With the countless articles, blogs, travel apps, social posts, and word-of-mouth recommendations flying at us everyday, I found myself trying to list and keep track of hotspots I really wanted visit. The reality is, it’s very difficult to keep track with a high degree of practicality.
Harness The Power of Google Maps
It was actually at the wedding of one of my dear friend’s sister that this absolute diamond of a life-hack was bestowed on me from another guest.
It’s very simple.
Google Maps is an app most of us use day-to-day to orientate ourselves, get directions, and plan journeys – but there is another, under-used function I believe the majority of us are missing: the ability to save places.
My Google Maps System
You can get more sophisticated than this, but I run a very simple system to keep track of places I like, love, and want to visit. It works perfectly for me.
All places I’ve enjoyed and would return to
Places I Love, My Favourites
These places promise a superior overall experience. This is usually reserved for places I frequent because they mean something special to me
Want to Go
All places I read about, hear about, and spot on my way get pinned for future adventures!
Why I love using Google Maps to Keep Track
1. It’s an app most of us already use
My favourite part of this tip is that it’s utilising a feature on an app I was already using frequently.
2. It actually helps you work through your to-do list
Because it is an app I use to orientate myself and plan my journeys, no matter where I am in the world, this tip is super practical. There have been countless instances when I’ve gone to locate myself using Google Maps and I’ve realised I’m right around the corner from a ‘want to go’ place I read about months ago, or I’m up the street from a forgotten star!
3. It keeps your recommendation game strong
It’s especially handy in those moments where you find yourself ‘in charge’ of other people’s happiness and you’re tasked with the classic, “Hey Laura, you know this area well, anywhere good we can go for dinner around here?”. The answer is probably “YES!” – but with this awesome system, finding the best place in that spontaneous moment is far more likely when you can quickly open up Google Maps and see five places within walking distance that you feel confident will be the perfect setting.
4. It’s fantastic for wander-lust
As someone who is a certified frequent traveller, this system absolutely elevates my experience before, during, and after each trip.
As an example, last month I travelled to Kiev, Ukraine for the first time. Beforehand I contacted a friend of mine who is from Ukraine and she gave me a fantastic list of recommendations – I immediately started saving these recommendations in Google Maps as ‘want to go’.
Fast-forward – I’m sitting in a restaurant with my friends, I locate myself on Google Maps, and now my recommendation list comes to life. I can see what’s nearby, and really start to plan my time effectively. My friends and I ticked off some fantastic gems in the short time we had to explore.
I definitely feel like I was able to maximise my trip by only visiting places I really wanted to go.
It’s also an exciting prospect to know I have loads of places all over the world waiting for me when I touch down at my next destination, whether it’s Sweden, Spain, or Singapore…
5. Be warned, it’s addictive
I have to admit, when I started using Google Maps in this way I became totally addicted, starring hundreds of places I’d been over the years. It is super satisfying and I love changing ‘want to go’ places to ‘starred’.
This is what London looks like…
How to Save Your First Place in Google Maps
Open the app
Find your place in the search bar
Swipe up on the location
Select your desired icon in the pop-up list
You’re ready to go!
Over to you
What do you do to keep track of the amazing recommendations available to us? Do you have a system or hack to share? Or did the article above convert you to a Google Mapper?