Online ESL Teaching Activity: Google Maps Trip Planning

ESL Teaching Activity Trip Planning

Duration: 15-20 Minutes

Type: Small Groups Online

We have done something similar to this in a classroom setting, but I haven't tried it out online yet. I'd love to know what you think.

What you will need:

  • Meeting App (Zoom, Google Hangouts) 
  • Google Maps
  • List of Objectives for Students to Complete (See Below)


Students get in small groups and plan a trip to a destination they would like to travel. They can find places to stay, restaurants to eat at, and attractions to visit. As a final product, students can create an itinerary for their trip and/or write a paragraph or essay. This could easily become a project-based learning activity wrapping in math (budgeting for the trip), history (researching an historical site), and social studies (learning about the culture of a place and/or the social etiquette of traveling).

How to Organize:

  1. Put students in small groups.
  2. Provide them with a list of items they need to research and discuss. You can make this more or less difficult depending on your students' English proficiency, but it could include: flights, hotels, restaurants, historical sites, tourist attractions, activities, safety and souvenirs.
  3. You can further increase the challenge by giving them a budget and/or a certain number of days.
  4. In small groups, students choose a destination and research the options available to them for each of the items on the list. They then decide on an itinerary based on the budget (if they have one) and the number days.
  5. If you are going for the project-based learning track, you can, on separate days, have students choose a historical site to research, create a spreadsheet of the budgetary decisions they have to make, and write a report on three important cultural characteristics of the place they are visiting.
  6. Students can put together a presentation using Powerpoint or Google Slides to share what they have learned with the rest of the students.
  7. (Optional) You can add a little competition to this by assigning points to the number of historical places students are able to schedule in or the group who gets the most bang for their buck on the budget you provide. The group with the most points wins a free homework pass.


  • This activity can help students utilize a lot of different skills in an engaging way. 
  • This activity is also quite practical. Students will learn real-life skills they would need if they were going to plan a trip somewhere.

Used this activity before or have a variation? Share about it in the comments below!

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