When my friend Brian asked me if I wanted to go to the Canary Islands, I didn’t hesitate to say yes. We picked flights bound for the island of Lanzarote, and upon landing we dedicated a long weekend to beaches, hiking, and volcano tours. On our Saturday we rented a car and circumnavigated the whole island in two days.
Roadtripping can be one of the best ways to see someplace new, but planning a good road trip can feel impossible because conceptualizing where destinations are in relation to each other and designing an efficient route is difficult without a tool to visualize the map points. The other hard part is picking good road trip music.
Proxi maps are the perfect tool for compiling and organizing road trip itineraries because it allows you and your fellow travelers to visualize everywhere you want to visit.
First, I created a Proxi map titled "Lanzarote" and centered it on the island.
Second, I decided on a few categories to group my map points by for added easy visualization.
Next, after scouring blogs and guidebooks, I added locations of interest to the map using the "add point button". I was able to add any notes and info I wanted to reference later about my destinations in one place. Because you can include a URL for each map point, I also included a link for myself to reference later.
I made my map on Proxi, and sent a link to Brian. He was able to look over all the destinations I had picked, and add some of his own as well. Proxi maps allow other people to add points to your map, if you wish. The collaborative nature of Proxi made it super easy for the two of us to plan a road trip, because we could both highlight spots we wanted to see on the same map. We had different travel priorities, but by visualizing them in the same space, it was much easier to balance all of the sites that we each wanted to see.
By looking at all our destinations laid out on a map, the roadtrip practically planned itself. Our locations bisected the island, with two clusters to the southwest and to the north of our hotel. This visualization made planning a breeze; we ended up doing a loop of the southwest of the island the first day, and a loop of the north the second day.
Our first day we started off from our hotel and headed north to Timanfaya, where we had an amazing guided tour of the volcanoes. Then we drove south to El Golfo for a seafood lunch and a short hike. We continued our counter-clockwise loop, heading to Playa Blanca for gelato, then Playa de Papagayo for an afternoon at the beach, then finishing the day with dinner in Femes. I saw on my map that Femes overlooks the ocean to the west, so I deduced this would be the perfect place for sunset. I was right, and the sunset over the ocean was amazing. We were able to complete our loop and spent the night in Puerto del Carmen.
The next day we woke up before the sun, and chased the sunrise towards the east of the island. Stopping in Teguise for some coffee, we were able to get amazing views while exploring the village of Los Valles and the surrounding area. Then we went to Haria, and ate pastries while walking around the town. We kept our course north, making it to Orzola and taking pictures of the otherworldly landscape. Then we stopped briefly in Punta Mujeres, before dropping our car back in Arrecife and flying home.
Our trip to Lanzarote was perfect: I felt like I was able to pack in everything I wanted to see in just 2 days. Having an interactive map with an itinerary really helps when you’re in a foreign country where you don’t speak the language. I was able to use my map to hit all our destinations in a seamless journey. By picking our route from locations on a map, we could go to way more places more efficiently, and the fact that we could both add our ideas meant that we met each of our separate priorities. Plus, having a Proxi map of where you might want to go before you get there allows for more spontaneity, because we had the flexibility to deviate from our route when we drove by someplace fun.
Now to perfect my road trip playlist...