This story is part of and contains tips for optimizing the holiday season.
If you're thinking about weekend traffic from bumper to bumper and long lines in stores and restaurants, you can use Google Maps on your Android device and iPhone ($ 699 on Amazon) help keep away from crowds and congestion in this .
The American Automobile Association (AAA) predicts that more than 49.3 million Americans will jump in their cars to drive at least 50 miles on this Thanksgiving holiday. If you plan your trip on Google Maps in minutes, you can do so later Easily save hours in traffic.
With Google Maps, you can of course type turn by turn directions to your location and even includeso that you have the most efficient route from point A to point B to point C. It can tell you . And it can help you navigate every step of the way. Maps can also take on other travel tasks, such. For example, notifying your hosts when you are late and finding lost travel companions. Here are seven great ways Google Maps can make sure you're as out of the woods as possible – and not in the lane.
Avoid Holiday and Black Friday Traffic
If you want to avoid traffic and people on Thanksgiving / Black Friday weekend, you're in luck: Google has used its large database brain to search and maps for 2018 to analyze travel patterns in 25 cities to give advice on the best times in these four days to drive the streets and avoid the lines.
In addition to road driving directions, Google provides information on when bakeries, grocery stores, liquor stores, cinemas, and shopping malls are most frequented when they want to spend less time with strangers.
Track your itinerary on Google Maps.
Of course, Google Maps can record your trips over the four-day weekend, but it can also quickly show you your weekend flight, hotel, car rental, and restaurant reservations so you do not have to laboriously search your email for check-in. in times and confirmation numbers.
To see your upcoming reservations:
1. On Google Maps, tap the three-line menu – and then your places ,
2. Tap on the tab Reservations .
Here's a list of upcoming reservations that Maps pulled from emails in Gmail.
3. Touch a item to learn more about the reservation, including date and location.
4. You can also use the Google Maps search box to search for "My Reservations" to see a list of your bookings.
Share your ETA directly with Maps
You are in a traffic jam and need to tell your hosts that you are running late? Here's what to do:
1. If you've started your journey and Google helps you navigate, tap the caret symbol (the inverted V) in the lower right corner of the screen. 2. Tap Share Itinerary and then select who you want to notify. Maps keep your hosts up to date with your current location and arrival time.
If you prefer not to leave your ETA alone, you can ask Google Maps on your Android or iPhone device:
1. Say "Hey, Google" on Google Maps ,
2. After hearing the audible signal from Google Assistant, say "Send my ETA".
3. Google Assistant asks who you want to send your message to.
4. Verify your recipient and Google sends a text message telling you that you are traveling with your estimated time of arrival.
Search for electric vehicle charging stations on your journey
If you bring your electric vehicle with you for Thanksgiving dinner, Google Maps can help you find the EV charging stations on your route and the estimated waiting times for a loading port.
1. In Maps, tap the Caret icon in the lower-right corner of the screen.
2. Tap Search along the route and enter "EV Charging Stations".
3. Maps show nearby charging stations and your waiting time for a port.
4. Touch a Cradle on the map for Maps to add as a stopover on your trip.
(With this trick, you can also search for other places on your route, for example, if your passengers want to go to lunch before dinner at Denny's.)
Do not cook? Reserve a Table Directly in Maps
Planning and preparing a Thanksgiving dinner can be a multi-day task. If you'd rather spend time with family and friends than using sharp knives and hot ovens, Google Maps can help you book a lunch or dinner reservation.
1. In Maps, tap the Explore button at the bottom of the screen.
2. Tap the Restaurants button at the top of the map to see a list of restaurants sorted by kitchen or distance.
3. Touch a Restaurant that looks good, and book a table in the window that opens or join a waiting list if you have this option (not everybody is doing this).
Using Maps Offline
En route to a remote location where you may not have a cellular network connection? Google Maps can also give you directions when you're offline.
1. Before you leave, look for the location in Maps where you want directions.
2. In the window of the location below, tap the location name or the address .
3. In Android, tap Download and then in the next window, click Download . In iOS, tap the Three-Point Menu in the upper left corner, tap Download Offline Map and then Download . Maps downloads a map of the selected area to your phone.
If you now use Google Maps for directions in the area for which you downloaded a map, Maps will switch to the offline map if you lose the cellular connection. Of course, because you're offline, Maps can not provide real-time traffic information.
Share your location with
Is something crazier during a group activity than when the group is split and no one can find one another? With Google Maps, you can merge them all again.
1. On the top left of Google Maps, tap the three-line menu and then Location Sharing .
2. Choose who you want to share your location with and how long you want to share it.
3. Tap Share and Maps will send your location to all of you selected.
4. If you want to see another person's location, touch the person's icon at the top of the window and then Request .
If you prefer not to go outside this weekend after all this, read here about skippingand doing your Amazon shopping from home to while shopping this weekend and the best online deals for Black Friday we have found. And if you do not intend to leave your couch for four days, see .