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How to Navigate Via Google Maps While Traveling Without Using a Ton of Data

I use Google Maps to get around when traveling pretty often.  Luckily, there’s a way to navigate around without using tons of data.  This trick works by using a downloaded map, then navigating using your GPS location.  By navigate, I don’t mean using the navigation settings, but by looking at your blue dot on the map and using that to figure out where you need to go.

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I also star locations I’m interested in while connected to the internet to make it easier to navigate.

Hopefully this helps you as much as it has been helping me on this trip!

Here’s how to do it from Google Maps’ FAQ:

Download an area to use offline

Note: You can store your offline areas on your device or an SD card. If you change the way you store your offline areas, you’ll have to download your offline areas again.

  1. On your phone or tablet, open the Google Maps app Google Maps.
  2. Make sure you’re connected to the Internet and signed in to Google Maps.
  3. Search for a place, like San Francisco.
  4. At the bottom, tap the name or address of the place. If you search for a place like a restaurant, tap More More.
  5. Select Download .

The biggest size for an offline area is 120,000 square kilometers. If you try to save a bigger area, you’ll be asked to zoom in to a smaller area.

Use offline areas

After you download an area, use the Google Maps app just like you normally would.

If your Internet connection is slow or absent, you’ll see a lightning bolt and Google Maps will use your offline areas to give you directions.

About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

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9 comments

  1. Spelling error in the title. Smh

  2. I am glad that “Traveling” was corrected…I wouldn’t expect anything else from a fellow “Jeanne Marie”!

  3. I have been actively using Google maps offline. The idea is to start navigating while you are in a WiFi zone or using phone data. Once the navigation starts simply shut off the phone data. This trick has greatly helped me in all international travels. It works as long as you follow the route and don’t go off the original route as it won’t reroute!

  4. You can also legit navigate not just follow the dot in downloaded maps just shut your data off. You won’t get traffic but still better than blue dotting it.

  5. I just used the off line maps in Europe last week. Works very well. I also have been using Ulman CityMaps2Go app for years and it is very good when walking a city. Great tip btw.

  6. Enter destination, go to turn by turn directions, screens hot the page and open in gallery.

  7. Option C: Get T-Mobile and have free unlimited data abroad. Works nicely for me, especially not having to deal with my little wallet full of SIM cards and trying to remember which one was for which country.

    Option D: Garmin’s HERE App, which not only downloads offline maps like Google’s does, but also downloads the Points of Interest (restaurants, hotels, etc.) offline.

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