I think most travel addicts have a map collection – so it is no surprise that I have several maps and globes. And of course, I use online maps too! I love Google Maps Street View feature. I use it to check out locations before I arrive and explore the neighborhood around my AirBnB or hostel. But when I am on the road, I like Maps.me.
Finding the right map to download on my phone is always something I do before I leave for a trip. I don’t stress about it if I am headed to a large city in my own country – where I will typically have good internet access and Google maps is reliable. When I take a road trip, head out to more remote locations, or leave the country having a good map downloaded on my phone is important to keep me from getting lost – and it gives me confidence. Knowing that I have a geographic reference in my pocket allows me to venture off and know that I can find my way again. If internet access is spotty, I need an off-line map.
I’ve tried a few options while traveling – and have settled on the Maps.me app for most of my journeys.
Maps.me has been designed for off-line use. It is smooth and easy to use. There are so many reasons to love it.
- Designed for off-line use. You have access to fully functioning maps – without internet access or a cell signal. All you need is GPS and to have downloaded the map before you are disconnected. Something I typically do a few days before my trip.
- It is an open-source map, updated by users. You will find cool details, like fountains, statues or dirt roads. Public transit spots are noted and interest areas. Although Google Maps will often be the best for finding the closest Starbucks, it won’t tell you about the statue in the park.
- You can add and update places. Like most apps of its kind, you can add a review or comment about a place on the map. Being an open-source app, you can also update or add information that is missing such as; business hours or a website. You can add a new place that you think should be included. When you see the detail of the app, you will see the power of this “open-sourced” functionality.
- Another awesome traveler feature is “Share My Location”. You can send your location to your friends, post it on Facebook or even send it to your phone’s Notepad or Evernote to use later. You can send your exact coordinates to anyone you want – even if they don’t use Maps.me. A great feature to keep your family and friends updated on where you are in the world.
As always, do you research before downloading and relying on map during your trip. TripAdvisor is a good resource. Even though I love Maps.me, I always check with other travelers about their experiences with the app at my destination location. For example, I am headed off to Iceland in a few months – so I checked to see what other users were saying about Maps.me in Iceland.
A quick search for maps.me Iceland and I found positive reviews like this one.
Use MAPS.ME. Download Iceland map at home, and there use it only with GPS. We use it on our trip and, it was perfect (and its free).
Of course, being a map lover, I also have paper maps – that I bring along, especially if I am traveling with others. It can be challenging to look at a map on your phone with others. You can never have enough maps!