Can you remember life before Google Maps? I can’t. When I was younger, I was driven around. When I wasn’t, I entrusted a rickshaw wale bhai sahb with my life. But that didn’t have to go on for much long as Maps arrived and navigation was in the palm of my hands. Now it goes where I go. Actually, I go where it takes me.

But there is so much more that you can do with Google Maps than just assistance with road navigation. I have been using it to manage my holidays, and wanted to share the way I do it with you. These are very basic tricks and features, but not everyone knows about it and sometimes, the obvious is what we are usually blind to.

List of what to do

When you are making a list of places to visit and things to see, search them up on Google Maps and save them in a list. This way, you will have all the places that are of interest to you in one place.

Make most of being in an area

When you have saved everything in a list, it helps cluster them together so you know how much can you cover in a day.

Collaborate

You can share the list with fellow travellers, so you are all on the same place. Also, they can add if they happen to stumble upon a gem for everyone to discover.

Make most of Google’s suggestions

It is not always perfect but Google can be smart and suggest nearby places when you are in an unfamiliar area. For example, if you have been shopping at Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan and need to rest your legs and sip cappuccino, ask Google. The new ‘For You’ and ‘Your Match’ sections even customises the suggestions according to your history.

Download maps

You might not always have access to the internet, so it is always a good idea to download maps. Also, saves internet and battery.

Share real time location with family and friends

This one is a two-edged sword. It drains battery but if you are in a place that is considered less than safe, it would put you and your loved one’s mind at ease to share your live location with a trusted soul.

Check bus and train schedules

This includes local and intercity transportation. It even throws in estimated taxi fares – beware, the real fare is never in the range. It always exceeds by at least 30%. At least.

Remember where you parked

The Google Maps app can save where you’ve parked your car. Once you’ve found a spot, all you need to do is tap your blue location dot and select Save Your Parking.

Share a ride

Along with taxis, Google Maps now also shows car sharing options, like BlaBla Car, along with estimated time and fare. Just make sure you do your due diligence before hopping into a car.

Happy weekend and travels y’all!