If you’ve ever used Google Maps, you know that it can help direct you from one place to another. But if you’re not traveling immediately, you may not get the best directions.
If you’re starting a new job, moving to a new home, planning a meeting or scheduling an appointment, you may want to know the best path to travel in the future. Leaving at 8:00 on a Saturday morning could be very different from leaving at 8:00 on a Monday morning.
Google Maps can show you the predicted travel times, as well as the fastest routes, during specific times and days of the week. You can plan your trip based on when you’re planning to leave, and get an idea of how long the trip should take at that time and on that day. You may also be able to see whether changing your departure time slightly may help you avoid traffic delays.
While these Google Maps predictions aren’t a guarantee of the exact travel time or the optimal route to take, they can be helpful in helping you figure out ahead of time the best time to depart and/or the best route to take at the time you’ll be leaving.
How to Get Google Maps Directions for a Future Time
With Google Maps on your computer and the Google Maps app for Android, you can specify a time and day of the week for seeing directions to a destination.
Google Maps on Your Computer
Planning a trip in the future? Go to the Google Maps Website and enter a destination in the search bar in the upper left corner of the screen, then click the Directions arrow.
On the next screen fill in the address where you’ll start your trip. Click the arrow next to Leave now under the addresses. Choose Depart at to select a time and day of the week when you’ll leave.
Fill in the date and time when you plan to leave. You’ll see suggestions for routes, as well as predictions of travel times for each route.
A map to the right shows the predicted traffic along the routes at the time and day you have entered. You’ll also see a slider to show you whether altering your departure time will make a difference in the predicted traffic.
Use the slider to see if the routes become more red or more green at different times of the day. You may be able to use this slider tool to choose the best time for meetings and appointments, or to figure out the best time to leave for your commute.
The Google Maps app on Android also lets you choose the date and time for your planned route when you search for directions. Sorry, iOS users, the Google Maps app doesn’t offer this feature in its app for iPhone and iPad.
Open the Google Maps app on your Android phone. On the screen where you enter the addresses for directions, tap the three dots.
Choose Set depart & arrive time.
Fill in the day of the week and time when you’d like to leave. Tap Set.
Google Maps will show you the suggested routes with predicted travel times on the day and time you selected.
Have you ever used Google Maps to plan future travel? Did you know you can change the time and day in Google Maps to account for your future travel plans? Do you wish this feature would come to the Google Maps app on iPhone and iPad?
Share your thoughts in the Comments section below!
*Android screenshots courtesy of Matthew Boxer