By Hollie Lowes

If you are anything like me – traveling a different country or even city for that matter is a struggle in itself to get around. After about a year of getting lost even with a physical map in hand… I found a solution: Offline freakin’ maps. This travel hack has saved my butt far too many occasions for me to say.

You have two options for offline maps:

  • Save an offline map of a city
  • Save a route in advance

The Difference Between The Two

Save a route in advance

This is the faster that takes up no storage room, but also the riskier one if you lose it. I usually do this if I don’t have enough time to let my phone download an offline map or don’t have the storage space. This is great for if you are about to go on a train to a city but want to know how to get your hostel, I usually just look up the route real fast (I take screenshots to be safe in case I eff up and close the app) and use it once I arrive to the city and follow the route from there.

How to save a route in advance:

  • Search for a route (I.E. Backpackers Hostel to the Empire State Building.)
  • Make sure not to close the app
    • If you do accidentally close Google Maps, usually it will show your most recent routes and you should be fine but there is the odd time they haven’t shown up on mine
  • When you start your route – have your wifi on even if you’re not connected a network. This allow for Google Maps to follow where you are and you can see where you’re going much easier
  • Follow your route and you’re set to go!

Save an offline map of a city

This is my favourite option of the two and I suggest you do this if have the storage available (it has an expiry date and erases itself within a month or two.) Saving an offline map of a city sets you up for any scenario that comes your way and gives you more flexibility when exploring a new city. Be sure to keep your location/wifi on even when it’s not connected to a network so the maps can find where you are and make your path easier.

How to save an offline map:

Step 1

Step 1

Choose the city you want to save on Google Maps, then press on it’s name at the bottom so it expands.

Step 2

Step 2

Press on the 3 dots in the corner.

Step 3

Step 3

Press on "Download offline area".

Step 4

Step 4

Usually it will give you a very large space of the city, in this case, New York shows Brooklyn and many areas around it which takes up a lot of room on your phone. Zoom into the area you know you will use then download! You got it!

Bam! You’re a travel wizard like me!

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