Travel Tips

Travel Tip: Offline Maps and Directions

If there’s one thing that goes hand in hand with travel, it’s the importance of a good map. And while the map industry has been lagging in the digital age, things are starting to change.

There are those of us who still like the feel and use of an old-fashioned map, but they’re not always the most practical. On the oppose end of the spectrum there are high-tech GPS devices, but how frustrating is it when you can’t get a signal?

And if you’re using your smartphone while abroad, you could rack up exorbitant data use charges if you’re not connected to Wi-Fi. The happy medium is to download a digital map to your smartphone or tablet that works even when you’re offline.

A company called Avenza publishes digital maps from a number of providers. Just install the PDF Maps app and you get access to downloadable maps from all over the world. And it’s not just city streets. There are also transit maps and topographical maps for hiking.

City Maps 2Go is another offline option for both Android and iOS. These are city maps with great detail, and are available throughout the US and Europe. There’s a free version, but that only gets you access to one map. You’re much better off getting the complete program for $1.99.

For more information, visit the App archives.

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