I have a plethora of great travel apps in my phone, but this one is new to me and I already can’t even imagine how I used to function without it in new places. The simplicity of it makes it seem almost too obvious to need, but the brilliance behind it is spot on for a traveler. Allow me to introduce maps.me, the map app.
Designed by a solid team who is passionate about maps, this app provides a basic but incredibly necessary function for wandering travelers.
How Does Maps.me Work?
Well, it’s a map, and you know what maps are for. And if you have a smartphone, chances are very good that you have the Google Maps app. But one thing you may not think about is the fact that Google Maps does not run without WiFi or data… uh oh. If you forgot to grab a free map of the city at the hostel or hotel desk, you could be out of luck for a direct route to where you’re headed.
Not to worry, there is a free version of maps.me waiting for you in your app store.
Once you download it, be sure to download maps for the specific countries you will be visiting (do this ahead of time so you aren’t stuck without capability to download later). The maps not only show street names, mileage, and borders, etc., but if you zoom in just enough, they also show a number of landmarks, restaurants, hotels, and even bus stops!
If you want to experience all that the app has to offer, upgrade to the premium version (it’s only $4.99 and well worth it). This enables a search function (addresses, points of interest, etc.) and when connected to WiFi, you can find where you are with the click of a button.
I was recently traveling in the Balkans (where long-distance public transportation does not exist in any sort of logical manner), and this app was one of the main reasons that we were able to make it from Macedonia to our destination in Greece within one day. The fact that it shows bus stops (with names) is a lifesaver in a foreign country. This design team deserves an applause.
Don’t leave home again without this app! While you’re at it, check out the Travel Guides by the same developers (also free).