Landing in Europe

Since arriving in Europe about four months ago, I’ve had the opportunity to explore 12 countries and over 24 cities to date. Travelling has allowed me to learn about difficult cultures, experience new activities, and make countless friends. However, when I first arrived to Europe and began to travel, it was a bit difficult to navigate my way around, especially since everything looked so different than North America. It took me a while to get used to travelling and figuring out maps, cities, and how everything works in general. But, through the friends I’ve made, I’ve found out a useful method for navigating a new country without access to internet that makes it really easy.

Google maps as a savour

Google maps recently came out with a feature called offline maps that makes it possible to download areas and navigate without internet access. All you have to do is create a Google account, sign in to Google Maps, and then search for a place. As long as you’re on a strong wifi connection, you can then download the map offline for this location. This makes it easy to have an active map of wherever you’re travelling to. But, you still don’t know where everything is, how streets are situated and everything in between.


Organizing the map

Now that you have the map downloaded, all you have to do is mark up specific locations on the map. What I like to do is add stars to the map so that I know the key places that I want to visit and see. Having this on the map that I’ve stored offline makes it easy to see what is on each side of the city I’m going to (i.e. north, east, south, and west)

Navigating the city

The last part to this is to simply turn the location services on your phone on. I believe this works on most smartphones without requiring any sort of Internet connection. As a result, if you ever get lost in the middle of nowhere, you can still pull out your phone and see where you are. Using the map, you can locate yourself on the map in relation to the stars that you’ve mapped out earlier.

That’s it, pretty simple but useful method for first figuring out a new city. Especially as a tourist!

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