When traveling, it’s super handy to be able to see a map of just the places you want to visit. This can easily be done with Google Maps. In addition, with Google Maps you can zoom in and out and get directions to each place of interest. Here’s how to create a custom Google Map with your choice of places.
1. Go to maps.google.com and log in 2. Click the hamburger menu icon and then “Your Places” 3. Click the “Maps” tab 3. At the bottom, click “Create Map” 4. In the search bar, enter the name or address of a place then click the search button. 5. Google Maps will place a balloon on the map where the place it along with a description box. 6. In the description box, click “Add to map”
7. Repeat steps 4-6 adding as many locations as you’d like 8. To make it easier to see the location, change the color and details of the base map.
9. To share or embed a map, click the hamburger menu icon and then “Share or embed map”
If you want to make your location markers stand out more, you can change their color and icon, e.g. from default blue to red.
To show routes, click the “Add directions button and then add an address for each location.
Or, click on the Draw a Line button and choose “Add driving route”.
You can then drag the blue route line to follow the paths or roads you want.
To add a picture to each location, click the camera icon. You can upload or add one or more pictures by URL from Google Images.
There are many tools that can help you plan a trip. Sometimes I’d even use Google Calendar. But when I want something that includes additional information such as a table of expenses, links to websites, and pictures, then I use Google Docs with an embedded Google Sheet.
The workflow goes like this:
Create a new Google Doc (or clone the example below) In the Google Doc, I use tables to create a 2-column layout with times on the left and details on the right. This makes it easy to read and looks more like an itinerary or agenda view.
Uncheck Print Layout If you’re like me, you probably don’t print on paper much anymore. And why would you, when you can just save a copy or view the original version of a doc on your various devices (phone, laptop, etc). Print layout is intended for print so you’ll see gaps between each sheet. This is annoying when you want to just see all of your content as you scroll without any large gaps. To eliminate these gaps, in the View menu, uncheck the “Print Layout” menu item.
Add content When it comes to content, I find it helpful to add the following bits of information
Screenshots of Google Maps showing travel time and path
Links to directions in Google Maps
Photos of destinations, activities, and food Google Docs lets you paste images from the clipboard so you can simply take screenshots of pictures on your computer and paste them right into Google Docs
Special notes about each activity
Create a Google Sheet (or clone the example below) I use the Google Sheet to list all expenses and easily calculate the total using the sum function.
Embed Google Sheet into Google Doc The nice thing about Google Docs and Sheets is you can embed a Google Sheet into your Google Doc and have it updated when you update the Google Sheet. In Google Sheets, you’ll have to hover over the embed and click the “Update” button. Nevertheless, it’s still super useful and may even auto-update if you want long enough, e.g. 5 minutes? To embed a table of costs from Google Sheets, select the table in Google Sheets and then paste it where you want it embedded in your Google Doc.
Publish If you want to share your trip plan with others, you can share the Google Doc itself. Or, better yet, since who you share it with won’t need to edit anything, you can publish your Google Doc as a web page so your recipients can just see a clean, simple view of the trip plan.
For your carry-on, if you can, just bring a backpack. It can be pointless to bring a carry-on luggage since max weight allowance is so low.
Within your carry on backpack, bring a thin, lightweight backpack to put under the plane seat in front of you. This will not take a lot of space and carry your in-air essentials like laptop, munchies, smartphone, earphones, etc.
Chewy nutrition bars, e.g. Nature Valley Peanut Butter bar
Sunflower seeds (without the shells) in a zip-loc bag
Beef Jerky + Cheddar Cheese (Costco)
Hawaiian Sweet Bread + Nutella + plastic knives
Disposable cup in which to put munchies for easy access
Toiletries / Bathroom Accessories
Argan oil-infused hair smoothener
Wet tissue / Bring fragrant-free wet wipes to wipe the sweat and dirt off your hands and face.
Swimming shirt (rash guard)
Swimming hat (Nammu Ex Uv Protective Swim Bandana (black+visor+ear flaps))
Swimming goggles (prescription)
Eyewear retainer (Chums Original Cotton Standard End Eyewear Retainer, Black)
Cap / hat
Columbia thin, waterproof hiking pants
Wear shirts designed for hot and humid weather when traveling to hot and humid destinations. Golf clothes usually meet this requirement (PGA Tour Airflux – 100% polyester)
Walking shorts (cargo shorts with many pockets are good to hold many things)
If you’ll be doing a lot of walking, bring comfortable walking sandals. Test your shoes thoroughly before departing. What may feel comfortable at first may not actually feel comfortable after a few hours of walking. Maybe get a memory foam one, e.g. from Skechers.
Extension cord and power strip (since houses and hotels in many countries don’t have enough outlets where you need them or the outlet is too high above the floor)
3 prong to 2 prong plug adapter
Headphone DAC + Amplifier to drown out the ambient noise on the plane and make your music or movie you’re watching sound better. Make sure to also bring an extra 3.5 mm male to male cable. If you have the Fiio Alpen 2,
the USB port supports DAC + amplifier
the AUX port supports only the amplifier feature
Bring plastic bags to hold your wet clothes, dirty clothes, etc
Recently, I needed to find the name of a French song. Since I don’t speak French and didn’t know how to spell some of the lyrics to do a Google search based on lyrics, I needed a different type of search. Apparently there’s an Android app called Google Sound Search which will listen to any sound and try to find the song information based on a sampling of some of the audio. Surprisingly, it actually worked!