Overlooked Tips for Using Google Maps Offline When Traveling

Cover image for tips for using Google maps offline or in airplane mode

Whenever I tell people about these Google Maps functionalities, I’m amazed by how frequently they reply, “Wow, I wish I’d known this all along!” They’re so simple and helpful, and yet so overlooked. Here’s how to get the most out of using Google Maps offline while traveling.

Just Say “No” to Screenshots:
Download the Map to Your Phone

Instead of relying on the screenshots you take before leaving WiFi behind, download the map area you’re traveling in instead and start using Google Maps offline. It’s super easy. Here’s our video explaining how (using an iPhone):

  1. When you’re connected to Wi-Fi, open Google Maps and zoom in/out to the area you wish to save online.
  2. Type “ok maps” in the search bar and click Search.
  3. Confirm the area and download.
  4. When you no longer need the map, click the three horizontal lines on the top left -> Offline maps -> Select the map to delete -> Press delete.

Make Google My Maps Yours:
A Whole New Layer to Google Maps

On many of our posts, we embed Google My Maps (like this one for Medellin, Colombia). They’re awesome for showing readers the exact locations of our favorite points of interest.

What most people don’t know is they can easily save these maps on their devices. That way when they’re using Google Maps offline while traveling, they can still access all the info, seeing it right on the maps on their cell phones.

Here’s our quick video instructions (again, using an iPhone):

  1. Any time you see a Google My Map you’d like to refer to later on your phone, click the little star on the top of the map.
  2. Open Google Maps on your phone and click the three horizontal lines on the top left.
  3. Tap “Your Places.”
  4. In “Your Places” tap “Maps” on the upper right of your screen.
  5. Locate the map you starred and tap it.
    • The map will then open up on your screen and be accessible for offline use
  6. Use your new My Map to enhance your travels, even when using Google Maps offline
    • See what highlights from the map are nearby you.
    • Click on any point of interest for more information.
    • Play around with it. There are many helpful functionalities.

Happy Travels Using Google Maps Offline the Expert Way!

Chris' proudest moment was when his grandma said he's the weirdest of her dozens of grandchildren. He likes different stuff, cheap stuff, sports, nachos, and Kim. He has no job but makes money.

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