Travel Hack: Use Custom Google Maps on Mobile

Travel Hack: Use Custom Google Maps on Mobile

Custom Google Map on Mobile - The Overseas Escape

I rely on Custom Google Maps heavily for my own travels as well as when I organize trips for my clients (what clients? read more here). They’re incredibly effective for plotting out points of interest and planning logistics. Accessing these insightful maps is critical for travelers, especially on mobile.

Casey, from We Took The Road Less Traveled wrote an epic (!) post about how to create custom Google Maps, including using jazzy icons (like a hamburger to indicate burger joints, etc.) that you can learn more about here.

Exhibit A: Custom Google Map on desktop

Google Custom Map

To access this map on mobile can be confusing and previously required paid Apps and complicated exports and imports. No worries though, there’s finally a resolution! Let’s get started:

1 | Download Google Maps App and tap to start
Google Maps - 1

2 | Click the 3 bars on the left of the Search Box

Google Maps - 2

3 | In the new side panel, click ‘Your Places’
Google Maps - 3

4 | A new screen will load and you’ll find ‘Labeled Places’ at the top, followed by ‘Saved Places’. Scroll down.

Google Maps - 4

5 | Continue scrolling until you find your Maps section and click the name of the Custom Google Map (Note: I titled my example Custom Map ‘Favorite Places’ however yours will indicate otherwise.)

Google Maps - 5

6 | You’ll then see the entire Custom Map displayed
Google Maps - 7

7 | Click the map title (remember, my custom map is titled ‘Favorite Places’) at the bottom and review the points of interest you added to the Custom Map or toggle on/off one of the layers.

You might toggle a layer in order to mitigate confusion, for example you could add one Restaurant layer and another Activities layer. Toggling off the Restaurant layer will leave only the Activities layer in view. For my example, I separated each destination as its own layer. 

Google Maps - 6

8 | Zoom in to review the points of interest you added to your map. Tapping on one of the points of interest (the hamburger in my case) will provide the name, clicking on the car icon will provide navigation information

Google Maps - 8

9 | After clicking the car icon you’ll be automatically transferred to the navigation function, from here toggle your mode of transit. In my case, it appears that it’ll sadly take my 2 days on foot to reach my favorite burger joint – Good Stuff Eatery. Sad.

Google Maps - 9


That’s all! Check out my free 5 day e-course for travelers which covers MORE travel hacks, ways to avoid getting scammed, packing advice and a whole lot more!