How to Add Multiple Locations on Google Maps: Step-by-Step Guide

keyKey Takeaways:
  • For those needing to add multiple destinations, Google Maps offers real-time route adjustments, turn-by-turn directions, and estimated arrival times, streamlining travel planning.
  • When using Google Maps, you can manually optimize your route by rearranging stops, considering traffic conditions, and avoiding tolls or ferries to enhance efficiency.
  • Google Maps has limitations, including a maximum of 10 stops and no automated route optimization, making it less suitable for complex itineraries.
  • To add multiple stops on Google Maps, open Google Maps > Tap the “directions” button > Tap “Add destination” > Click Search bar to locate and enter your desired address > Click the three dots icon > Tap “Add Stop” > Keep repeating until you have added the desired number of stops > tap “Finished” > Click “Start” to start navigation.

In a world where efficiency matters, Google Maps stands as an essential navigation tool. More than a billion people turn to Google Maps every month, and each week, over five million active apps and websites use the Google Maps splatform’s core products.

Whether you are a delivery driver, salesperson, or traveler on a road trip, you must have faced the challenge of planning multiple stops along the way at some point. 

This is where Google Maps comes in to save the day. Google Maps is capable of much more than simply directing you from point A to point B. This blog walks you through adding multiple stops on Google Maps for multi-stop route planning, saving your precious time and effort.

So, let’s embark on a journey to simplify your navigation with Google Maps.

Turn complex routes into simple journeys

How Google Maps Handles Multiple Stops for Effortless Route Planning

Google Maps is more than simply navigation software; it’s the perfect routing companion, especially if your plan includes multiple stops. If you’re wondering how to add a location in Google Maps, let’s first take a closer look at how the magic of multiple stops works:

1. Planning efficiency: Google Maps offers the functionality to create map (s) with multiple locations, which makes things easier while traveling to more than one destination. This feature is a time-saving ally.

2. Real-time route adjustments: Google Maps recalculates your route based on your stop sequence in real time. As you add destinations, real-time traffic data is taken into account to ensure you take the shortest and fastest route to each location.

3. Turn-by-turn directions: Google Maps provides turn-by-turn directions for every segment of your route. This eliminates the need to enter each address or location data manually. Rather, the software takes you from one location to the next automatically.

4. Time estimations: Google Maps gives estimated arrival times for each destination, allowing you to organize your day better. Whether it’s an important business meeting or delivering packages on time, you’ll know exactly when you’ll arrive.

5. Flexibility: Not everything goes as planned. Google Maps adjusts on the go if you need to make an unscheduled halt. It provides simple directions to your new location without any fuss.

6. Sharing your journey: You can share your current location and directions with others for increased convenience. They can keep track of your progress and meet you along the way.

7. Route optimization: While Google Maps ensures efficient navigation, it’s essential to note that it doesn’t optimize routes when you have multiple stops. That’s where advanced route planning tools come into play, allowing you to fine-tune your journey for maximum efficiency.

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How to Add Multiple Locations in Google Maps App (on iPhone/Android)

For Android and iOS users, adding multiple locations on Google Maps is a straightforward process. To learn how to mark multiple locations on Google Maps, follow these steps:

adding stops on google maps

1. Open the Google Maps app: Open the Google Maps application on your iOS or Android device. If you don’t already have it, you can get it from Google Play Store or the App Store.

2. Set your initial destination: Begin by clicking the “Directions” button and entering your starting location. For that, tap the “Your location” search box at the top of your screen and enter the location’s name or address. Google automatically sets your current location as the starting location, which you can change if needed.

clicking the Directions button in google maps

3. Select your first stop: After you’ve entered your starting location, type your first stop into the “Choose destination” search field. 

Select your first stop in google maps

4. Add additional stops: To add more stops to your route, tap the three-dot menu icon (usually located in the upper right corner). Then, select “Add stop.” A new search bar will appear, allowing you to enter the name or address of your next stop. You can add up to nine destinations by repeating this step.

Add additional stops in google maps

5. Reorder stops: You can change the sequence of your stops using the drag-and-drop feature. Tap and hold the stop you wish to move and drag it to the desired position on the list.

Reorder stops in google maps

6. Finish adding stops: Once you’ve added all your desired stops and arranged them in the preferred order, tap “Finished” to save your route.

Finish adding stops in google maps

7. Choose transportation mode: Choose your preferred means of transportation, whether it’s driving, cycling, or walking. Google Maps will suggest delivery routes based on your selection. Preview these route options to pick the one that suits you.

8. Start navigation: Tap “Start” to begin your journey with turn-by-turn navigation, which will guide you through all your stops efficiently.

Google Maps is available as a mobile app and on the website, and it can also be accessed on a desktop.

How to Add Multiple Locations on Google Maps Using the Website

Google Maps is a versatile tool not only available on mobile devices but also accessible through the website on your desktop. If you prefer planning your routes on a larger screen, follow these steps to map multiple locations on the Google Maps website:

1. Open Google Maps on your desktop: Launch your preferred web browser and go to the web version of Google Maps by visiting maps.google.com.

2. Choose your transportation mode: There is a “Directions” (blue) button in the top left  corner. To begin planning your journey, click on it. Pick a method of transportation that suits you best, such as driving, biking, or walking. Note that multiple stops are not supported by public transport mode.

3. Set your starting location: Your starting point will be automatically determined by Google Maps based on your current location. Click “Your location” at the top of the screen to update it if it’s incorrect.

Set your starting point in google maps

4. Add first destination: Type your first stop into the “Choose destination” search bar or choose it from your recent places.

Add first destination in google maps

5. Add additional stops: To add more stops, click “Add destination” and input the address. Repeating this process will allow you to add more destinations. You can add up to nine stops to a single trip on Google Maps.

Add additional stops in google maps

6. Arrange and optimize stops: To rearrange the order of your stops, click to drag and drop the destinations up or down. This allows you to customize the driving route according to your preferences.

Arrange and optimize stops in google maps

7. Send directions to your mobile device: Once all of your stops have been added and are in the sequence that you prefer, click on “Send directions to your phone.” Google Maps has a number of ways of sending your route, including notifications, email, or text messages.

Now that we’ve shown you how to add locations on Google Maps let’s understand in detail how to optimize your multi-stop routes using it.

How to Optimize Your Multi-Stop Route with Google Maps

If you’re using Google Maps for multi-stop routes, optimizing your journey for efficiency is a valuable skill. While Google Maps doesn’t provide automated route optimization for multiple stops, you can still manually arrange your destinations for the most efficient route. Here’s how to do it:

1. Rearrange stops for an optimized route

  • Prioritize stops: Consider the order of your stops carefully. Google Maps provides directions based on the order of your destinations, so placing them in an efficient sequence can reduce travel time and distance.
  • Drag-and-drop: Google Maps allows you to drag and drop your stops to rearrange them. Take advantage of this feature to fine-tune your route. For instance, if you need to reach destination F before destination C, drag F above destination C. Repeat this process until you’ve created an efficient sequence.
  • Avoid backtracking: Try to minimize backtracking by organizing your stops in a loop or circular pattern. This can prevent unnecessary doubling back on your route.

2. Consider traffic, highways, tolls, and ferries

  • Traffic awareness: Make use of the real-time traffic information provided by Google Maps. In order to avoid congestion, make sure to check the traffic conditions along your route and, if it’s feasible, plan your stops during off-peak times.
  • Highway, toll road, and ferry planning: Google Maps can assist you with proper planning if your route involves highways, toll roads, or ferries. Depending on your priorities, you may decide to avoid using these routes in order to save money or time.

How to optimize routes in Google Maps by avoiding highways, tolls, or ferries

In the mobile app:

For mobile users, here are the steps to optimize your multi-stop route:

1. Open Google Maps.

2. Tap the Directions icon (blue button).

3. Add multiple stops, as explained earlier.

4. Once you’ve added all your destinations, tap the three-dots icon in the upper-right corner.

5. Select “Options.”

6. Toggle the switches next to the options for avoiding tolls, motorways, and ferries as needed.

On the website:

For those using the Google Maps website, follow these steps:

1. Open your web browser and go to the web version of Google Maps by visiting maps.google.com.

2. Add multiple destinations using the steps described earlier.

3. Click on “Options.”

4. Under “Avoid,” select highways, tolls, or ferries to optimize your route according to your preferences.

Now that we understand how to optimize multi-stop routes let’s explore how to customize them with Google Maps.

Tips for Customizing Your Multi-Stop Routes in Google Maps

Google Maps is not just a navigation tool; it’s a versatile platform with advanced route options and customization features that can elevate your experience while mapping multiple locations. Here’s how:

  • Marker customization: You can customize your location map with markers that suit your unique taste or convey particular information. To differentiate different locations of interest, change the marker color, symbol, or label.
  • Adding points of interest: You can highlight important places on Google Maps, like shops, buildings, or sites, with points of interest. This makes it easy to locate key locations on your map.
  • Varied pin colors: Assign different colors to pins on your map to categorize or prioritize destinations. For example, you can use one color for work-related stops and another for personal errands.
  • Custom labels: Add custom labels to locations on the map. For instance, you can mark your home, workplace, or specific points of interest with personalized labels.
  • Map style: To personalize the visual aspect of your maps, you can choose from a variety of map styles. Depending on your preferences, you can choose terrain, satellite view, or night mode.
  • Offline maps: Save maps for offline usage so you can navigate even when you don’t have an internet connection.
  • Sharing and collaboration: Share your customized maps with others to collaborate. Whether you’re planning a group vacation or collaborating with coworkers, shareable maps make it easier to communicate.
  • Google My Maps: Google My Maps offers the functionality to create a custom map with multiple locations. You can give the map a distinctive map name and save it for later use. Afterward, if needed, you can also personalize your created route on the map by clicking on the marker icon.

What are the Limitations of Google Maps?

When it comes to route planning with Google Maps, multiple destinations are incredibly useful, but Google Maps does have its limitations.

  • Limited stops: The foremost limitation is that Google Maps restricts the number of stops you can add to your route. With a maximum of 10 stops allowed, this might suffice for basic travel needs but falls short for more complex itineraries. 
  • No route optimization: Another constraint to bear in mind is that Google Maps doesn’t offer route optimization for multi-stop journeys. It follows the sequence of your stops, which may not always be the best route, leading to potential time and fuel waste.

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How to Overcome Google Maps’ Limitations?

It is evident that using Google Maps may be suitable as long as you have a very small delivery radius with stops not exceeding 10. However, if you have to scale your delivery or service business, this universally popular route planner may not be your ideal fit. 

It is where you can consider Google Maps alternatives like Upper that set you free from this 10-stop constraint and not just plan but also optimize your multi-stop routes. Here are the advantages that such route planners provide

  • Versatility in stops: Upper allows you to import CSV or Excel files, enabling you to add hundreds of stops at once. Whether you’re managing a delivery fleet or planning a road trip, this feature significantly expands your routing capabilities.
  • Optimized routes: Upper doesn’t just help you plan routes; it optimizes and re-orders the sequence of stops based on your preferences– be it time or distance. This ensures you’re taking the most efficient path, saving both time and resources.
  • Multi-vehicle planning: If you have multiple vehicles on your fleet, Upper can generate optimized routes for multiple vehicles simultaneously, streamlining operations and improving overall efficiency.
  • Service time management: Assigning service times and time windows for deliveries ensures your packages reach their destinations on time, meeting critical deadlines and enhancing customer satisfaction.
  • Accurate ETAs: Upper’s route planning provides accurate Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA) calculations. This isn’t just convenient for you but also helps you better communicate with your customers regarding their deliveries.
  • Tracking and proof of delivery: You can track your drivers in real time with Upper’s live driver tracking feature. Additionally, drivers can collect proof of delivery with photos, notes, and e-signatures, ensuring transparency and accountability.
  • Flexibility: Last-minute changes happen. With Upper, you can make these changes without the hassle of re-planning the entire route. It’s as simple as dragging and dropping stops to update your timeline automatically.
  • Integration capabilities: Upper offers seamless integration with various third-party platforms and software, allowing businesses to streamline their operations and work with existing systems effectively.

Frequently Asked Questions

You can only add up to 10 stops (including your initial point) in Google Maps. But if you want to plan a route with multiple destinations, it is preferable to use multi-stop route planning software like Upper, which lets you add hundreds of stops at once.

Yes, you can optimize a route in Google Maps manually, although it doesn’t offer automated route optimization for multiple stops. It only creates the route in the sequence of the stops you have added.

Yes, you can plot multiple addresses or locations on Google Maps. By entering the addresses one by one or using a CSV, Excel XLS, or Google Sheets file, you can mark and visualize multiple points on Google Maps.

Yes, you can measure distances between points on Google Maps by right-clicking on the map and selecting “Measure distance.”

Yes, Google Maps offers voice-guided navigation to provide real-time directions while you drive, walk, or bike.

Google Maps calculates ETAs based on factors like current traffic conditions, road closures, and historical data. They are generally quite accurate, but real-time changes can affect them.

Follow these steps to include the missing stops on Google Maps.

  1. Open Google Maps
  2. Tap the “directions” button
  3. Tap on the “Add destination” button
  4. Click on the Search bar to locate and enter your desired address.
  5. Click on “Done” to save changes

In terms of route optimization, the route planner has the upper hand over Google tools. Google Maps lacks a route optimization feature, whereas the route planner optimizes routes in less than a minute. Google asks you to re-enter the stops manually if you need to find optimal routes, while the route planner works on an autonomous process.

Search for Google Maps by visiting the Google Maps website and give away necessary permissions. Then, you have to follow step 1 to the step 6 given above.

Open Google Maps on your iPhone > Search and choose destination > Blue Button (Directions) > Tap on the three-dot icon > Tap on “Add stop” > Search and select the stop. Keep repeating these steps until you have added all your stops. Click ‘Finished’ at the end.

Open Google Maps > search and choose destination > tap on blue directions button > tap on three dots icon > tap on “search along route” > tap on gas station icon > select the gas station and tap on “add stop.”

Google Maps: Your Go-To Choice for Basic Routing

Google Maps is undeniably a powerful tool for navigation and route planning. It has become an indispensable part of our daily lives, helping us find our way, avoid traffic, and explore new places with ease. 

However, when it comes to optimizing routes with multiple stops, Google Maps has its limitations. This is where different route multi-stop route planner software and apps can serve as great alternatives to Google Maps. They can help you not only plan but also optimize your routes to streamline your delivery or service routes.

Author Bio
Riddhi Patel
Riddhi Patel

Riddhi, the Head of Marketing, leads campaigns, brand strategy, and market research. A champion for teams and clients, her focus on creative excellence drives impactful marketing and business growth. When she is not deep in marketing, she writes blog posts or plays with her dog, Copper. Read more.