02 Oct Travel Tip Tuesday: Get The Most From Google Maps
Since first being introduced in 2005, Google Maps has grown to become the most popular navigation software in the world. Active daily users now total well over one billion – and more than likely, you’re one of them. Google Maps is, after all, an extremely valuable and versatile tool for every type of traveler. But with Google steadily releasing new features and updates, are you sure you’re using the app to its full potential? In this week’s Travel Tip Tuesday, we’ll bring you up to speed on Google Maps latest functionality, and share with you a few of our favorite tips & tricks for your travels ahead.
Take Advantage Of Offline Functionality
Before heading to the airport, be sure to download an offline map of the city or place where you’re traveling. Even if you have mobile data when you’re abroad, downloading a map ahead of time will use less data and/or load the map quicker when you’re out and about, so it’s a smart move either way.
Google Maps can still help you get where you’re going even if you’re offline and unable to use a downloaded map. In your accommodation (or wherever you have a wifi connection), simply program the route to reach your destination and Maps will download the info you need to get there. Once your route is configured, Maps will hold the data (even if you go offline) at least until you arrive, or until the Maps app is closed on your device.
Find Places Along Your Route
Google Maps is great for getting from point A to point B, but what about those times when you need to find food or gas along the way? Now the app will help you do just that without having to leave navigation mode. Just click the little magnifying glass and get a list of options such as gas stations, supermarkets, restaurants, coffee shops, and anything else you might need. Tap “Explore” in the main menu of the Google Maps app to see a variety of sections each with ratings and descriptions.
The Little Person In The Corner Has A Purpose
That little yellow person in the bottom right-hand corner (named “Peg Man”) can be picked up and placed anywhere on the map. Right after dropping him, you’ll shift into that location’s street view and you can pan around as if you were there.
Make Use Of The “My Maps” Feature
Create a custom Google map using the My Maps feature, and plot all of the places you might like to visit based on your research in the run up to your trip. Then while you’re wandering around wondering where might be a good place within walking distance to grab dinner, you’ve got a phone full of your very own top choices. My Maps are shareable if the creator makes them public. You can add your own favorite spots and discoveries throughout your trip and share with friends once you return. This is particularly helpful if you’re the type of person who is constantly being asked for travel recommendations – simply send them a link and vice versa.