how to be a smart traveller 2.jpeg

Recently there’s been a boom in the topic of interactive maps. This is the tool that allows you to create an online map of the area you need. Furthermore, you can add pop-up pictures and videos, schemes, tables and create your own design of the map. Creating your own map is an exciting experience.

Interactive maps are being used in various ways. They can be used in online education, building websites, and traveling, to name a few. With interactive mapping, you can create a map with pins absolutely for free and you can also reach it within a few seconds.

Let’s explore all the possibilities when it comes to creating your travel route with interactive maps.

1. CREATE YOUR MAP

Start with creating a base for your future map of travels. You can do it in either Google Maps or any other app of choice.

2. TITLE THE MAP

I mean, there’s nothing more to this step than the title suggests. Be creative! Don’t just label “My map 2021”. Choose something that you’d want to share with your friends.

3. ADD SIGHTS YOU WANT TO VISIT

Now you’re able to add all the sights you’ve dreamt of visiting. It may be restaurants, monuments, cafes, museums. Brainstorm as many locations as you possibly can. Use an in-built coordinate locator in the app. For my previous trip abroad, I used ShowMyMap. It was quite convenient as I didn’t have to organize my data there. Everything was done by a computer program.

If you’ve got a place that hasn’t got the name or isn’t under any street, try to find the coordinates. The app you’re using will put that place on the map. The mentioned above app also can find the location by IP maps.

The steps if you’re using Google Maps:

  • Enter the name of the place in a search line, press enter
  • A green pin will appear on the map
  • Click on the name of the green pin
  • Click “add to map”
  • The pin will change to a red color

planning summer adventures 2.jpeg

4. ADD OTHER KINDS OF PLACES

  • Food &Beverages: This category stands for places you can stay to eat. If you want to go the extra mile, you can break cafes and restaurants into further categories.
  • The countryside: If you’re traveling very long distances with rural areas, it’s a wonderful category to make. Also, that’ll make it easier to follow road directions if you’ve broken the steps down into smaller chunks.
  • Activities: There, include things like walking sightseeing, hiking, snorkeling, boat riding, etc.
  • Hotels/Hostels: Add things like hotels or hostels to this category. Browse the prices, compare them, and include the most convenient options.
  • Shopping: You will surely pass by huge malls and must-see boutiques. The last time I traveled, I made a comparison note between the popular shopping chains of a particular country. Also, don’t forget about popular flea markets in some areas as they’re great to dive deeper into the region’s culture. Browse any further shopping choices for necessary needs.

5. WRITE COMMENTS TO THE PLACES YOU WANT TO VISIT

Before you set off, remind yourself once again why a certain sight is important for you to visit. The problem is, you may stuff your map with numerous locations, and at some point, you’ll have to make a choice between some of them. For example, if you spent way too much time walking around Louvre, you may not have enough time for the Gardens of Luxembourg in Paris. So, plan in advance and set priorities about a sight by writing comments.

What’s more, if you’ve added a restaurant to the interactive map, write down the dish you need to try there. It’s also a nice idea to browse the busy hours of a place so that you don’t end up waiting for hours in a queue.

Woah, that’ll definitely be more of a travel book than a map!

6. ADD PICTURES

Together with the notes, add a picture to a place in your interactive map. Google the sight to find the image or follow the URL of a photo if you’ve got it.

planning summer adventures.jpeg

7. CUSTOMISE WITH ICONS AND LABELS

Another useful idea would be to create specific color schemes for each category of place (food, hotel, museum, activity, etc.) For example, you can make your “Historical places” category in a dark brown color, “Activities” in a blue one, and so on and so forth. Or you can create a specific unique label for each of those categories. The choice is yours.

As we’ve mentioned above, it’s important to specify the priorities of the sights you’ve put on the map. For instance, if you have 15 museums to see in Paris and you kind of have a feeling that you won’t have the time for them all. The solution would be to put the must-see places in red color, the “if I have the time” in orange and now you’re able to tell the importance at one glance

8. GET DIRECTIONS AND DISTANCES

How frustrating that is to take the wrong turn, second-guess your road decisions, and get stuck in a traffic jam! Some interactive maps’ options are to give you the optimized directions with calculated distances for whatever place you go to.

planning summer adventures.jpeg

9. BOOK ACCOMMODATION

And when you’re finally able to see where you’re going to spend the majority of your time, you may choose your stay with confidence. It’s useful to first have a completed map on hand and then go through the process of picking the accommodation. The reason for this is that you’ll be aware of what hotel’s or hostel’s location is more convenient for your route.

We recommend choosing popular services like Airbnb or Booking, as they’re trusted by the majority of travelers. If you’re ve-e-e-ery on a budget, try Couchsurfing. The latter will enable you to stay at a welcoming stranger’s place for free.

10. SHARE YOUR MAP WITH FELLOW TRAVELLERS

This step speaks for itself! Share your map on social media for your friends and other interested people to see.

Oh yes, that sounds like a lot. But all this preparation will pay off. Hopefully, by the time you set off for your trip, you’ll have applied some of the tips above about using interactive maps.