When it comes to map route planners, some of the most common questions people ask are: “Can I plan a route with multiple stops with Google?” or “Isn’t Google Maps the best route planning software’’? This is the right place to find answers to those questions and more!
First off, Google Maps and route optimization apps are very different things. All they have in common is a virtual map.
In this article, you’ll find out:
When it makes sense to use Google route planner for multiple stops
How to use Google Maps to get the fastest route for multiple stops
In fact, the route planner Google offers is one of the most popular options out there. It’s reliable, easy to use, and free.
With Google Maps, you can create routes to any place you want, and get turn-by-turn directions, different types of map views, and real-time traffic updates. You can set traveling by foot, car, bicycle, air (in beta), or public transportation.
Does Google Maps always give the fastest route?
Google Maps is a great tool to find the fastest route to your destination. But if your trip includes multiple stops, Google Maps’ trip planner will not give you the fastest route automatically.
To get the fastest route to reach all of your destinations (10 stops max.), you would have to manually reorder the stops according to what you think makes sense. (See the easiest way to do this below)
This is because the Google route planner simply finds the fastest route from point A to point B. Google Maps doesn’t optimize the route’s stop order.
If you’re planning a one-time trip, you shouldn’t have too much trouble. You’ll just have to enter your starting and ending points to plot a route on Google Maps.
But if you need to plan multi-stop routes every day (for example, if you’re a salesperson or a delivery driver), Google Maps is not the right solution for you. Google Maps is a great navigational mapping app, but businesses need much more than navigation from a mapping software.
How to use Google Maps with multiple stops for the fastest route?
Finding the fastest route with Google Maps can be time-consuming because it is not designed to find the optimal order for multiple stops.
However, it is totally possible for you to optimize your multi-stop route by following some simple steps. The only limitation is that you can’t add more than 10 stops to your route.
Step 1: Tap the Directions Button
After you open the Google Maps app, you’ll see this screen. On the bottom right corner, tap the blue button.
Step 2: Enter Your Starting Point
Note that Google Maps uses your current location as the starting point by default. To change it, tap on “Your Location”. Then, choose a starting point using the search bar or from your recent addresses.
Step 3: Enter Your First Stop
Likewise, tap “Choose Destination” to enter your first stop using the search bar or from your recent locations.
Step 4: Add More Stops
On the top right corner, tap the three little dots. Then, select “Add Stop” to add more locations. Remember you can only add a maximum of 10 stops.
Step 5: Find the Fastest Route Manually
The order in which you enter the stops is how your route will get planned. If you want to find the fastest route, you must manually reorder the stops until you see the shortest estimated time.
To adjust the order, drag the three lines on the right-hand side of each stop and drop it in a different place. Then, compare the estimated time of arrival (ETA) of different routes. It can be time-consuming to optimize your multi-stop route without a route planning app.
Step 6: Tap “Done”
Once you find the fastest route, you’re ready to start navigating!
At this point, you’ve probably realized that using Google’s route planner is ideal for simple routes with no more than 2-3 stops.
All you need to do is enter your destination, and you’ll get turn-by-turn directions with Google Maps to get there as fast as possible. You can also use it to simply find the distance between two points.
This is usually a great fit for occasional routing and for running daily errands. Some small businesses also use Google Maps before they can transition to a more sophisticated routing software.
There are two main scenarios in which Google route planner is not enough.
Scenario 1: Creating routes with multiple destinations
As you know by now, Google route planner only allows you to add up to 10 stops.
If you work in delivery, logistics, or fleet management, you’ll probably need to add 100+ stops to your daily route. You’ll also need visualization features, and the ability to save routes.
If you work in field sales, you typically visit 15-20 customers or prospects every day. The more sales meetings you have, the more you can sell. Plus, you need to keep track of each of your interactions with customers.
Scenario 2: Automatic Route Optimization
Whether you’re a field salesperson or you’re just trying to optimize your multi-stop route, you’ll need a tool that gives you the best route by simply entering all your stops.
Google route planner doesn’t do that. You will have to put in extra time to manually plot a route on Gmaps, and it’s not guaranteed that the route will be entirely optimized.
Best for: Field sales teams of all sizes, individual field sales reps
Combining Google Maps with this all-in-one tool results in having all the features field salespeople need to succeed.
Badger’s territory management features allow you to view customer information and easily spot your best opportunities on a map. Then, you can plan optimized routes to all your appointments (with 100+ stops) and keep track of all your customer interactions.
With Badger, you can also find new leads around you and include them to your route with the tap of a finger. Other key features include custom reports, follow-up reminders and CRM integration.
What makes Badger Maps different from other route planners is that it offers countless features specifically designed for field sales. In fact, the average sales team sells 22% and drives 20% less when they start using Badger.
Although this is a great tool for many use cases, it’s the perfect solution for salespeople.
Google Maps can only be used to find the fastest route between two stops. It was not designed to find the optimal order for multiple stops. Therefore, users will need to manually rearrange the stops and compare the ETA to find the fastest route.
How to add multiple stops on Google Maps?
On the main page, tap the blue “Directions” button on the bottom right corner. Enter your starting point and your first stop. Then, tap the three little dots on the top right corner and select “Add Stop”. (See a step-by-step guide here)