How to Use Google Maps Route Planner?

Below are the steps on how to map a route on Google Maps:
Step 1: Open Google Maps on your device.
Step 2: Click on the “Directions” button.
Step 3: Enter your starting point and destination.
Step 4: Optionally, add multiple destinations by clicking on “+ Add destination.”
Step 5: Customize your route preferences, such as avoiding tolls or highways.
Step 6: Click on “Done” to see your route.

Have you ever found yourself wasting time and gas driving in circles, unsure of the best route to take? Or arriving late because you didn’t account for traffic?

Google Maps route planner, your ultimate solution for stress-free traveling, takes the guesswork out of travel by providing the fastest routes, live traffic updates, and accurate ETAs. You can compare routes side-by-side and drag stops to fit your itinerary.

With so many helpful features and over 1 billion users worldwide, Google Maps has become one of the best go-to navigation apps for Android and iOS. Travelers, commuters, and explorers can use it to optimize multi-stop routes

But are you truly harnessing the full potential of this powerful tool?

In this blog post, we’ll walk you through how to use Google Maps route planner to map a multi-stop route for your next road trip, commute, or errand run. You’ll even learn about its customization features, benefits, and how to overcome its drawbacks.

So, let’s hit the road to becoming a Google Maps pro.

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How to Use Google Maps Route Planner on Your Mobile

Available on both Android and iOS platforms, accessing Google Maps Route Planner is a straightforward process. Here is a detailed step-by-step guide to creating a route on Google Maps.

Step 1: Download the Google Maps route planner app

The first step is to download Google Maps from the Play Store or App Store. Below are the download buttons for Android and iOS users to quickly install the app on mobile phones.

App StoreApp Store

Step 2: Open the Google Maps app

Open the google maps app

Now, launch the Google Maps app on your mobile, and you will see the city map, along with multiple options.

Step 3: Click the directions button

Click the directions button in Google maps app

Now, tap on the “Directions” icon (it looks like a blue button or arrow) located at the bottom of the screen.

Step 4: Add starting and destination address

Add starting and destination address

Upon tapping the “Directions” button,  the “Choose starting point” and “Choose destination” fields will appear. Enter the starting point and destination to get Google Maps’ step-by-step driving directions.

Note: By default, “Your location” will be selected in the starting point field, but you can change it as required.

Step 5: Choose your mode of transportation

In the top menu, below the destination field, select your transportation mode – driving (car icon), walking, public transport, or biking. This will optimize directions based on traffic and terrain.

Step 6: Add additional destinations

Enter stop details in google maps route planner

If you have multiple stops on Google Maps to cover between the starting and ending points, tap on the three-dot menu icon (⋮) next to the destination field and select “Add stop.” Enter the additional stops as needed.

By dragging and dropping the stops, you can rearrange them and adjust the sequence to optimize your driving route for maximum efficiency.

Note: Google Maps allows a maximum of 10 stops to be added to a route.

Step 7: Customize route preferences

Tap on “Options” to customize your route preferences, including avoiding tolls, motorways, or ferries.

Step 8: Review your route plan

After entering your route details and preferences, tap on the blue “Done” button to review your route plan. Review the route information, such as added stops, distance, directions, and estimated travel time.

Also, check the live traffic conditions along your planned routes so you can account for delays.

Step 9: Start navigation

When ready, tap ‘Start’ to begin turn-by-turn voice-guided navigation. You can also save routes for future trips.

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How to Use Google Maps Route Planner on Your Web Browser

Planning your route on the Google Maps web interface using a desktop or laptop is just as easy as on mobile.

Here is a detailed step-by-step guide on how to use Google Maps route planner on your web browser to navigate from point A to B:

Step 1: Visit the Google Maps website

Launch your preferred web browser on your computer or mobile device. 

Type “maps.google.com” into the address bar and press Enter. You’ll be directed to the Google Maps homepage.

Note: If you have a Google account and want to access additional features like saving routes or accessing recent searches, sign in by clicking on the “Sign in” button at the top right corner of the page.

Step 2: Access route planner

Create a new map in Google maps route planner

Once you’re signed in (or if you choose not to sign in), locate the search bar at the top left corner of the page. Click on the “Directions” button (it looks like a blue arrow icon).

Step 3: Enter the starting point and destination

In the “Choose starting point” and “Choose destination” fields that appear, type in the addresses of your starting location and destination, respectively.

Step 4: Add additional destinations (Optional)

Add multiple locations in Google maps for route planning

To add multiple stops along your route, click “+ Add destination” and enter the additional addresses or location names.

Step 5: Rearrange your stops

Click and hold on the dots to drag any address to a new place in the list. To optimize your route with multiple destinations, rearrange the stops in any order that makes sense.

Click and hold on the dots to drag any address to a new place in the list. Rearrange the stops in any order that makes sense to you to optimize your route.

Step 6: Customize route preferences

Customize your map

Beneath the destination fields, you’ll find options to customize your route preferences. You can choose to avoid highways, ferries, or tolls on Google Maps. You can also get directions to travel by selecting your preferred transportation mode (driving, walking, biking, or public transit).

Step 7: Review and choose your route

After entering your desired route details and preferences, Google Maps will display several route options based on your preferences. Review the routes, estimated travel time, and distance, then click on the one that best suits your needs.

Step 8: Send your route to a phone

Save and share

Once you’ve selected a route for your road trip, click on “Send directions to your phone” to get directions on the go. A popup window will appear, allowing you to choose an option to send the driving directions directly to your mobile device via SMS or email.

How to Use Google Maps for Route Planning with Multiple Stops

So, you have to make deliveries to a bunch of stops and want to plan your route as effectively as possible? No issue, pal! We’ll demonstrate how to accomplish it with Google Maps.

For desktop version:

1. In your web browser, open Google Maps and log into your Google account.

2. In the upper left corner, click the “Directions” button.

Click on direction button

3. Enter your starting location in the “Choose starting point” field. Then, fill in the “Choose destination” field with the name or address of your first destination.

Enter your starting location and destination

4. Now, click on the “+” button to add more stops. Repeat this procedure for each stop you must add (up to a maximum of nine stops).

5. Let’s now plan your route so that you take the fastest or shortest route. To get started, simply tap the “Directions” button. Google Maps will automatically determine the best route for you, taking into account traffic, road closures, and other potential variables that can slow you down.

6. But what if you now need to change the order of the delivery stops? No problem at all! All you have to do is tap and hold the stop, drag it to the desired position, and drop it there. The order of your stops will be changed; easy peasy, right?

7. Google Maps can help you avoid specific regions with a lot of traffic. Simply press the “Options” button and choose “Avoid tolls” or “Avoid highways.” This will provide you with alternative routes that could be a little bit more time-consuming but save you money on tolls or enable you to escape the stress of congested highways.

8. Now, select a method of transportation (car, bike, public transit, or walking) and Google Maps will give you the most efficient directions.

9. Now, to get on the road for your road trip, send the directions to your mobile device. To get directions, click “Send directions to your phone” and select a method from the pop-up menu.

10. Now tap the notification on your phone’s screen, and your route and navigation options will appear.

When To Use Google Maps For Route Planning?

The question that every user needs to ask themselves is: Is this the right tool for me? There are many use cases where it is considered an adequate tool and many others where it isn’t. Below, you will find that breakdown:

Where it’s useful:

  • The Google route planner app is perfect for a simple use case. Most personal use cases and some simple business use cases can use this app to achieve their goals. Below is a list of more uncomplicated use cases that are suitable:
  • To know the Google Maps driving directions from one location to another;
  • To know the distance to one location;
  • To do personal travel within their city;
  • To plan a route with multiple stops for a road trip;
  • Businesses that are not logistics-intensive.

Where it’s not very useful:

The web app is less useful when you start to explore more complex use cases. The following are examples of situations where Google Maps would be less valuable.

  • Route Optimization: The app lacks route optimization capabilities. Therefore, it is not suitable for planning or any business that requires logistics or deliveries. 

    Let’s say, you have ten deliveries, there are 3,628,800 combinations of routes. When you add another stop, that number goes up to 39,916,800 combinations of routes! Millions of combinations!

  • Fleet Management: Another example is any company or organization with a fleet of several vehicles or drivers. As the needs are very diverse, these companies will want to look into alternative solutions to track maintenance, fuel costs, scheduling, and productivity tracking tools.

What are the Pros and Cons of Google Maps?

Google Maps is undoubtedly a powerful navigation app, but like any technology, it has advantages and disadvantages. Let’s examine each one.

Pros
  • Free of cost
  • Multiple transportation modes
  • Traffic Congestion Information
  • Voice Directions
  • Points of interest
  • Street View
  • Offline Maps
Cons
  • Lack of Optimization
  • User Experience
  • Battery draining issues
  • Inaccurate Directions (sometimes)
  • Privacy / Use of Data

Pros of Google Maps Route Planner

  1. Free of cost: There is no out-of-pocket cost to use this tool to navigate from point A to B. Alphabet and Google, as a whole, make money with the data that all users input. They then monetize this data as part of their business model. Revenues come from ad revenues and other income streams.
  2. Multiple transportation modes: You can search for directions using the roads in a motorized vehicle, search for transit options, or even combine several options. These options add to the flexibility of this trip planner.
  3. Traffic congestion information: Users can add traffic congestion information as an overlay data layer. Because this company has many users and data points, it can provide reasonably reliable traffic data.
  4. Voice directions: The app offers the option to hear a voice guide you turn-by-turn to get you where you want to go. The audio navigation assistant also allows you to go into hands-free mode while driving.
  5. Points of interest (POI): The Google Maps trip planner app allows you to view various POIs, including parks, schools, government buildings, gas stations, or coffee shops.
  6. Street view: The street view is handy as you can visualize your driving directions while moving from one location to another. If it’s a new location for you, then trust me, street view is one of the best features you have ever used. You can also see the satellite map.
  7. Offline maps: Another useful feature is the option to view and download maps with specific driving routes on your mobile device. You can use them offline, which is especially helpful in an area without an internet connection or cellular data connectivity.

Now, let’s have a look at some of the limitations or disadvantages.

Cons of Google Maps Route Planner

  1. Lack of optimization: As a multi-stop route planner, Google Maps provides you with only a route planning feature. However, the popular mapping platform doesn’t help you find the fastest routes, just like other route planning and optimization software solutions do. Additionally, you will not even find the option to optimize routes.
  2. User experience: Often, the users find it somewhat challenging to find the location, which results in an inconsistent and sometimes confusing user experience.
  3. Inaccurate directions: Google Maps users are disappointed with its inaccuracy in creating the multi-stop route plan. Such poorly created routes would result in your late arrival. Examples include using a ferry that is not in service, following a road that doesn’t exist, or even driving off a bridge into the water! These are certainly kinks that will be worked out; they are, however, causing issues for some.
  4. Privacy: Some are concerned about Data Privacy. Google gathers data from all its tools and uses this data to monetize. This information is outlined in the terms and conditions that one signs when using the services. Some are nonetheless surprised and unhappy upon learning this fact. Some people may not want to use this service, as there are many issues around consent and control of potentially sensitive information.

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Overcome the Cons of Google Maps Route Planner with a Better Alternative

While Google Maps route planner offers convenience, it comes with limitations and drawbacks that may hinder your efficiency and privacy. From a 10-stop cap to a lack of customization, it leaves something to be desired for complex journey planning.

This is where dedicated route optimization software like Upper shines. 

Upper provides advanced optimization for multi-stop trips to save you time and gas. It allows you to create unlimited routes with hundreds of stops so that you can plan the fastest and shortest routes for your business or personal journeys.

Let’s explore how Upper addresses the shortcomings of Google Maps route planner:

Add hundreds of stops for comprehensive route planning

Unlike Google Maps, Upper removes the restriction of a maximum of 10 stops, allowing you to plan a route with an extensive number of destinations.

This route planning process is invaluable for individuals and businesses with multiple stops or complex delivery routes, ensuring thorough planning without limitations.

Advanced route optimization for efficiency

Upper goes beyond basic route planning by offering advanced route optimization for multi-stop routes. 

Instead of following a fixed sequence, as Google Maps does, Upper’s routing software optimizes routes to minimize time and fuel consumption, ultimately saving you valuable resources and enhancing productivity.

Enhanced privacy control

In contrast to Google’s extensive data collection practices, Upper prioritizes your privacy. It doesn’t engage in invasive location tracking or data monetization, providing peace of mind while utilizing the platform for route planning and optimization.

Customization excellence for tailored routes

Upper empowers users with extensive customization options, allowing you to tailor routes according to your specific needs. 

From setting priority stops to defining time windows and service times, Upper ensures that your routes are optimized to meet individual requirements and you reach your destination on time.

Independence from the Google ecosystem

With Upper, you’re not tied to a vast ecosystem of Google services. This independence provides flexibility and freedom, allowing you to streamline route planning and optimization without relying on other Google products.

That’s not it!

With Upper, you can import hundreds of stops from CSVs and Excel, generate an optimized delivery route for multiple vehicles, and calculate precise ETAs. You even get access to GPS tracking and progress reports for added convenience.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, Google Maps can plan a route with multiple stops. To do this, simply enter your starting point and destination, and add any additional stops before you begin navigating routes. However, please note that Google Maps allows planning routes with up to 10 stops only.

Open the Google Maps app, click “Directions,” enter your starting point and destination, then click “Add destination” for additional stops. Finally, click “Send directions to your phone” or “Start” for navigation.

To use Google Maps to plan an itinerary, follow these steps:

  1. Visit https://www.google.com/mymaps and create a new map.
  2. Add locations such as points of interest, restaurants, and hotels.
  3. Organize your itinerary with layers for different days or activities.
  4. Plan your route by getting directions between locations.
  5. Estimate travel times and consider traffic conditions.
  6. Book accommodations and activities directly through Google My Maps.
  7. Share your itinerary with others and download it for offline access.

Yes, you can plan a running route by selecting the “Walking” directions option in Google Maps and customizing it if you need to plan your running path.

While Google Maps trip planner is a popular choice for many, it’s worth considering alternatives like Upper for more comprehensive route planning needs. Upper stands out for its ability to handle complex routes with unlimited stops, advanced optimization, and enhanced privacy features, providing a comprehensive solution beyond Google Maps’ limitations.

No, Google Maps doesn’t allow planning multiple routes at once. But you can add multiple routes to a single map using Google Maps. It lets you do this by adding layers to your map. You can even use an advanced route planning app, like Upper route planner, that allows you to plan multiple routes at once.

Yes, Google Maps suggests the fastest driving route based on real-time traffic data, but users can customize preferences to avoid tolls, motorways, or ferries.

In the Google Maps app, tap and hold to drop a pin at your starting point, then tap “Directions” and “Start” to navigate. You can also use Google My Maps to draw custom paths.

No, Google Maps doesn’t offer a route optimization feature. It provides the shortest driving route based on the sequence of stops you’ve added. To create the most efficient route, you’ll need to adjust the order of the stops manually. Google Maps doesn’t automatically generate optimized routes by arranging the stops in the best sequence between points A and B.

For any inquiries related to using Google Maps, your primary resource is the Google Maps Help Center. Here, you’ll find many support options, including helpful topics, offline map downloads, location accuracy improvement, and more. The Help Center covers common issues and offers access to community forums for engaging with other users.

Google Maps empowers you to set parameters and goals for your route. It provides options for adding multiple locations and selecting from multiple routes. If you wish to avoid highways, tolls, or ferries, these preferences can also be easily adjusted in the settings. However, it’s worth noting that, as of now, direct features for setting service times or time constraints are unavailable.

To plan a route with multiple destinations on Google Maps, follow these steps:

  1. Open Google Maps in your browser or mobile app.
  2. Click or tap “Directions.”
  3. Enter your starting location and the first destination.
  4. Click or tap the “+” button to add more destinations.
  5. Arrange the order of multiple destinations as needed.
  6. Google Maps will then provide you with the optimized route and turn-by-turn directions.

To find the quickest route with multiple stops using Google Maps, follow these steps:

  1. Enter your start point and the first destination.
  2. Click or tap the “+” button to add more destinations.
  3. Arrange the order of destinations as needed and click on “Done.”
  4. Google Maps will automatically generate what it considers the best route based on the order of your destinations.
  5. To ensure the fastest path, manually adjust the order of stops by dragging and dropping them into a different sequence. Compare the estimated time of arrival (ETA) for different routes to determine the quickest route.

Google Maps offers a convenient feature, saved places, to let users bookmark their favorite destinations for easy access. So, whenever you find your favorite places like food courts, restaurants, and attractions, you can mark them as saved in Google Maps.

Final Thoughts About Google Maps as a Route Planner

Google Maps is an invaluable navigation app and trip planner that you can use to reach out to your favorite locations. Small business owners can also utilize the Google route planner to perform multi-stop deliveries. Whether you’re using the mobile app for efficient multi-stop route planning or creating custom maps using Google Maps on your desktop, Google Maps offers a range of convenient features to tackle your routing chaos.

However, when it comes to route optimization, the popular route planner, Google Maps, doesn’t provide it. That’s where potential routing software options other than Google Route Planner come in. Upper Route Planner is one such delivery route planner that can let you optimize your routes for hundreds of stops at once.

Upper’s route optimization software will reduce your route planning hassles and level up delivery efficiency. to experience seamless route planning for yourself.

Author Bio
Jeel Patel
Jeel Patel

Jeel Patel is the Chief Executive Officer at Upper. With 5+ years of experience in dev, outbound, and inbound sales, He is committed to growing conversion through inbound and outbound activities. Outside the office, Jeel loves to spend time with his dog and take him on long walks. Read more.

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