Maps Never Go Out of Style

A coworker recently took a cross-country trip to Florida from Kansas, and once she hit some Tennessee mountains at night, she lost her signal and her GPS didn’t work. Without the aid of her electronics, she found herself in unfamiliar territory without guidance in the dark.

She regretted not having a map and we don’t ever want members to feel the helplessness of aimless direction. So here’s a friendly reminder (and some tips) to have a tried and true map on hand.

The Everlasting Atlas

We commonly associate names like Google, Apple and Garmin with direction, and they are extremely useful. But when it comes to traveling by car without the use of electronics, we’re all about Rand McNally. Remember them? There was a time when you would never leave home without a current atlas. Even if you never have to crack the book open, at least you’re prepared to traverse every mile of country road.

Destination Drive-Through

Grab a local map from the tourism center once you reach your destination. It doesn’t matter if it’s Las Vegas or a tiny Midwestern town, these maps can be incredibly handy. They usually highlight landmarks and attractions to make it easier to navigate the area.

Rental Car Resources

Most, if not all, rental agencies provide you with a traditional fold-out map of the area where you’ve rented the vehicle. And if you need some tips on getting where you need to be, ask the person helping you out. They usually can highlight routes for you, including the best way to avoid major traffic or construction and how to return your rented wheels.

Maps on Apps

Even if you don’t have a physical map, your phone can still be of use. There are a few map apps you can download and access maps offline, which can be a lifesaver when you lose cell service. Just make sure you have everything set up before you leave and battery won’t be an issue:

Google Maps

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Head into the Google Map settings to save maps for offline use.

One of the most popular navigation apps allows you to save maps offline, whether it’s your home or your destination.

MAPS.ME

If you like simplicity, MAP.ME is a quick way to download road maps.

This app specializes in offline maps, offering walking directions and points of interest. Simple and clean, it’s great for general use.

Triposo 

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Triposo has thousands of cities with downloadable guides to help you with your itinerary.

The cool part about this app is the travel guides. You type in a city in their database and you can find all sorts of attractions, restaurants and more. When you download the guide for offline use, that includes an map of the area.

Hey, things happen. Even if you know where you’re going, you can’t predict road closures or fickle satellite signals. When packing for your next Global Discovery Vacations trip, we encourage you to have a map of some form just in case technology decides to leave you in the dark.

We’d love to know your strategies for navigating an area. Share your tips on how to find your way when you’re out of service below.

Corey is a writer from Overland Park, KS, and has been with Global Discovery Vacations since September 2013. Once a sportswriter, he traveled the country and became proficient in airport security line etiquette and leaving items in hotel rooms.