A couple of months back the kids and I enjoyed following hubster’s week-long charity bike ride by making a travel map. See How to make a travel map to track a traveller. But that was just a trial run for the main event! We are all going on our Disney Extravaganza later this year, and to help with the anticipation and planning, we have made a new travel map.
I remembered to involve the kids in making it this time, so together we talked about the things they are most looking forward to, googled to find photos and they cut them out.
Now we have a reference point for talking about our trip and it helps the kids get a feel for how far we are travelling and what to expect when we get there.
Plot your own map
The first thing I needed to figure out for this travel map was how to make my own customised map, which shows the route we will travel. It is pretty easy, but took me a lot of googling to figure out!
- Use Google Maps – the Classic version – Click here
- You will need to sign in to a Google/Gmail account
- Click My Places on the left
- Click Maps further down on the left
- Add a layer (a layer is a map)
- Rename your layer/map. It will be called Untitled Layer, so click the three dots in a vertical line to the right of the title and choose Rename This Layer
- Start adding your markers to your map. Search for places in the search bar at the top of the map
- It will add a green marker to the map and add the name of the marker to the white box on the left
- Click on the name of marker in the white box – a box will pop up with all the details of that marker
- To add it permanently to your map, click Add To Map at the bottom of that pop up box and the marker will turn red
- Keep typing places into the search bar and Adding To Map until you have all your places marked
- To label your markers, click where it says Individual Styles in blue under the name of the map in the white box on the left. Choose Set labels, Name. To edit the name on an individual marker, click that red marker and you can edit it in the box that pops up
- To show your route, there’s a symbol just below the search bar which says Draw A Line if you hover over it. Click that, Add Line or Shape, then click on your departure point, then click on your arrival point. You could label it if you like, for instance to show the flight time.
Things to mark on your map
I’ve made two maps –
- Flight map – I have marked all the airports and drawn lines between them
- Location map – I have marked our accommodation and the sights that we definitely want to go to. I also included a second version of this map which has a smaller scale to show the attractions located further away, like Legoland, the Kennedy Space Center and Port Canaveral where the cruise leaves from.
Lay it out by location
I thought it would be more meaningful to the kids if we grouped the information by location.
So here is the section dedicated to our much anticipated Disney Cruise (see Why we have booked a Disney Cruise). I found the map on the Disney Cruise website and googled for the rest – a pic of our ship, the Disney Fantasy, and the kids’ favourites – waterslides and bunk beds.
A countdown is fun to have too – 6 months to go!!
There’s a pic of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter just about Universal (where it’s located) on the map.
There’s a couple of Legoland pics just below where Legoland is on the map. And the Kennedy Space Center below its location.
I’ve also written the drive time to each from our accom, since they are much further away than the other attractions.
We have included a photo of our friends that we are stopping off to visit in North Carolina. These gorgeous people are like a third set of grandparents to the kids, but we see them so infrequently that I wasn’t sure how well the kids would remember them. This way they are in the front of the kids’ minds when they think about our trip.
It’s a good idea to have some room where you can jot down any ideas that come up along the way. Friends and family, TV shows, guide books and conversations with the kids can produce lots of new ideas of things that you might want to do on your holiday.
Stick it on the wall
I used those Command strips to stick it on the wall last time, so it was super easy just to take it down and create our new one. It also means it’s attached firmly if you want to write anything on the notes or stick more pictures on without taking it down.
As for our previous travel map, the pin board is from Big W, the clear pins are from Kikki K and the coloured pins are from the supermarket.
Do you have an upcoming holiday that you could make a travel map for?
Don’t you think that the anticipation is sometimes half the fun?