6 Ways I Utilize Google Maps

Do you have issues with the following?

  • Recalling the name of your favorite restaurant from your last vacation

  • Remembering your favorite bar when in “X” city

  • Drawing a blank when your friends ask you for recommendations

Or, do any of your location descriptions sound like this:


“Ummmm… it’s this one place, on this one street, next to this really cute coffee shop, downtown… I can’t remember the name but it’s AMAZING. You should totally go.”


What if I told you that you had the solution all along?! Introducing the amazing features of the Google Maps Navigation App.


About 5 years ago, one of my best friends introduced me to the features which would change the way I go about traveling forever. Most may view GM as just a navigation tool, but it is much more than that. I can now utilize its incredible value, and I would like to share with you how to do it too!


Here are the 6 additional ways I utilize Google Maps:


1. A Way to Track and Highlight My Favorite Locations

  • Favorite camping spots off the beaten path, favorite restaurants, favorite activities, favorite Airbnb. Added benefit: Quickly gives you the ability to share recommendations.

Yellow Stars are noted as favorites!!

2. A Way to Create a Bucket List

  • Note all the places you want to go as Green Flags in Google Maps, then plan a trip!

A trip to the U.P was inspired by the Green Flags, which are now replaced by Stars

3. Navigation Tool While Walking in a Big City

  • Apple Maps always seems to get turned around when walking in a big city. Instead of using that app, I input my destination into GM (don’t press start!), zoom out, and spin around until my blue shield is pointing at my destination, and start walking.


4. Reduce Time and Money When Taking a Cab/Lyft/Uber/Etc.

  • Use this to identify the direction you should be going from the start. You may have to cross the street or go around the block, but this could save you time and money when booking your ride. Especially on those busy Chicago one-way streets!


5. When Visiting Somewhere New | Trip Preparation

  • Anytime you’re in a new place there is an intimidation factor. To maximize time at any destination, I do research and ask around ahead of time to flag the places I’ve identified as “want to go”. This includes restaurants, bars, museums, and sightseeing spots


6. When Bored

  • Review the “want to go” places listed near your current location – that could be the coffee shop you’ve always wanted to visit, that axe throwing places you still have to give a try, or the comedy club down the road that you always forget has free shows on Thursdays.


Important Note: Utilize Separate Markers (Star and Green Flag)

  • Stars: Only Star when something is actually your favorite. It’s really tempting to fill up your map with Stars, but that’s not why we are using this feature. These are your top spots!

  • Green Flags: Once you’ve been to a location and identified it as a favorite, update your Green Flag to a Star.



There are always so many suggestions of which apps to utilize and when, but I have found Google Maps to be my one stop shop time and time again. If I were given only one app on my phone for this purpose, GM would be the one I would choose.


That said, what would be your one app? What tools do you utilize today? If you have Google Maps, have you found this article helpful?


Please leave a comment below!! I’d love to hear your feedback and stories from any new adventures you were able to have!



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