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4 Types of Travel Map Creators to Create Custom Maps with!

Tice Kralt Avatar


January 28, 2024

If you're like me, you are fascinated by maps. In my free time I like to just browse around on Google Maps and just zoom in on different places, open street view, stuff like that. And if you're like then me you also like to show where you've been on the globe on a personal travel map! Now, there are many differen types of travel map creators out there, and all for different purposes as well. From online interactive travel maps to offline printend maps you can hang on the wall.

In this article I will go over 4 different types of travel map creators with which you can create your own travel map today! I found most of these when I was doing research for my own travel map creator and how to shape it up. So hope you enjoy reading about the different ways in which you can make your travels come to life on awesome maps!

A map with pins
How to do it before: just print a map and stick it with pins!

Custom interactive travel map creators

The first category would be the travel map creators that give the most amount of freedom. You can literally put anything on the travel map! No restrictions what your marker icons have to look like and many options to change the map style.

I'd say that this is also the category that Map My Travels falls into, as you can upload custom marker icons and also upload GPS files to display any type of route you like. The downside of this is that it takes a bit more time to create a travel map, as you have to do everything manually. But the upside is that you can create truly unique travel maps that fit your style!


  • Many customization options to make your travel map truly unique
  • Usually free to use or very cheap pricing
  • Usually provides options to embed it on your website or blog


  • Takes a while to setup, as you have to do everything manually
  • Usually you have to bring your own map data, like marker icons or GPS files

When I was doing research, there are 3 outstanding travel map creators I found with which you can make really cool custom travel maps:

Now there are definitely subtle differences between these map creator tools, and they each seem to be focused just a little bit differently.

Google My Maps

Google My Maps is probably a travel map creator you have tried before. It can be a great option, but it's a bit finnacky to get used to! They work with map layers and you can only add 10 of those to your map. When I started creating travel maps, I used Google My Maps quite a bit. There are a lot of custom options for your travel maps, but it definitely takes some time to get used to it. Also their embed options are a bit limited.


MapHub is very similar to Google My Maps, but they seem to provide an alternative to Google's travel map creator. They are completely Google-free, relying on open source maps like Open Street Maps. They also provide many customization options and map styles, but as with Google My Maps, their interface takes a while to get used to and can be a bit counter-intuitive.

Preview of MapHub
MapHub, a cool alternative to Google Maps-based map creation.

Map My Travels

When I was designing this travel map creator, I wanted a similar flexibility that Google My Maps and MapHub provide, but I wanted the map creation process to be as simple and intuitive as possible! No weird layers or jargon that only map geeks understand. That's why I tried to keep the design as sleek and simple as possible. Resulting in the editor that is today!

Preview of the Map My Travels map creator
What the map creator looks like on both mobile and desktop

Another big plus with Map My Travels is that the map creator is fully functional on mobile. So you can start creating a map from your phone just as easy as from a laptop or desktop computer!

Itinerary planners

A different genre of travel map creators focuses on the "pre-fun" before the trip even starts: Itinerary planners. And they can be quite in-depth! Providing features like importing hotel and transport reservations and cost-splitting.

Personally, I don't really like to plan out my trips to the fullest detail before I go. I love the spontaneity of traveling and just going with the flow. But I can definitely see the appeal of these tools for people that travel with a larger group where planning is more important!


  • Great for planning a trip in detail, especially if you're traveling in a group
  • Great for when you want to explore an area or want some travel inspiration


  • Not really suited for spontaneous travel
  • Not really for the purpose of sharing your travels with others

For this one I found 2 applications that really stood out:


This seems to be quite a feature-rich travel itinerary planner. There are things like cost-splitting, importing hotel and transport reservations, checklists etc. What I also find really cool is that they have a community-based travel guide list. So you can basically travel to a place and follow a detailed plan from someone who is very familiar with that place. Really cool!

Wanderlog explore travel guides
On Wanderlog you can even find travel guides made by others!


Pebblar seems to be a bit less feature-rich, but basically provides a map on which you can save any place of interest for your trip. They also seem to be integrated with applications like Google Maps so you can easily send your routes there for navigation.

Journey trackers: Let these apps do the map creation for you!

The next category of travel map creators are ones I'd call "Journey trackers", as these are usually apps you need to download, which will then follow your location as you travel. They automatically save the locations you go to, that then later you can attach images or text to (but sometimes that is also done automatically). Of course they allow for changing of the itinerary later, but these are more of like "set and forget" type applications, so you can enjoy your trip, and they will take care of the rest.


  • Great for when you want to track your trip, but don't want to spend time on creating a map
  • Usually very easy to share your map with others, who can then follow you as you go
  • Often offer a custom 'travel book' you can order after your trip


  • Very limited customisability options for the appearance of the map
  • Usually restricted on embedding the map on your blog or website, as you need to use their app to follow the trip

There are 2 main travel map creators that dominate this space. And then I also want to mention an honorary third one, which is web-based so allows for more customization options, but is still quite limited.


I'd say that Polarsteps is by far the most popular option here. They are basically a social media based on travel maps. You can follow other people's journeys and it's overall a really good-looking and cool app to use. It can also be a great facilitator if you later want to build a more custom map on Map My Travels, to not forget all the places you've been!

The downside is definitely that you have to basically download the app to follow a trip. It does provide a web interface, but it's definitely not the purpose using that to follow people's journeys. It basically provides an all-in-one solution for your travel sharing and blogging needs, not as a compliment to your blog for example.

Polarsteps follow steps
Really cool to be able to follow people's "steps" on here


I'd say FindPenguins is almost the same as Polarsteps, or at least super similar. It looks like you can also just use it as a travel tracker, without needing to share it with anyone. Also they have a social media-type page on their site where you can type a location and find posts from users. And similar to Polarsteps, you can get a custom book of your trip as well.

They do seem to support a good cause, donating 5% of the revenue from their Premium plans to the "Global Penguin Society".


This one is quite interesting, as the solo founder Clément Mas has a very similar background and story to me. Going on bicycle tours and learning how to code, and solo-founding a travel map creator application!

But there are some key differences in the way our travel map creators work. His map creator seems more to be focused on being an all-in-one solution, similar to Polarsteps and FindPenguins. The end result is a similar map with "steps" where you can add a blog post to specific locations.

It does provide with a "live map tracking" feature, which is quite exciting and I hope to be able to add that to my map application as well at some point in the future!

Live tracking provided by Travelmap
Live tracking provided by Travelmap.

Video generators: Create an animated video of your travel map!

This is a really cool category of travel map creators, as it's super easy to share videos everywhere! Especially with social media these days, like YouTube shorts, TikTok and Instagram, sharing video content has been more popular than ever. So having these generators that turn your travel map into a video is really cool! And I have used it myself as well at the end of my bicycle tour vlogs: I'd get the route data that was hosted on Strava, and would generate a video with the help of a tool called Relive.


  • Share videos of your travels on a map everywhere!
  • Very easy to make, usually you connect to Strava or some other GPS tracker


  • Videos are not very customizable, you're usually stuck with a default style or set of styles

I found 3 applications that can create videos of your travel maps with ease:


This one is a favorite amongst the bicycle tourers out there! As it's so easy to setup. You have to connect with your Strava account. Then select the activity you want to create a video for, and it will automatically add some images from your gallery that were taken during the activity, even linking them up to the correct position! It will also add points for your top speed or highest mountain climbed, it's such a cool way to create a video of your bicycle trip or day ride.

Example of a video generated by Relive on one of my bike rides in Taiwan


I haven't used this app yet personally, but I definitely have seen some of these videos come up in my Instagram or Tiktok feed! The videos generated by this app are so fun! You can choose the mode of transport to display for different segments, and it will animate that for you. Like when you drive a stretch by car, and suddenly it changes to a plane when you fly somewhere else, so fun!

I didn't see an option to add personal images or text to your travel map videos with this one though, like Relive provides.

Horse on TravelBoast
You can even choose a horse as your mode of transport!


Mult seems to be similar to TravelBoast, but having a few more customization options for map appearance and the like. They also seem to allow for uploading images to show in your video, which is pretty cool. Their style is also quite nice but not as "animated" as the TravelBoast one, so it might look a bit more static and boring in comparison to TravelBoast.

Good old-fashioned printed travel maps, or still modern? ;)

The last category I want to discuss today are travel map creators with the sole purpose of printing them, framing them and "hanging them on the wall". Or whatever you want to do with printed maps! I thought this was a bit of an old-fashioned approach with everything being online these days, but just like with the return of the Polaroid camera, this one is also getting a modern twist!

Different map types from Mapiful
Cool printed map designs from Mapiful


  • Get a tangible, physical map of your travels
  • Very cool design options available


  • Usually quite expensive
  • No 'interactivity' on a paper map of course ;)

Also here I found 3 companies that provide these printed maps:


They seem to have a lot of different options. From a framed image of a map, to complete murals and wall-papers of maps. Very cool for a future Map My Travels office maybe ;). You can add custom points and routes as well, and there are many different styles available. Their posters start at $49 USD so it's a bit pricy, but still cool to have a physical map like this.

My Holiday Map

This company seems specifically geared towards travelers. As their map designs usually display a traveled route. You can upload a GPX file to their map creator to display your traveled route that way. Less customisability options than Customaps, but also more reasonable pricing, starting at €14.95 (about $18 USD)


This one seems like the most trendy one to me. I think I have seen one of their Instagram ads before. They provide not only travel maps, but also "star" maps, which I guess is what the sky must have looked like at a specific place and day? Could be neat if you want to gift like a relationship anniversary or something like that. Quite unique ideas and cool maps they provide. Also not too many design options, just a few pre-selected map styles, and pricing is similar to Customaps.

Do you already know which travel map creator you'd pick for your next travel map?

As you can see there are many travel map creators out there for vastly different purposes. Do you already know which one would fit your purpose? Of course you don't have to limit yourself to just one map creator. You can choose one for your trip planning, one for tracking, and Map My Travels for making it look beautiful and interactive on your blog :)

If you haven't already, please try Map My Travels out and see for yourself if it's a map creator that fits the purpose for your travel maps. Click the button below to sign up and create your first travel map. It's completely free to get started!

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