A TikTok user amassed nearly 5 million views for a popular post describing her creative planning method.
Jessica Tsoi plans her wish list before booking her lodgings rather than reserving a place to stay and then drawing a Google Map with the things she wants to eat, see, and do.
“It has come to my attention that not everyone plans a trip this way,” Tsoi says to start her video, captioned, “The best (practical) way to plan a trip!” “And ever since I started doing this, I can’t look back.”
Here is her approach: As soon as Tsoi determines where to go, she uses Google My Maps to make a specialized map of the location. This app enables users of Google Maps to store and share maps with extra features like color-coding map points, grouping them in “layers,” drawing lines, or including instructions.
After creating her map, Tsoi enters the places she wants to visit, the restaurants she wants to try, and the public transportation. She then researches the Internet for the best accommodations in the area. She decides on accommodation after comparing these suggestions with the areas where she has saved the most map points.
“I usually have about two areas I’m deciding between,” Tsoi told The Washington Post. “And seeing all this laid out is really helpful for me to decide.”
Ultimately, the method helps Tsoi choose lodging that matches her interests, rather than having her search for attractions near a reservation she made based on bargains or other factors. Using the map, Tsoi can plan her day on the trip, saving valuable vacation time and reducing stress.
How to start a map
Creating a Google account is the first step towards making the most of Google Maps. Then, users can experiment with Google My Maps and have a customizable Google Maps experience.
The Google Maps mobile app allows you to view finished Google My Maps products, but you cannot create or change them there. Mymaps.google.com is accessible from a computer or mobile device browser, albeit using it on a phone is a little cumbersome.
“With Google My Maps, you need to plug everything in beforehand, so it’s more of an advanced planning tool,” says Gunnar Olson, flight deal analyst and travel reporter at Thrifty Traveler. “It’s most helpful in plotting out a trip weeks or months ahead of time than it is live in the moment.”
You get the same benefit, albeit with fewer bells and whistles, by using Google Maps instead of the Google My Maps method. Instead of creating a map, Google can create a list of places to group points of interest or love-specific locations.
Do not forget to save your Google Map offline. If you use your phone’s airplane mode, you can save battery and still view and use your map and navigation while traveling internationally without a data plan.