Google Maps Route Planner

Your Ultimate Guide to Using Google Maps Route Planner

In this fast-paced, busy world, everyone is in pursuit of effective planning tools to make the most of their time and money. Together with others, route planning tools have also captured the attention of millions of people out there. They not only help you get straight to your destination but also enable you to skip getting stuck in long traffic queues. Yes, folks, you can save loads of your time!

Several tools are available to help you with effective and time-saving route planning. However, we all know what the best one is! You guessed it right, Google Maps Route Planner! With over 154.4 million monthly users, it has become a leading tool used worldwide. According to a survey in 2018, 67% of users who rely on mapping apps use Google Maps.

In this article, we have described all you should know about using Google Maps Route Planner, from its benefits and drawbacks to detailed guides on using its features. Without further ado, let’s dive right into it!

Table of Contents

What Is Google Maps Route Planner?

Google Maps Route Planner is the ultimate solution for all your route planning concerns. With it, you can conveniently search, find, and plot efficient and quick routes to your desired destination. There are several reasons why you should opt for using a route planner. Hop on below to learn about them!
  • Assist in better trip planning
  • Reduces the transportation costs
  • Offers excellent customer service
  • Helps increase safety
  • Aids in boosting productivity
Although the routes will entirely depend on your final destination and what you are actually trying to do, these features are common in all routes:
  • Easy-to-read maps
  • Distance and time calculator
  • Customizable directions
  • Turn-by-turn directions
  • Traffic updates

Notable Benefits of Using Google Maps Route Planner

Google Maps Route Planner brings a lot of benefits. Here we have listed a few; let’s have a look!

Multiple Modes of Transport

Google Maps is a flexible tool, evident from the various modes of transportation one can find when getting directions. You can opt for Walking, Flights, Cycling, Transit, or car, depending on your conveyance.

Info about Traffic Congestion

Maps also provides traffic congestion info. You can blindly believe this data as it comes from utterly reliable sources and gets updated after short intervals.

Voice Directions

To ensure your safety, Google Maps can provide you with a voice guide for getting directions to your destination spot when keeping your eyes on the road. This hands-free navigation on a mobile device is undoubtedly worth helpful.

Allows Adding Points of Interest

Add places like home, office, coffee shops, parks, school, etc., as fav points of interest on Google Maps and get quick directions for them whenever and from wherever you want.

Street View

New in the area? Use Google Maps Route Planner’s street view option and visualize the driving directions. Isn’t it amazing? This feature is helpful for travelers or newbies at a particular spot, as they can also view satellite maps.

Offline Access to Maps

Google Maps Route Planner lets you download and save routes on your mobile device. This feature proves much helpful when traveling in an area with no or poor internet connection.

Broad Compatibility

You can use Google Maps Route Planner on your devices, including mobiles, desktops, laptops, tablets, and more. Moreover, it can be accessed from any region of the world; no regional restrictions are imposed.

Multiple Route Options

Besides showing one route, Google Maps shows multiple route options marked with an estimated travel time and distance, which will be required to reach the destination via that specific route. You can choose the one that best suits you.

Quick Adjustment

Google Maps Route Planner can quickly adjust the route as you move toward another road or change your direction.

Allows Sharing Your Route Information

With Google Maps, you can share your route with friends, family, and colleagues, making it easier to plan gatherings and coordinate well. Moreover, you can also embed Google Maps info in web pages and E-mails. Sharing through Facebook or Google accounts is also accessible.

Cost-Effective Fuel Consumption

Google Maps Route Planner can also plot efficient routes for you, giving you turn-by-turn directions. You can select the shortest route to your destination and save time and money, ensuring effective fuel consumption.

All in All, Free!

You can use Google Maps to get directions as your route or trip planner for free. It doesn’t even charge a penny for giving you access to its worth appreciable feature, nor does it includes in-app purchases.

You must be wondering how revenue is generated, then. Alphabet and Google earn from the data users input instead of getting money. This data is monetized as a constituent of its business pool, generating revenue via income streams like ads.

Downsides of Using Google Maps Route Planner

Although Google Maps Route Planner has bundles of advantages, it still lacks at some points. These are what count as downsides of using it. Let’s learn about some of them.
  • Limited Stops – You can only plan a route with a maximum of nine stops. 
  • Loads Slowly – Some users have reported that Google Maps loads slowly, specifically when using a mobile data connection. 
  • Traffic Congestion – It does provide information about traffic congestion, but it might not be up-to-date. However, you can expect to get stuck in traffic. 
  • Difficult to Navigate – Are you unfamiliar with physical maps? It can be difficult for you to navigate Google Maps. 
  • Privacy Concerns – It provides no data privacy.
  • Less Optimization – Routes mapped via Google Maps are not fully optimized as certain factors count, including the breaks taken by drivers and the load capacities of the vehicles. 
  • Doesn’t Enable Setting Priorities – If you are using this service for delivering packages, remember Google Maps doesn’t allow you to set priority deliveries. 
  • Trickier to Use – It may be easy to use for planning casual drives, but if you are using it to plan a route with multiple stops, it may become a bit trickier to use. 
  • Error in Information – Google Maps information is expected to have errors, as sometimes it may lead you to a route that doesn’t actually take you to your destination.
  • Inaccessibility of Remote Locations – You may not find some remote locations on Google Maps. 
  • Used by Burglars – Some burglars can also use street view and satellite images to get info about the houses that are easy to break into.
  • Offensive Material – Some street view cameras have also captured offensive material like criminal activities.

The Basics of Route Planning

Before stepping into the details of using Google Maps Route Planner, let’s first learn what route planning is and its basics.

Route planning refers to analyzing the most efficient routes to access multiple termini. Transportation companies widely use this technique to explore the best routes for their riders, ensuring minimal fuel consumption and quick service.

Now it has spread its use! From travelers to locals, everyone is getting assistance from route planning tools in one way or another.

Google Maps Route Planner enables users to plan their routes for either business or personal purposes. It suits best for the latter ones; you can get any other robust routing software or app if you are mainly concerned with enhancing your business’ productivity and managing it better.

When Can You Use Google Maps Route Planner?

Google Maps can plan all kinds of routes, from simple to complicated and short to long. It also helps you figure out the best way to explore all the top attractions of your destination.

Whether you want to make the most of your dream excursion or make your daily commute less frustrating, Google Map Route Planner has got you covered! Wondering how? By enabling you to skip wasting time being stuck in traffic or wandering in search of the right route to the landmark, you wish to explore.

However, due to its drawbacks, it may not work well as a route planner in some cases. Below we have mentioned the scenarios when you can effectively use Google Maps as your ultimate route planner. Let’s have a look at them!

If you are planning a road trip with minimal stops, Google Maps is your best bet. It not only gives you directions but also provides information about your points of interest.

Do you run errands for your company? Make Google Maps Route Planner your buddy! Just add addresses to your Google Maps app or browser and receive immediate directions.

Usually, sales agents have to visit dozens of clients, yet when they have to attend to fewer clients, Google Maps Route Planner is their go-to for planning routes. It also enables you to keep notes about certain customers.

How to Use Google Maps Route Planner on Mobile?

Here is how you can use Google Maps Route Planner on Mobile.

Step 1: Download Google Maps on Your Mobile

The very first step to getting directions from Google Maps Route Planner is to download Google Maps on your Mobile. The application is available on both Google Play Store and Apple App Store.

Step 2: Hit Directions Button

Once the app is installed, launch it, and hit the Directions button. You can find it at the bottom right corner of your mobile screen.

Step 3: Select Your Transport Method

The next popping screen will give you several transportation modes to choose from. These include Driving, Transit, Walking, Cycling, and Flights. Select one of these to later get an estimate about the time required to reach the destination.

Step 4: Insert Addresses

Proceed with entering your starting location and destination. You can do so in three different ways. Either using Search Bar, choosing the destination on the map, or selecting from recent locations, destinations, or addresses. In your recent location, you can also choose “route me home from my current location.”

Step 5: Add Info about Your Stops

Repeat step four again and again to add all of your stops along the route. You can do this by clicking on the three dots icon and then choosing the Add stop option. Google Maps enables you to add as maximum as nine different stops between your starting and ending locations.

Step 6: Reorder Your Route

After adding all stops, you can reorder and reorganize your route for maximum efficiency. To do so, tap on the three lines icon beside each added stop. Now, you can drag and drop different stops to tweak your route according to your plan.

Step 7: Share Your Route

After reorganizing your route, it’s time to hit Done and save it. Now, you can do anything as per your choice, from adding a route to your Home Screen and sharing your route with others to beginning navigation.

How to Use Google Maps Route Planner on Web Browser?

Do you want to set up your route with Google Maps on your laptop or desktop? This section is for you! In it, we will take you through how you can use Google Maps on a web browser. Without further ado, let’s get straight into the guidelines!

Step 1: Launch the Google Maps in Your Browser

Turn ON your laptop or desktop and ensure it’s connected to a stable internet connection. After refreshing a few times, launch your browser, and go to Google Maps page by typing in the Search Box.

Step 2: Hit the Directions Icon

Once the page opens, navigate to the upper left corner of your desktop or laptop screen and click the Directions icon. It’s present next to the Search bar.

Step 3: Choose Your Transportation Method

On clicking the Directions icon, a window will pop up with different transportation methods. These methods include Driving, Transit, Walking, Cycling, and Flights. Choose the one you want to opt for and move to the next step.

Step 4: Insert Addresses

Move on with adding your current location and final destination. You can opt for three methods for adding these. These are:

  • Click on your desired location on the map.
  • Select any address or location from the recent searches. Have you saved your Home location in Google Maps? You can get directions from your current location to your home just by choosing “route me home from my current location.”
  • Type your addresses in the search bar. 

Step 5: Add Your Stops

Navigate to the + icon and click on it. Later, click on Add Destination and proceed with adding as many stops as you want between your starting and ending points. The maximum number of stops that can be added is nine.

Step 6: Rearrange Your Route

You can reorder your route by clicking on three dots beside the addresses. Just drag and drop them where you want.

Step 7: Share or Print Your Route

You can share your route or take a print of it. For more convenience, send your route to your mobile phone by clicking “Send directions to your phone.”

How to Use Google Maps as a Trip Planner and Make Your Itinerary?

Besides using Google Maps as a route planner, you can also use it as a trip planner and make your entire itinerary with it. Being a business directory, GPS, and review platform, Google Maps is an all-in-one tool. For this reason, it has become a crucial part of every trip. However, most travelers are still unaware of the advantages they can take from Google Maps and its endlessly helpful features.

In this section of the article, we will take you through how you can make the most of your next vacation trip by integrating Google Maps. Hop on below to learn about the different features of Google Maps and the guides on using them.

Save Points of Interest with Places Feature

Came across a cute coffee shop when wandering the streets of your dream destination but don’t have enough time to visit it? Google Maps Places feature has got you covered! Utilizing it, you can save the spot on the map and add it to a list you can conveniently access later.

Here is how you can do so on Google Maps app or browser.

Step 1: Search for the Location to Save

Go to Google Maps and tap or click on the Search bar to search for the location you wish to save.

Step 2: Click on Save Icon

The next step is to click on the save icon (bookmark icon) after finding it. You can find it right under your searched location’s name. However, you have to swipe to find the option on mobile.

Step 3: Pick the List

Select where you want to save the location. By default, you have three list options, i.e., Starred Places, Favorites, and Want to go. However, if you want, you can add a new list by tapping or clicking New list.

Step 4: Find Your Saved Location

Once you are done with saving the location, you can easily find it by opening the list. To do so on the mobile app, simply hit the Saved option on the screen’s bottom. While on a Web browser, you can find your list by clicking the three stacked lines at the top-left of the screen and then choosing Your places.

Just tap on your saved location in the list, and the map will automatically jump straight to it.

Share Your Road Trip Plans by Making a Custom My Maps Page

Currently, this feature is only accessible on Google Maps desktop. My Maps program of Google lets users map out a route with multiple waypoints per their choice and share it with others.

Step 1: Go to My Maps Homepage

Go to your browser and visit My Maps homepage by typing in the Search Bar. On reaching the site, click Create a New Map.

Step 2: Name Your Map

In the net window, you will see a world map. To name it, navigate to the top-left of your screen and hit Untitled map name.

Step 3: Add Locations to Map

Now search for different locations using Search Bar and click Add to map to save them individually. You can add or save as many addresses as you like; there is no specific limit.

Step 4: Add Multiple Lists to the Map

Besides adding countless locations to the same list, you can also add more lists to your map and add addresses to it. Just click the Add layer option in the upper left corner.

Step 5: Add Directions

After adding multiple locations, if you want to save directions between different locations, navigate to a curved arrow icon of Add directions and click on it. This way, you will add a new layer to plot a path.

Step 6: Share Your Map

When all done, you can share or preview your map by clicking on the relevant buttons in the top left corner of your screen.

Find Best-Of-The-Best Shops by Having a Look at Google Reviews

Almost every point of interest on Google boasts a section for User Reviews. These prove helpful in deciding what you should not miss and what you can.

Here is how you can check reviews for a certain point of interest.

Step 1: Find the Location

Launch Google Maps on mobile or web browsers and find the location you want to check the reviews.

Step 2: Move to the Review Section

The information page will have a star rating, and the number of reviews people have left for this place right at the top. Scroll down a bit to find the Review section. Here, you can find reviews from those who have visited this place. All the reviews will feature a date, a picture (optional), and a star rating.

How to Use Eco-Friendly Routing on Google Maps?

As we know, vehicle’s fuel consumption is increasing daily, and the authorities are intensely stressing on minimizing it and shifting toward eco-friendly means. Google Maps Route Planner also helps in this regard!

If you have turned this feature ON, the map will keep it on preference, forgetting other factors like road conditions, etc., when choosing the most efficient route. The efficient route is not always the fastest, so Google Maps shows a green leaf on the most efficient route, even if the feature is turned OFF.

Engine Types

When choosing the Engine Type, you will see three options:

  • Go with the Electric option if you drive a plug-in hybrid that often runs on electricity or an EV. 
  • Choose Hybrid if you drive a plug-in hybrid that often uses fuel or hybrid.
  • Select Gas or Diesel if you drive a vehicle with an internal combustion engine. 

Here is how you can achieve eco-friendly routing with the one and only Google Maps Route Planner.

Step 1: Go to Navigation Settings

Grab your device, unlock it, go to the Apps section, and launch Google Maps app. Tap on your Profile picture and navigate to Settings and Navigation Settings.

Step 2: Scroll to Route Options

The next step is to scroll down to Route Options. Tap Prefer fuel-efficient routes to turn eco-friendly routing OFF or ON. To choose the engine type, hit Engine Type and select your engine. When done, hit Done.

Alternative Way

If you want to change engine type after getting directions, simply swipe up in the bottom bar. Now, hit Change engine type, choose your Engine Type, and hit Done.

How Can You Use Google Maps with Google Assistance?

Yes, you read it right; you can use Google Assistance when driving to use Google Maps and plan your route. But, unluckily, this feature is unavailable in all regions and languages and on all android devices.

Google Assistant's Driving Mode

Google Assistant Driving Mode enables you to perform different actions like making calls, sending and reading messages, and more with your voice on the go.

Following are the system requirements for using this feature on Android:

  • Android version 9.0 or above
  • Portrait mode only
  • At least 4GB RAM or more
  • You must be in the United States, United Kingdom, France, Canada, Germany, Australia, Spain, Mexico, Italy, or India.

How to Turn ON/OFF Driving Mode in Google Maps?

  • Unlock your Android tablet or phone and go to Google Maps app.
  • Tap on your profile picture to go to Settings.
  • Browse for Navigation Settings and select it.
  • Proceed with tapping on Google Assistant settings.
  • Here, you can turn ON or OFF Google Assistant’s Driving Mode.

Step-By-Step Guide on Using Google Assistance for Navigation

In this section, we will explain how you can use talk to Google Assistant’s Driving Mode for using Google Maps.

Talk to Your Google Assistant on Android

  • Grab your Android tablet or phone and go to Google Maps. If you are using Google Assistant for the first time, you must set it up first.
  • The next step is to navigate to a place. You can navigate home by saying, “Ok, Google, navigate home.”
  • An alternative way is to tap the microphone icon or say “Ok Google” in the navigation mode. 
  • Now, you can ask your Google Assistant for any kind of help.

Talk to Your Google Assistant on iPhone & iPad

  • Unlock your device and launch the Google Maps app.
  • Navigate to your desired place.
  • Hit the microphone icon and ask Google Assistant to do whatever you want.

How to Use Apple CarPlay to Find Stops on Your Route?

You can use Apple CarPlay to find stops on your route. You will need iPhone 5 or higher, iOS 12 or higher, CarPlay supported car model, and Google Maps version 5.24 or higher. After ensuring the availability of requirements, hop on the steps mentioned below.

Step 1: Navigate to Your Desired Place

Follow the steps mentioned in the above guidelines to navigate to a place.

Step 2: Find Stops

When done, tap anywhere on your screen to show the menu bar. Select Add stop and choose your desired stop from the options popping up; Coffee shops, Gas stations, Grocery stores, and restaurants.

You can also search for a stop by hitting the Search icon and finding specific places like McDonald’s, drugstores, etc.

Step 3: Cycle between Stops

Cycle between several stops by tapping Next or Before to find one of your choices. Note one thing the navigation arrows show up only when there is more than one stop on your way.

Once found, hit Add stop to add that particular stop to your route.

Tip: If you want to remove any of your added stops, navigate to the top right corner, tap Exit, and select Remove stop.

How to Find Parking Spots on Your Route?

Before getting on your route, you can search for different places to park. You can also save these locations to find them later conveniently. 


  • This feature is accessible only in some cities in the US.
  • You can’t find places to park on the computer and desktop.
  • You can’t find places to park on iPad and iPhone.

Adding a Parking Spot to Your Route on Android

Here are detailed guidelines for adding a parking spot to your route on Android.

Step 1: Search for the Destination

Grab your device and go to Google Maps. Tap on the Search bar at the top to search for the destination.

Step 2: Find a Parking Spot

Tap the Directions icon at the bottom of your screen. Next, select Steps & parking and tap Find parking near the destination.

Step 3: Add Parking Spot

Select a garage or parking site and hit Add parking. Tap Start to get directions.

Step 4: Save Parking Slot

Follow these simple and easy guidelines to save the parking spot where you have parked your vehicle. To do so, just tap the blue dot showing your current location and hit Save Your Parking.

Save Your Parking Location on iPhone or iPad.

Hop on the steps below to learn how to save your parking location on your iPhone or iPad.

Step 1: Setting Location Service to Always

Google Maps can save your location only if your location service is set to Always. Follow the steps to learn how you can do so.

  • Go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services. 
  • Ensure that Location Service is ON on your device. 
  • Scroll down a bit to find Google Maps.
  • Once found, tap on it and choose Always. This option will enable the app to access your location even when the app is running in the background. 

Step 2: Keep a Note of Your Physical Activity

If you allow Google Maps to keep a note of your physical activity, it will automatically remember where you have parked your car.  

  • After navigating to a specific place, turn on Know where you parked by tapping on the option at the bottom.
  • Permit Google Maps to keep data of your Motion and Fitness Activity.
  • When you stop moving, you will see your current parking location tagged as You parked near here.

Step 3: Connect Your Car with Your Device

Although this step is optional, you have to connect your car to your device to get results with utter accuracy. This can be done in two ways: via Bluetooth or USB.
Connecting Via Bluetooth
  • Turn Bluetooth ON on your mobile phone or tablet. 
  • Proceed with pairing your car with the device.
  • Lastly, set up the source of your car’s audio system to Bluetooth. 
Connecting Via USB
Simply plug your mobile or tablet into your car via a USB cord. 

Step 4: Set Your Parking Location

To remember where you left your car, use the same steps as you used for doing so on Android.

How to Get Traffic Information on Google Maps?

You can get traffic info for your drive via Google Maps. Follow the below-mentioned steps to do so.

Step 1: Tap Go

Launch the Google Maps app and tap on the Go icon at the bottom of your screen.

Step 2: Choose Your Trip

Select any trip showing in your Past Activity or scroll down to find your desired trip and pin it.

Step 3: Find Info

In the Go tab, you will find all the info about the expected traffic delays along your way due to construction work, alternate and recommended routes, and the time needed to reach suggested destinations.

When checking traffic, you will also find information about different events; concerts, sporting events, marathons, and parades that can cause traffic congestion on your route. Moreover, on event day, you will get notified about closures, delays, traffic conditions, and alternate routes.


Here are some frequently asked questions about Google Maps Route Planner with detailed answers. Let’s have a look!
Yes, you can make an itinerary for your excursion on Google Maps using the Places and My Maps features. Refer to the guidelines mentioned above to learn how you can do so.
Although using Google Maps is not always suggested, following specific guidelines, customizing, and color-coding your pins can make it work best for you!

Google Maps Route Planner uses data from the European Environment Agency and insights from the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory to calculate fuel efficiency accurately. This calculation is based on several factors, including:

  • Road types like highways and local roads
  • The steepness of hills on your route
  • Average energy or fuel consumption for your region’s vehicles
  • Carbon dioxide emission 
  • Stop-and-go traffic patterns

If the most efficient route has relatively the same time as the fastest route, Google Maps Route Planner will show the former. However, if the span lags or leads significantly, you will see several routes with relative fuel or energy savings between routes to assist you in comparing them. 

Like several other apps, Google Maps is a notable app plugged into almost every android handset and can be blamed for chugging a considerable share of your smartphone’s battery power.
Luckily, Google Maps uses less mobile data than most of the other frequently used apps. It eats up around three to five MBs per hour of use. You can expect the app to use six to ten MBs in two hours.
When zooming through the streets on Google Maps, you will find some random things, including some houses blurred out. It’s mainly for privacy concerns.
Google Maps API for business cases is free if and only if your total usage is below $200. However, you will be charged if your usage is above $200 and you haven’t set a certain quota for limiting usage. When you only use normal Google Maps on your computer or smartphone it is totally free.
Google Maps is updated frequently. It won’t be wrong to say it gets updated after every second. As Google constantly collects information from Google Maps users, satellite imagery, local business owners, and street view cars for updating the app.
Both are equally helpful, yet using Google Maps is prioritized over using Waze. It’s because Google Maps provide navigation for everyone, but Waze is somehow a driver-focused app.
You cannot seek assistance from Google Maps Route Planner if you are looking for features like route optimization and fleet management. To meet these requirements, you have to install a route optimizer app.

Image by Deepanker Verma from Pixabay

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