circles on the left.

And after creating the map in your web browser, you can click the “Send directions to your phone” link to send it to your mobile device via email or text message. Assuming you have the Google Maps app installed, you can open it right away.

RELATED: Finding public restrooms near you with Google Maps

Add multiple stops using the mobile app

You can use the Google Apps mobile app (free for iPhone, iPad, Android) to create a map with multiple destinations in the same way.

RELATED: Downloading Google Maps Data for Offline Navigation on Android or iPhone

Open the Google Maps app on your mobile device and tap the blue “Go” button in the lower right corner of the screen.

By default, Maps uses your device’s location as a starting point. If you want this to be a different location, enter it now.

Start typing your first destination or tap a location on the map below to begin your journey.

Then open the menu (the three dots in the upper right corner) and tap the “Add Stop” command.

Enter the location of your next stop or tap anywhere on the map to add the next destination.

To change the order of your destinations, simply drag any of the locations up or down in the list using the “Burger” (three stacked rows) on the left.

Once you’ve added all the stops to your trip, go ahead and tap “Done” to start the trip.

RELATED: Viewing and Deleting Your Google Maps History on Android and iPhone

When you’re ready for your next adventure, plan a road trip in Google Maps! You have all the tools you need to map out the perfect route.

Google Maps is a great tool for getting directions, finding location details, and even exploring places you’ve never been. But it’s also an excellent service for planning car trips.

We’ve shown you how to plan a hike with Google Maps, so now we’ll walk you through planning your next road trip. With your starting spot and destination, stops along the way, and a handy way to share your travel plans, let’s get to it!

Creating Your Map

The Google Maps site offers a convenient feature called My Maps. This is what you’ll use to plan your road trip.

  1. On Google Maps, click the Menu button on the top left, next to the Search box.
  2. Select Your Places.
  3. Click the Maps tab.
  4. At the bottom of the sidebar, click Create Map.

A new browser tab will open ready for you to start making those plans. Your map will be saved automatically and accessible in Google Maps and Google Drive.

Adding a Title and Description and Picking a View

By default, new maps are named Untitled Map, but what fun is that? Click the default name on the upper left. A box will open for you to give your map a title and optionally add a description. Click Save.

You can also choose the type of map view you want to use. In the box on the top left, click Base Map. Select from one of nine map views including Satellite, Terrain, and Simply Atlas.

Planning Your Road Trip

Now that the base of your map is ready, it’s time to start adding the locations. You can use the plus and minus buttons on the bottom right to zoom in and out. And simply drag the map to move it around.

Using Map Layers

Google Maps offers layers to organize your travels and all maps start with just one layer. Layers are helpful for calling out certain types of locations. For example, you can use a layer to show all restaurants and another for hotels along the way.

For this how-to, we’ll start with just one layer. But as you’ll see, new layers will be created automatically when you add directions (below). You can also add one of your own by clicking Add Layer on the top left.

Marking Your Spots

Navigate to the first place you want to mark for your trip. This can be your starting spot or another location if you prefer. In the toolbar at the top, below the search box, click the Add Marker button. Your cursor turns to a crosshair symbol.

Click the place on the map you want to mark and a box will pop open for you to add details. You can label the location by name or description by clicking the arrow next to the name. Add the details for the spot and click Save.

Optionally, you can use colors and icons for each place you mark. Click the marker and then the Style icon in the small window. If you click More Icons at the bottom, you’ll see a window with tons of icons you can use for all sorts of locations.

You can continue to add markers for all your planned stops the same way. And keep in mind, you can add markers for places you want to visit within the towns like attractions, eateries, or resorts. Then, style them with colors and icons to make them more meaningful when viewing the map.

Getting Directions

You can easily map out the directions from one marked spot to another. This can be from city to city or business to business, whatever works best for your trip.

  1. Click the marker for the spot you’re traveling to.
  2. Select the Get Directions icon in the pop-up window.
  3. You’ll see a new layer added on the left.
  4. Click the marker for the spot you’re traveling from. That location will be added to the layer and named with “Directions from [marker] to [marker]” which you can edit if you wish. You can also type a location for the starting point in the directions layer if you rather.

Using Directions Layers

You’ll notice that each Directions layer is a separate piece of the trip which is handy for expanding those specific areas.

  • Click Add Destination within a layer to add another stop.
  • Rearrange the order of the stops by dragging and dropping them in the destination list.
  • Edit or remove a stop by selecting it and clicking the Pencil (edit) or X (delete).
  • Change the mode of transportation by clicking Driving and choosing from Bicycling or Walking.
  • View the step-by-step directions by clicking Layer Options (three dots) and picking that option.

Other Helpful Tools

The toolbar at the top of the map, below the search box, contains a few other tools you may find helpful.

  • Undo and Redo icons are on the far left.
  • A Select Items tool comes next for selecting items.
  • The Add Marker tool is there to add more spots.
  • Draw a Line lets you quickly create a driving, biking, or walking route.
  • Add Directions will pop another layer into the trip for directions from the currently selected location.
  • The Measure tool lets you measure distances and areas.

Previewing and Sharing Your Map

When you finish mapping out your road trip in Google Maps, you can see a Preview of it in My Maps. Click the Preview button on the top left.

You’ll also see the Share option to the left of Preview. When you’re ready to share your map, click Share and then Enable link sharing and make the map Public per your preference. You copy a link to it by clicking the Copy button on the right of the link.

For Drive Sharing, click that button and then add people or groups to share the directions for the trip.

Viewing or Editing Your Map

You can revisit your newly created map anytime and make additions or edits to it. Go back to the spot you originally created the map. In Google Maps, click Menu > Your Places > Maps.

  • View the map: Click its name.
  • Edit the map: Click Open in My Maps.
  • Print the map: Click the Map Options button (three dots) on the top right of the edit screen and choose Print Map.

Easily Plan a Road Trip with Google Maps

If you’re ready to gas up the car, pack in the kids, and head out on the open road for your next trip, check out Google Maps for planning your routes and stops.

Google Maps is the most popular navigation app out there thanks to its host of features, fast relay of traffic information and, well, because it’s Google. Strangely, there’s one feature on Google Maps that just isn’t used all that often because Google doesn’t make it crazy-convenient to use, and that’s the option to save a route in Google Maps.

There are a couple of ways to save your favorite routes in Google Maps, which we show you here.

Pin Your Favorite Trips

On your phone, you might have noticed the “Go” tab across the bottom of the screen. This brings up a segment where all your “pinned” routes pop up at the bottom, giving you easy access to all your favorite routes that you’ve pinned.

So how do you pin a route?

Set directions to where you want to go, tap the route you want to take, then at the bottom-right corner tap “Pin.”

That route will now join your other pinned routes under the “Go” icon.

To unpin a route, just select it under the Go heading, then tap “Pinned” at the bottom right corner.

Save a Route to Your Android Homescreen

Another way to save a route you travel regularly on Google Maps is to save it to your Android homescreen.

To do this, go to the Google Maps app and set the route you want to save by entering the destination into the box and tapping “Directions.” Make sure you’ve set whether you want to travel by foot, car or public transit.

Next, tap the three-dot menu icon at the top right, then tap “Add route to Home screen.”

This will create a widget which you can touch and hold then drag wherever you want on your home screen. You can even create a folder full of these routes.

Save a Route for a Longer Trip

If you’re planning a road trip, My Maps is a great way to create a map with all the points of interest you want to go through. You can also use My Maps to create routes with multiple destinations, which you can then access in the Google Maps app.

First, go to Google My Maps in your browser or download the My Maps app for Android. We recommend the browser version for creating your route because it feels a bit easier to use, and you can save it to use in the Google Maps Android app.

Tap “Create a New Map” or the “+” icon to create a new map and give it a name.

In the map you’ve created, tap the “Add directions” icon under the search box, then enter your destinations into the Directions boxes that appear on the left side of the screen.

Once you have two destinations added to a route, you can add more by clicking “Add Destination” and either entering the destination into the new box or using your mouse to add that point to your route directly on the map.

You can add as many destinations as you want this way or even create different routes on the same map by clicking the “Add directions” icon again to create another route map layer.

Once your route is ready, you can open the Google Maps app, go to “Your places,” then tap Maps and select the map you created. Tap the route you create to bring up the best way to get to your destination(s).

In some cases, if you need to change your route, it can be easily done too. You can also show speed limits in Google Maps for over 40 countries.

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Most businesses with a small delivery fleet start off using something like Google Maps Route Planner or Mapquest Route Planner. It makes a lot of sense. When you only have a handful of deliveries, say 10 or 15 a day, it’s fairly easy to use Google Maps Route Planner to make multiple stops.

But what happens when your business is growing and you have too many stops? In this post we’ll walk you through how to use Google Maps to plan your delivery routes and highlight when you might want to consider route optimization software.

Managing local delivery routes is simple & profitable with Routific

Trusted worldwide. Powering 5 million deliveries a month.

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Does Google Maps have a route planner?

Yes, Google Maps does have a route planner, and it’s great when you have a small number of deliveries to make. It’s free, fast, and extremely user-friendly. To use Google Maps as a route planner, look no further than this helpful guide Google has put together.

With that said, there are some limitations when you’re trying to plan routes for deliveries.

  • Your routes need to be 10 stops or less
  • You can only plan for 1 driver at a time
  • You can’t optimize routes using constraints like delivery time windows, vehicle load capacities, driver breaks, etc.
  • You need to eyeball and manually determine an efficient order for your stops (this gets tricky when you need to factor in things like the constraints mentioned above)

How do I plot multiple routes on Google Maps?

Even with those limitations in mind, many businesses with small delivery fleets choose to use Google Maps Route Planner. Just keep in mind that you can’t plan multiple routes at the same time. You’ll need to plan your routes in batches.

If you’re trying to use Google Maps to route multiple locations here are a few tips:

    Driver territories: If you have more than one driver, cluster stops into driver territories. This can be done by assigning postal codes to your drivers, or by dividing the city up into neighborhoods or zones (north, south, east, west).

This ensures your drivers use the least amount of fuel for a set of deliveries. They cover one area completely instead of driving all around the city.

Also, by giving your drivers the same territories each time, they’ll build up their knowledge of the area. This will help both of you to map out the most efficient routes as you become more familiar with the area.
List your stops in the order you want to complete them: Now, within each territory, do your best to list each stop in the order you want it completed. You can do this in Google Maps directly or by using a spreadsheet.

The order of stops should be based on proximity to the next stop, as well as things like delivery time windows (when your customer wants something delivered) or office/store hours, if you’re delivering to a business

  • Give your drivers delivery instructions: To make your routes more efficient, compile notes for your drivers about where to park, drop off the delivery, delivery times, ETAs, etc. This will speed up your driver’s routes meaning you either pay less wages or can fit more stops into a single route.
  • Build routes in batches of 10: Now use Google Maps to find the shortest path between each stop. You’ll need to do this in batches of 10.
  • Dispatch routes to drivers: Google Maps gives you the option to send a route via email or SMS.

  • Repeat steps 2-5: Since you can only route 10 stops at a time, you’ll need to repeat steps 2-5 a few times until you’ve planned all your stops in an order that makes sense. What we mean by this is that your drivers don’t show up at a stop at the wrong time, that they don’t have to double-back unnecessarily, etc
  • Route Optimization Calculates Quattuorvigintillion Possible Solutions In Seconds

    That’s because you’re now dealing with something called the Traveling Salesman Problem (TSP) or Vehicle Routing Problem (VRP) . This is a complex problem mathematicians and computer scientists have been trying to solve for years. It’s also happens to be one of our favorite topics of conversation here at Routific.

    Essentially, the more stops you have to make and the more drivers you have, the more complicated it gets. In fact, the possible routing solutions grow so exponentially, it becomes impossible for any human to accurately calculate the most optimal order of stops without some help. The closest we’ve come, albeit imperfectly, is algorithms.

    Route optimization algorithms are able to quickly calculate a massive number of dependencies, including addresses, delivery time windows, driver speeds, vehicle load capacities – you name it!

    You’ll find route optimization algorithms in a variety of different route planning software – everything from free online tools to enterprise-grade fleet management solutions.

    When to consider route planning software?

    Using Google Maps when your delivery operations are small makes a lot of sense. But it becomes harder to manage as your delivery operations grow. Some signs that it’s time to make a switch could be:

    • You’re spending more than an hour planning and dispatching your routes.
    • You only find out about late or missed deliveries when a customer contacts you to complain.
    • Your customers keep contacting you about the status of their delivery.
    • You’re concerned about how much you’re spending on fuel and driver wages.
    • Your delivery operations feel messy and inefficient.

    Route planning software, especially if it includes route optimization , is like Google Maps on steroids. It will allow you to handle complex route optimization scenarios that include:

    • Multiple routes with unlimited stops.
    • Planning for delivery time windows, driver schedules, vehicle capacity, and more.
    • Easily adjusting routes to use fewer vehicles, take less time, or reduce the distance traveled.
    • Re-optimize fast when last minute changes happen.

    Route planning software designed specifically for delivery businesses often comes with additional features like:

    • Delivery status notifications
    • Driver apps
    • Live GPS tracking of drivers
    • Proof-of-delivery

    So if your delivery operations have started to outgrow Google Maps, congratulations on your success so far! Investing in route planning software might be the logical next step. It can save you time, help you train & manage drivers, and improve the delivery experience for your customers.

    Managing local delivery routes is simple & profitable with Routific

    Trusted worldwide. Powering 5 million deliveries a month.