Discover the Top Free Route Planner Tools to Optimize Your Journey

By: Aaron Lovelace  | 
An aerial view of a woman using a car sharing app on her smartphone.
A route planner can provide real-time traffic updates and offer alternative routes, ensuring a smoother and more enjoyable journey. Willie B. Thomas / Getty Images

Route planner tools offer a wide range of benefits to both individuals and businesses. Firstly, they save time. Instead of spending precious minutes or even hours planning the most efficient route, a route planner can do it within seconds. This time savings can be particularly advantageous for businesses with a fleet of vehicles, as it allows them to optimize their routes and complete more deliveries or service calls in a day.

Secondly, route planner tools help reduce fuel costs. By providing the most efficient route, these tools can help drivers avoid unnecessary detours and minimize fuel consumption. This not only saves money but also reduces the environmental impact of travel.


Additionally, route planner tools can help reduce stress for drivers. Navigating unfamiliar areas or dealing with unexpected traffic can be incredibly stressful. A route planner can provide real-time traffic updates and offer alternative routes, ensuring a smoother and more enjoyable journey.

Comparison of the Top Free Route Planner Tools

When it comes to free route planner tools, there are several options available, each with its own unique features and capabilities. Here is a comparison of the top three free route planner tools.

Google Maps

Google Maps is a popular choice for route planning due to its user-friendly interface and comprehensive mapping data. It offers real-time traffic updates, turn-by-turn directions and the ability to save customized routes. However, it does not offer advanced features such as multi-stop optimization or route customization for businesses.



RoadWarrior is a powerful route planner tool specifically designed for businesses. It offers features such as multi-stop optimization, route customization and integration with other business tools. While it does have a paid version, the free version of RoadWarrior provides most of the essential features required for efficient route planning and allows you to put in as many as eight stops.

If you find yourself needing to make more than eight stops often, RoadWarrior Flex allows users to put in 200 stops per route and 500 daily optimized stops. RoadWarrior also has a free trial available so users can try it out without any risks. (Full disclosure: HowStuffWorks' parent company System1 also owns RoadWarrior.)


Waze is a community-based navigation app that also provides basic route optimization features. It takes into account real-time traffic data to suggest the most efficient routes. While it may not offer advanced optimization algorithms, it is a popular choice among drivers for its crowd-sourced road information and real-time alerts.


Factors to Consider When Choosing a Route Planner

When choosing a route planner, it is important to consider several factors to ensure you find the right tool for your needs. Here are some key factors to consider.

  • User-friendly interface: A route planner should have an intuitive and easy-to-use interface, allowing users to quickly input destinations and generate optimized routes.
  • Customization options: Look for a route planner that allows you to customize routes based on your specific preferences, such as avoiding tolls or highways.
  • Integration with other tools: If you are using other business tools such as CRM or dispatch software, consider a route planner that offers integration to streamline your workflow.
  • Real-time traffic updates: Make sure the route planner provides real-time traffic updates to help you avoid congestion and delays.
  • Mobile app availability: If you frequently plan routes on the go, consider a route planner with a mobile app for convenience.



Using a route planner tool can greatly enhance your travel experience by saving time, reducing fuel costs, and minimizing stress. Whether you are an individual looking for the most efficient route to your destination or a business seeking to optimize your fleet's routes, there is a free route planner tool available to suit your needs. Consider the factors discussed in this article and explore the top free options such as Google Maps, RoadWarrior and Waze. Start optimizing your journey today and enjoy the benefits of efficient route planning!