Friday, March 24, 2023


Top 20 Google Maps hacks, tips, and tricks

By Cheri Sicard
Before I get to the actual video in this post I want to address something before the peanut gallery yells at me in the comments (again) about using the word Google Maps “hacks” instead of Google Maps “tips.” There is a very practical reason I do this. Twice as many people search for the term “Google Maps hacks” as for “Google Maps tips.”

For some reason, I know this word annoys some of you (a LOT), but we need to pay the bills to keep this site afloat and that means we need readers. Hence, Google Maps hacks it is!

You have probably already used Google Maps to help you navigate a route. But the video below from tech expert Kevin Stratvert (with almost 2 million subscribers!) will give you 20 useful and actionable tips on how to use this invaluable resource more productively.

You may even discover some new things that you never knew that Google Maps could do. I know I did.

Google Maps hacks covered in the video (be sure to watch for details):

#1: One finger Zoom – How to zoom in and out using just one finger on your phone.

#2: Remember your parking spot – Never guess where you parked your vehicle again. Google maps can remember the location and guide you right back to it. WOW!

#3: See where you’ve been – The location history function will retrace your steps, if you choose (this one is a little creepy). It will even overlay your photos onto the map data.

#4: Street view history – This feature lets you travel back in time. That’s right—you not only can see what a location looks like now, you can see how it has changed over time.

#5: Google Assistant – This Google feature allows you to interact with Google Maps by just using your voice. So, for instance, you could be navigating to a destination and simply ask Google to show you all the gas stations along the route. Not only will it show you the gas stations, it will also show you their prices!

#6: Change vehicle icon – This is aesthetics, but it’s fun.

#7: Custom labels – These make it easier to navigate back to the places you care about.

#8: Save locations – This is a terrific feature for saving places you want to visit if you ever get in the area, or for saving campsites or boondocking locations you don’t want to forget.

#9: Offline maps – You can download offline maps, an especially important feature for when traveling through areas with spotty internet connections.

#10: Measure distance and area – This will help you determine how far you are from any given landmark. This feature also allows you to calculate the size of a specified area.

#11: Share real-time location – Trying to coordinate a caravan or with others traveling with you in other vehicles? Share you real-time locations with each other and take away all the guesswork.

#12: Avoid tolls, highways, ferries, etc. – Google Maps makes it very easy to customize the route according to your preferences. The avoid tolls button alone can save RVers a bundle, especially when traveling back east.

#13: View inside buildings – Google maps does more than show you the outside world, you can see inside certain buildings. This can be handy when planning trips to shopping malls, for instance.

#14: Add multiple stops – You don’t have to plan a longer trip one route at a time. Google Maps allows you to add as many stops along the way as you like. Those who love to plan ahead could have an entire itinerary map planned well in advance.

#15: Reminder to leave on time – Want to arrive at a specific place at a specific time—for instance, when they open? Google Maps can let you know when to leave in order to make that happen.

#16: Modify your route – Maps allows you to change and modify your route by simply drag and dropping. Watch the video to see how to pick up this invaluable Google Maps skill.

#17: Public transport – When you want to leave the rig behind and take public transportation, Google Maps can help you navigate that successfully, too. The video shows you how.

#18: Traffic reports – Google Maps does so much more than navigate—it can give you up-to-the-minute traffic reports. You can also see what traffic in a given area typically looks like at any point in the day—invaluable for deciding when to travel.

#19: Flight prices – Google Maps can quickly let you compare flight price options for when you need to catch a flight.

#20: UFO proof? – OK this last “tip” was just for fun. But if you look at the street view of Area 51 on Google Maps, it shows a UFO! Read more about traveling in this area here.



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8 days ago

Now if they’d just add a feature to adjust your route for low clearances they would be just about perfect!

10 days ago

Just finished breakfast and am calculating the amount of hack to leave my server. He was very good.

I think you used the term hack perfectly in your piece Cheri. It’s part of the new vernacular, it is identifiable to everyone as such. Thanks for the Nav hack.

10 days ago

Can’t find Navigation under settings (remember parking). Is that only for paid version?

10 days ago

A great video. If I was 50 years younger I might remember one or two of those tips/hacks.

Michael Roach
10 days ago

Here’s a link to the video….

Emily Woodbury
10 days ago

Jeesh, sorry, all! The video must have gotten accidentally deleted–darn gremlins! We added it back in so you don’t have to search for it anymore. Thanks for your comments and patience! –Emily,

10 days ago

The only thing missing is the link to the video, which is the subject of the article!

10 days ago

Great tips! I learned a few new ones! Be careful, I found myself going down a rabbit hole watching some of Kevin’s other video’s. It was a little tricky finding the maps video, but it’s there, just click on his name in the third paragraph then scroll down to the top tips and tricks section.

Richard Hawley
11 days ago

Just click on Kevin’s name and it will take you to his You Tube channel.

Tommy Molnar
11 days ago
Reply to  Richard Hawley

Then scroll way down, looking for the video that matches the title of this article.

Last edited 11 days ago by Tommy Molnar
11 days ago

I like the tips (sorry…hacks). Now if there were just a video to show me how to do them…I’d be all set. 🙂

Bob Thompson
11 days ago

Sad to say but no video here!

Cheryl L.
11 days ago

I can’t find a link to the video. I’m sure it’s there, but it’s not jumping out at me. I only found a link to his channel.

Ron N
11 days ago

As a 76 year old “senior”, I have not been fond of millennials changing our everyday vocabulary. I still use and prefer to say that I’m “going ahead” with my decision, not “going or moving forward”. I hate that overused “forward” reference. You can imagine what I think of the term “hack”.

Wayne Caldwell
10 days ago
Reply to  Ron N

Same thing with “virtually”.

Charlie Sullivan
10 days ago
Reply to  Ron N

I feel the same way about the use of the term “my bad.” Your bad what? I still use the word mistake…as in “my mistake”. How did the use of “my bad’ get started and why is it so widely used and accepted? I just never got it!

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