Viral TikTok travel tip shows how to find the best places to stay


Google Maps has long been a traveler’s favorite tool, helping us navigate to new cities, save locations of places we want to visit, and check reviews of local businesses. While many people are using the tool to personalize their trips, one TikTok creator racked up nearly 5 million views with a viral post detailing her unconventional planning strategy.

Instead of locking herself into a place to stay and then drawing up a Google map of what she wants to eat, see and do, Jessica Tsoi draws up her wish list before booking her accommodation.

“It has come to my attention that not everyone plans a trip this way,” Tsoi says to begin with. video, captioned, “The best (practical) way to plan a trip!” “And since I started doing this, I can’t look back.”

Here’s her method: As soon as Tsoi decides on a place to visit, she creates a customizable map for the destination using Google My Mapsa tool that allows Google Maps users to save and share maps with additional functions such as color-coding map points, organizing them into “layers”, drawing lines or adding directions.

Once she’s made her map, Tsoi enters the attractions she wants to see, restaurants she’d like to try, and public transportation hubs, then searches the internet to find recommended areas to stay in the city. destination. She compares those recommendations with the neighborhoods that have the most saved map points, then chooses where to stay.

“I usually have two areas to choose from,” Tsoi told The Washington Post. “And seeing all of this is really helpful for me to decide.”

The method ultimately helps Tsoi choose a place to stay based on her interests, not find attractions near a reservation she chose based on offers or other reasons. Once on a trip, Tsoi uses the map to plan her day, saving her valuable vacation time and relieving stress.

If you want to try his method, here are some best practices.

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The first step to getting the most out of Google Maps is to create a google account. Users can then have a customizable experience with Google Maps and try Google My Maps.

Note that although you can see a finished Google My Maps product on the Google Maps mobile app, you cannot create or edit one in the app. You can use a computer or a browser on a mobile device via (although it’s a little clunky to do on your phone).

“With Google My Maps, you have to plug everything in beforehand, so it’s more of an advanced planning tool,” says Gunnar Olson, flight deals analyst and travel journalist at Thrifty traveler. “It is more useful to plan a trip weeks or months in advance than to live it in the moment.”

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You can skip the Google My Maps process and use Google Maps to get the same benefit, but with less frills. Instead of creating a map, Google can bookmark certain places or create a list of places to organize points of interest.

Don’t forget to save your Google Map offline. You’ll save battery by putting your phone in airplane mode (or leaving your map running if you’re abroad without an international phone plan), while still being able to view your map and use navigation.

Don’t let your wish list decide the whole trip

Chris Hutchins, travel expert and podcast hostAll hacks», likes to spend at least half of his time in a new, unexpected place to leave room for his trips for spontaneity. Mapping certain points of interest is not the same as planning every minute of your trip. Don’t feel like you have to touch every element on your map.

“I’m really worried right now that travel is becoming checklist travel,” says Hutchins. “So the idea of ​​starting with a map and plotting it all out…makes me worry about what kind of trip you might have.”

Tsoi says he saw some TikTok users posting similar concerns in the comments section of his video.

“You can easily use it as a way to take notes on cool places you plan to visit, maybe not things you to have to do,” she said. “This is a suggested guide for you. There are lots of ways to use it.

How to set price alerts to find the cheapest flights

Other Google Travel Tools to Try

Google has other tools for every step of your journey. When looking for directions to your destination, “Google Flights is the best flight search tool in the world,” says Hutchins.

Olson agrees. “There’s no better way to compare flight prices,” he says. “You can set flight alerts, you can get live data on the best time to book flights. … I’m not looking anywhere else.

Both experts also use Google Hotels. With a hotel button on Google Maps, users can compare hotels in the area they want to stay based on price and reviews.

Atlanta-based travel expert Rhodes Jewelry uses Google Sheets to organize her travel budget, accommodations and activities, especially when she is going somewhere with friends. The tool makes it easy for users to collaborate on the trip, and you can also upload your list to Google My Maps.

Rhode swears by Google Translate to break through language barriers. You can write words to translate or say them out loud into your phone, or take a photo of the text to translate. Google Translate is a lifeline for Rhode as she uses it to explain her severe nut allergy when ordering food overseas.

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