Travel Trick: How to Use Google Maps without Internet or Data

Let’s face it. These days, we can’t get from Point A to Point B without plugging it into our smartphones. Digital maps have changed the way we get around in the best way possible- they have given us the world at our fingertips.

However, when traveling internationally, we’re faced with a mix of unreliable network coverage and unreasonably expensive international data charges… making us lost in a world without our digital maps. Until now. Google released an offline option of Google Maps that I think is one of the most important travel tips for international traveling today.  If you’re going where the Internet is slow, mobile data is expensive, or you can’t get online, you can save a city, town, or area from Google Maps to your phone or tablet and use the app when you’re offline. Game-changing.


How to Download a Google Maps location to use offline

  1. On your phone or tablet, open the Google Maps app 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 bar that has the name of the place you searched. If you search for a place like a restaurant, tap More three vertical dots.
  5. Select Download.

Get offline directions and voice navigation

To get around using your downloaded 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.

Another fun trick is you can “star” locations within these maps.  Save your favorite places on the map so you can quickly find them later from any computer, phone, or tablet. Your saved places, which you’ve starred, are visible only to you.


What other apps do you guys use while abroad? I’d love to hear about your favorites in the comments!


Bay Area Eats: Okane


The Best Sushi in San Francisco: Omakase


Christina is a leading luxury lifestyle and travel blogger with over 2 million readers. Follow her on instagram @jetsetchristina.