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SoftwareMedia Blog | August 22, 2014

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How To Use Google Earth To Plan An Amazing Vacation

How To Use Google Earth To Plan An Amazing Vacation

Planning that incredible vacation can be quite risky if you do not know where you are going. Sure, it is easy to book a vacation to one of your favorite hot spots, but it is a whole new adventure to plan a new vacation. In fact, I am sure that there are some people who have gone through the planning process without a travel agent and ended up with a disastrous trip instead of a getaway.

All of that can now be avoided thanks to the advancement within Google Earth. You do not need to go out and pay a travel agent a fortune in order to pay for your own vacation. Nor do you have to worry about the location or what you may be doing while you are at your destination. Google has you covered. You do not need a fancy GPS attachment for your computer; rather, all you need is an internet connection and the Google Earth software (which is free).

Using the advancements of technology, you can see aerial photographs of the area, while many of those pictures are available in 3D. We are not talking about the major cities, but most areas spread across the entire globe. I am sorry but if you were planning a trip to the South Pole you may not be able to book your vacation, but anything above that you are likely to be in good hands thanks to Google.

Where are you going?

The first step in planning your amazing vacation is to decide on where it is you want to travel to. There are many different destinations to suit everyone’s budget and style of escape, and you should narrow it down to a few different locations. From there, you can search the locations in the Google Earth’s browser, giving you an aerial view of the surrounding area. You can zoom out to check for nearby towns and cities, or zoom in far enough to witness the streets from your computer at home.

Once you have finally picked out your escape, it is time to pick out your hotel. By using the Google Earth browser you can see where your hotel is in relation to attractions as well as other hotels. Simply click on the hotel on the map, and the contact information will pop-up as well as reviews for that specific hotel.

A good vacation is only as good as the sights you see while you are there. For some, the tropical escape keeps the itinerary wide open to relax on the illustrious beaches. For those who are looking for more thrill and adventure, Google Earth can help you plan out these as well. Just as the hotels can be searched with pop ups, many of the businesses also have reviews.

Looking to plan this trip with others? Use the place mark tool to bookmark your favorite ideas to share with others later.

Finalizing the Itinerary

You have browsed through Google Earth and have picked out your getaway, the hotel(s) you wish to stay at and some of the activities you want to accomplish while you are there. Now you can further check into those activities, especially if they are surrounded by hiking and outdoor treats. Google has a Panoramio application that holds just as many tricks as Google Earth.

This allows the users to tap into the panoramio photo community, which is used to access area specific photos. The photos are uploaded by users and are geographically tagged within Google Earth. You can see what to expect, and where some of the hidden treasures may lie. You can zoom in through different areas and more images will show up with what that location looks like. There are many people that want to save the sights and spectacular views to be witness first hand, which is a respectable decision that Google has taken into consideration.

You can remove the images but still see that there is something at that location worth seeing. If you see a few different images within a small location, chances are there is something there worth checking out.

Now everything is planned out, and you know exactly what you are doing and when you are going to do it. So Google Earth is all finished correct? Truth be told, Google Earth has only just begun to show you the marvels of your trip. You can map out your travel from the airport to your hotel just as you would with MapQuest or Google Maps.

The added bonus is that Google Earth will actually take you through a tour, a drive-thru if you will, of the travel. You will actually be “driving” from point A to point B at street level, showing you the twists and turns. If you see an interesting shop, an attraction you may have missed, or a phenomenal restaurant, you can pause the “drive” at any time.

Arriving at your Destination

All of the research and worry is finally behind you, and you have landed at your destination. It is always an incredible feeling when you finally reach your destination. You have planned out your days and are looking to an incredible vacation. Be sure to talk to locals and natives (depending on your destination) as many will be happy to share some of the less known beauties that surround them.

Use that information and look them up through Google Earth and add a few more activities to your daily schedules. One of the best is for restaurants. Reading reviews about different cuisines is always difficult to get the full “scoop” on the restaurants. Chances are locals have eaten there numerous times and can point you to the best choices for different authentic cuisines.

Another handy add-on to Google Earth is the weather app that is stored within. Sure, local weather will show you the weather for the area, but how about for hiking or for sea travel. As all of you are aware, it gets colder as you start hiking or venturing out. You do not want to bring excessive clothing to carry around with you, but at the same time you also do not want to be unprepared. The Google Earth weather will give you real weather temperatures at the top of mountains or on the beaches, so you know what the weather will be like at each different journey.

Paul Miller is a freelance writer who is keen about traveling, technology, Connecticut luxury hotels and resorts. He also writes for Foxwoods Resorts; follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

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