When we’re travelling (or at home, let’s be honest) our phones are basically our lifelines. One of our favourite apps for getting around and navigating traffic, routes to new places and things nearby is Google Maps, so when we realized how much we used it on the daily yet how little we used it when we travel, we realized we were missing a trick.
If you’re like us and your default Google Maps function is finding the quickest route to school or home, here are some little tricks and new ways you could be using Google Maps when you travel to make life just a bit easier.
Especially when we’re travelling, it’s pretty likely we’re gonna be doing more than one thing on any given day, so why plan one stop at a time? Use the three dots on the right side of the destinations to add in multiple stops to your route, and that way you can plan accordingly and make sure you have time to fit in that coffee run before your museum visit.
Use street view
Street signs and building numbers aren’t always reliable so sometimes you’ve gotta look at what you’re looking for before you can even find it. Pinpoint your location with real photos of the exterior then look at buildings and markers nearby that you can share with your friends to help them find you as well.
Plan ahead of time and keep all the places you want to go in one city on one convenient list. That way you can pull them up later when you need them, create routes in between them and see everything you need in one place. We especially recommend doing this for your accommodation, because that’s the last place you want to forget how to get back to.
If you’re looking to bike in a city but are nervous about using the roads, enable the biking function on your map type. This will show you bike trails in green on the map you’re looking to use for your trip, and even if you don’t have anywhere in particular to go, it’s a great way to plan out some biking adventures around your hotel.
See when things close
Did you know that the Louvre is closed on Tuesdays? Well Google Maps does, and it’ll tell you so when you try to get directions to go there. It will also tell you if your destination is closing soon, so you can either get a move on or save your visit for another day.
Use the word 'near' in searches
Not only can you look for attractions, cafes etc in your immediate area, but you can also look for places that are close to a specific destination or attraction. Type in what you’re looking for and then type in ‘near’ and the place you are at or looking to go to, and you’ll find results tailored to that location.
Download and use offline
Even better than a screenshot, downloading a map gives you access to it for a month, so regardless of if you have Wi-Fi or not, you can access your map wherever you are.
See when destinations are most popular
If you’re looking to go to a major tourist attraction, you probably don’t wanna do so during peak tourism hours, so checking this ahead of time on Google Maps can save you a whole lot of time. It’ll break it down for you both by day and hour.
That restaurant may be really close to where you’re staying and it may look really cute, but the truth lies in the reviews. Just scroll down on the location details and find real and recent reviews to help you decide if it’s as good as it looks from the outside.
Connect with drivers
Yes, sometimes transit or walking is a great way to go, but sometimes it’s just easier and faster to catch a ride. Google Maps will tell you the approximate wait and price of catching a ride with a service such as Uber, so that way you can make an informed decision about which way to travel.