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Even the All-Powerful Pointings

Best Travel Navigation Apps for Android and iOS

Whenever you’re traveling by vehicle, hiking or just wondering in a new city, it’s mandatory to pack a pair of shoes, but for me it’s more important to have a reliable GPS app to show you the way around, especially if you’re visiting a new place where locals don’t speak your languages. This is why I thought about writing an article about Travel Navigation Apps.

Today’s post is about the best GPS apps any traveler should have, make sure to try those apps in your own city, in other words locally. Then scale it and pick the one that works the best for you.

I personally try the navigation app locally, then I increase the navigation diameter by traveling less than 50 km in another city that I didn’t visit before; all this to make sure that the mentioned features work and the app is really something I can count on.

Google Maps is the top travel navigation apps on all platforms, its speed and functionalities over rank other apps in many ways.

Google Maps

Keep in mind that you need to download the map before visiting your destination, it requires a lot of storage space on your device, but you can only download an area of interest and not the whole city map. Another thing to consider, the cached maps expires in 30 days, so make sure to update/download the maps just before hitting the road.

Google Maps travelers’ features

  • Offline maps: heavy storage needed.
  • Offline searching: the best search you can get on a navigation app.
  • Turn by turn directions
  • Street-level photography: something every traveler need when planning a trip.
  • Multiple location views: street view, satellite imagery, and panoramic view.
  • Updated maps via OpenStreetMap
  • Bookmarking locations: includes the option to share and import/export bookmarks.
  • Traffic data: available in some locations and requires internet.
  • Public transit options: timings, stops, metro status…
  • Completely free with no in-app purchases
  • Almost Ads free: some ads will show up for hotels, tourist attractions…

When traveling to a less-visited place or destination, Google Maps directions aren’t guaranteed, you can get lost easily, especially if you’re navigating offline. Google Maps works great using the internet, so when traveling it can be really expensive using data roaming, better to try an alternative if you’re looking for a free navigation app that provides free features where no data needed.

In conclusion, Google Maps is pretty useful when traveling abroad, it makes transportation something you’ll enjoy.

Maps.me, personally this one help me a lot, it’s accurate 99% (the 1% time where it got me truly lost, but because I was challenging the system).

Maps.me

Maps.Me has its own cartographic mapping system, something that other navigation apps don’t, it stand out for various features that I can shorten here:

Maps.Me travelers’ features

  • Offline maps: works without the internet to save on data roaming.
  • Offline navigation: over 70 million points of interest.
  • Spoken turn by turn directions that works offline
  • Update the maps via OpenStreetMap
  • Map editor: an open-source where everyone can edit, add, recommend a place.
  • Travel guides: over 600 cities around the world
  • Bookmarking locations
  • Location sharing with so many options
  • An offline full-featured search function that includes: POIs, places, hiking trails, ATMs Restaurants and Hotels, and much more.
  • In-app hotel bookings directly and sightseeing tours booking using Aviator.
  • Traffic data
  • Voice navigation
  • Re-routing calculation
  • Navigation modes: driving, walking, public transit, and cycling.
  • Public transportation: the app works using Uber database
  • Completely free, no in-app purchases or download limits (according to the developers the maps and features will be free forever)

Also, Maps.me tend to progress and update the maps every 2-4 weeks, by including new places and recommendations, the features also get updated every now and then.

After installing Maps.ME you should consider connecting via Wi-Fi (prior to your travel preferably) and download the desired maps, the app is designed to work offline, so without maps, you can’t go anywhere.

One of the best features in Maps.me, it doesn’t require a lot of data storage on your phone, with less than 200 MB you can install the app with several maps and hit the road.

For example, and compared to Google Maps, the New York map on Maps.ME will require only 71 MB, when o Google Maps it’s more than 280 MB, do the math.

On Maps.ME you can get something special, buildings are marked with street numbers, roads have both official names and local names. So it’s something you really need when traveling and trying to find a specific location.

Another great feature (personally I use this one a lot) is local places, on Maps.ME you’ll be able to find non-touristy locations and things to do in your destination, some streets are already marked as Sightseeing, and other hidden gems were added by locals and tourist just like you.

So the only thing you need to do, go and bookmark those places and POIs for your next trip. You can also import, export or share the bookmarks you made with friends or send via email.

What you are using for pointing?

Let us know about your favorite travel app

We’ve rounded up five of our favorite navigation apps above. Let us know in the comments if we’ve missed your go-to.

Q&A about the Travel Navigation Apps

Let’s take a look at those most common questions asked by travelers when looking for the best travel navigation apps:

What are the best apps for foodies?

The best GPS app that provides details about restaurants and the how to find a good place to eat is Google Maps, with so much information about food places nearby, you can choose the best restaurant based on your budget or health style.

What are the best public transit apps?

Any traveler will prepare a plan for transportation when in the city, but can’t make sure every plan works a 100%, sometimes you need to improvise and find alternatives,

So the best app to help you choose which public transit will be Google Maps as it provides a lot of data and information regarding Metros, Subways, Trains, and Buses. Also provides good rate if you’re willing to book a cab or try to use Uber services.

What is the best GPS app for bicyclists ?

If you’re visiting a country where bicycles is widely used, like Amsterdam for example, you’ll need to install Maps.ME on your phone, it shows all bicycles’ routes and maps. This can be really helpful to save time when wondering a new city by bicycle.

What are the best apps for outdoors/hiking?

Most hikers have a GPS on their smart watch, so the best app for outdoors travel will be Maps.ME as it can be easily installed and configured on both phones and Wear OS.

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