I plugged in my GPS to help me navigate to my hotel in Iceland. A problem quickly presented itself. My GPS that worked all over Europe didn’t have maps for Iceland. I was left to do what many don’t do anymore, try to figure out how to travel to my destination with a paper map. It look more time and plenty of U-turns than if I had modern technology navigating me there. Rather than getting tangled up in a paper map or when your GPS fails you, you can download a number of map apps to help you avoid panicking when you can’t seem to find your hotel at two in the morning. While every good traveler knows there is a certain appeal to getting lost, letting the path guide you, sometimes you just want to get there without a six hour detour.
Google Maps: If you don’t need a map app for your travels with loads of bells and whistles, the Google Maps app gets the job done. The free app features maps in 220 countries and territories. The app also has voice guided GPS navigation capability, live traffic updates and also transit directions.
Maplets: Available for the iPhone and Android, the Maplets app allows users to browse maps without needing an Internet connection. Some places even have GPS location capability without searching for a signal. Maplets is geared toward those who need maps for exploring national and state parks, local parks, subway systems, ski resorts and even bike routes. In total, the app boasts more than 10,000 maps. Maplets costs $2.99.
MapQuest: Another free map app to help guide you on your travels is the MapQuest app. Free to download, the app has live maps, GPS, voice navigation and live traffic updates including accident alerts coming up on your path. MapQuest app can also be used not just for driving but also walking directions. If you lose service, the app automatically caches upcoming moves so that you won’t miss your next turn. The MapQuest app also shows nearby points of interest and where you can find the cheapest gas.
OffMaps 2: For travelers that want a little bit more information with their map app, OffMaps 2 not only features thousands of destinations but also Wikipedia articles to accompany places. Users can search for where they want to go while offline and also bookmark locations. In addition, the app comes with public transport maps to use for city trips. The app costs $0.99 for each addition map that you want to purchase. It is also possible to purchase all of the maps for a flat rate.