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TomTom Itinerary Planning


TomTom devices come with a great feature called Itinerary Planning. This will allow you to create a single route (known as an Itinerary) with multiple stops along the way. If your travels require you to visit many locations in one day, having the Itinerary Planning feature can be a huge time saver. Unfortunately, this is also probably one of the most underutilized features on TomTom devices. A few people have written to us who were having trouble using the feature, so here is a guide to Itinerary Planning on TomTom GPS devices.

Let’s start by defining a few terms we will use.

  • Waypoint: A specific location you want to drive through, however you might not necessarily be stopping there. For example if you don’t like the route suggested to get from point A to point B, you could add point C to the route as a waypoint to force the route to go via that location, taking your desired route.
  • Destination: A specific location where you will be making one of your stops in your daily journey.
  • Itinerary: A list of waypoints and/or destinations combined in a specific order into a single route. You can have multiple Itineraries stored on your device, although only one can be “active” at any time. The Itinerary is your complete plan for the day.

There are two scenarios where you might use Itineraries. The first is for people in real estate or sales who need to visit many specific addresses in one trip. This might also apply to people on vacation who want to visit multiple local attractions in one day. The second reason you might use the Itinerary feature is if you are planning a long drive and you know ahead of time the route suggested isn’t the optimal one.

Visiting Multiple Stops in one Trip

We’ll start first with a salesmen. I’m going to pretend that I’m a rep for Apple, and today I’m going to make a quick visit to each of the six Apple stores in Massachusetts. Since these are locations I’m likely to visit again, not just today, I’m going to add them as favorites to my TomTom.

Adding Favorites

The first store I’m going to add is the “Chestnut Hill” store. I go to the menu, select the next button to go to page 2, and click on ‘Add Favorite’. I want to add an ‘Address’, and I know the ‘Street and house number’. The city is ‘Chestnut Hill, MA’, the street is ‘Boylston’, and the number is 199. I’ll give this favorite the name ‘Apple Store Chestnut Hill’ and click done. I repeat this process for the other five locations.

Creating the Itinerary

I’ve added each of the six locations as favorites since I will probably need those addresses in the future. Now I can start to create my Itinerary. From the Main Menu I select ‘Itinerary planning’. My Itinerary is currently blank, so I click on ‘Add’ to add my first location. The type of location I want to add is a ‘Favorite’, and then I select the first store in the list. I then click ‘Add’ again and repeat this process, adding each of the six locations. Once I’ve added all six of my locations, I click ‘Options’, ‘Save Itinerary’, I give this Itinerary a name of “Apple Stores Mass”, and then click ‘Done’.

Now my entire Itinerary for the day is done, and the TomTom offers to route me to the first destination in my list. Once I arrive at my first destination, I can mark that destination as visited, and the TomTom will route me to the next destination.

This is great, however I like to mark each location not as a destination, but as a waypoint. To do this, go back to the Itinerary, click on one of the destinations, and then select, ‘Mark as waypoint’. Go back and mark each of the stores as a waypoint. Then I go back and add my home/current location to the end of the list, leaving that as the only destination on the list.

TomTom then asks if I want to go to the first destination, which is actually my home at the end of the day. This might sound confusing, but remember we marked each of the stores I’m visiting as a waypoint and not a destination. Therefore routing me right back to where I am now is correct.

The Big Picture

Now, the route summary tells me that my total driving time will be 2:16 and it is 101 miles. If I figure one hour at each of the six stores for business my total business time will be about six hours. Therefore the total trip will be about eight hours and sixteen minutes. If I leave at 8:00 am I ought to be home around 4:16.

Long Drive Bypasses

The second scenario is taking a long trip where you want to add multiple “vias” or waypoints to your route where the TomTom might not have suggested the optimal route. In this example I’m going to plan a route from Hartford, CT to Philadelphia, PA. Looking at the calculated route I can see that the route takes me through the middle of NYC….. Not exactly where I probably want to go.

Instead, I want to take the really long way around. Instead, I’d like to go via Newburgh, NY where 84 and 87 intersect. So I zoom in on the map at that intersection, click on part of the route where I want to travel, click the cursor button, and click ‘Add as favorite’. I’ll call it ‘1st bypass’.

Adding the Bypass to the Itinerary

Now I go to the Itinerary Planning section, add my bypass to the route, then add Philadelphia to the Itinerary. I’ll also go ahead and change my first bypass to be a waypoint rather than a destination, leaving Philadelphia as my destination. This gives me a route closer to my liking.

People familiar with TomTom devices might be wondering why I didn’t just create a regular route versus a full Itinerary, specifying my bypass favorite as a simple “travel via” point. In most cases that would work perfectly. However on longer routes you might want to take a bypass in more than one city. The regular “travel via” functionality only allows one via per route and thus you would need the Itinerary feature to handle multiple bypasses in one route (itinerary).

Here is a second reason. There are also times when you might want to build some flexibility into your route. For example you might say “I want to plan ahead to take the bypass, but if I find traffic is light, I’ll go the more direct route”. In this case when you approach the bypass you can make a decision if you want to go the planned bypass route, or take the shorter direct route. If you do nothing the GPS will route you via the bypass, however you could also edit the itinerary and delete the bypass, then the route will be modified to go the more direct way.

Final Thoughts

The TomTom Itinerary Planning feature is powerful, and allows you to create complex routes with great flexibility. I don’t use it all of the time I use TomTom devices, but it does certainly help in longer trips where you might need to seek alternate routes as well as complex routes with multiple stops in one day.

111 Responses

  1. Yes, you can use Itinerary. I use Microsoft Streets and Trips, and export a GPX file, and translate that using a free download called GPSbabelGUI to an ITN file, that can be copied into the ITN directory on the GPS. You could probably use TYRe also, and translate that. The important thing is that the number of Lines (Points) is limited to something like 20 or 25, so you may have to make more than one ITN file. The file is text editable, so that is no issue. I found that out once on a really long trip. Also, at the end of each line there is a number 0, 1 2 3 4. Zeros are waypoints and are just used to keep you on the right road. Tyre and MS Streets and Trips use differnt algorithms from TomTom to figure the routs, so use sufficient waypoints to keep you on the roads you want to be on, especially when paralleling interstates, for instance. Destinations are 3 and points you want to see along the way are 3’s I believe. So you will want to edit the text file to change the number to suit you. Just make the threes places you actually want to stop, as it will calculate distance and times to that place until you reach it. You may also have to mark it visited after you stop there, easily done on screen menu. Hope this helps.

    Richard - April 7th, 2011
  2. I just purchased a TomTom VIA 1505. I can’t figure out how to set more than 1 stop along my route. Is this possible? If so, can you give me an easy solution.


    Sue Williamson - July 16th, 2011

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