I can’t imagine planning a trip before the internet was born. The ease and convenience we now take for granted to price-check flights on countless search engines, take virtual tours of hotels and AirBnBs from the comfort of our living room, and read reviews for literally any restaurant around the world is staggering. All of these tools are critical for creating the trip of your dreams, but the biggest game-changer for our family when trip planning is how to maximize all of those experiences in a set-amount of TIME.
LET ME EXPLAIN . . . TIME IS THE MOST CRUCIAL PART OF YOUR VACATION PLANNING.
If you don’t have your experiences planned well in advance, you lose precious moments and those moments equal lost memories. Whether it’s deciding where you want to eat, what sites you want to visit or where you want to stay, everything is linked with time and how long it takes to get from one place to another.
When you start planning, I think many of us instanty hit Google Maps or Mapquest to put in Destination A to B. But what happens when you want to add more stops? That map can get really messy really quick!
HERE’S A SIMPLE ALTERNATIVE TO SCHEDULING OUT YOUR TRAVEL TIME
SO YOU MAXIMZE ALL THOSE MINUTES TO CREATE LONG-LASTING MEMORIES:
It’s super simple to use!
Essentially, you put in every stop from taking off at the airport to where you are staying to sites you want to visit. You can even color-code the types of activites and give them customized icons! It will generate directions between the stops which is the key component of making the most of your travel TIME! Then you can take a look at the map and see if your plans are over-the-top-crazy (like ours typically are while traveling) or if have the right balance to avoid travel over-load.
OUR 2016 SUMMER TRAVEL MAP
We took off on a huge European Adventure covering ancient cave paintings and archaeological sites in Spain and France with side trips/layovers in England, Amsterdam, and Brussels in 2016. It was quite a feat to plan but My Maps in Google made ALL the difference. If you click on our map below, you will see exactly what I mean. We were able to indicate all the landmarks we were visiting and AirBnBs we were staying in. Plus – we were able to share the map with our families back home so they could see where we were on our route!
“My Mapping” Our Way Through Ireland
Now fast forward to this year abroad in Ireland and “My Maps” from Google has made a huge difference with travel planning. Specifically, it has been a huge time-saver when planning trips with friends who are visiting. We just had good friends come for a week stay from Decemebr 26th to January 2nd. We wanted them to see this beautiful country and of course they had some “must-sees” on their list such as a castle and a sea village. Virtually, Amy and I were able to use My Maps to plan their entire week. Not only did it give them an understanding of what/where we would be hitting, but it allowed us to see the travel time – and if you are reading this, then I know you love to travel, so you totally understand how critical it is to be aware of how much time you are spending in the car/on a plane!
CHECK OUT THIS VIDEO TO SEE HOW WE WERE ABLE TO
MAP OUT – TO THE MINUTE – EACH OF OUR STOPS ALONG THEIR IRISH ADVENTURE!!
Tracking our Modern Stone Age Family Adventures
We are using My Maps to also keep track off all the countries we have visited. You can see we are using 2 different layers in the map below.
- Green camera icon tracks the countries Bill visited on The Great Human Race
- Blue pin markers indicate where the family has traveled
We have this map embedded on our home page so you can follow our adventures there too!
Maximize every minute of your travel by using “My Maps” from Google!!
- Collaborate on travel planning collaboratively and even across oceans
- See travel times between locations
- Create multiple levels of travel
- Customize colors, icons and labels
- Share your maps with friends/family
- Embed maps on websites for live updates
For 15+ years, I have been training teachers how to effectively integrate technology into the classroom but for the past 6 months, I’ve been on a leave of absence and guess what?? I miss it!! I miss showing teachers a new tool,. I miss seeing them connect how these tools can make their instruction more engaging. My favorite though – I miss the lightbulb moment when they realize how much TIME they can save by using these tools.
So now our family has moved to Ireland for the year while my husband is on a leave of absence. We have been traveling the world, recording our adventures and blogging (plus attempting to VLOG).
It finally hit me today – I can continue my love of training but just in a virtual way.
INSTEAD OF THE CLASSROOM, MY TOOLS WILL BE INSPIRED BY TRAVELING,
CONNECTING AND LEARNING TO LIVE LIKE HUMANS AGAIN.