If you plan to drive while abroad or in your own home country, there’s an app you should download. Not only does this app help you navigate, but it can be used completely OFFLINE! Like no data or roaming necessary. The app is called Maps.me and I found it through a couple who road-tripped from NYC to Argentina.
So let’s talk about how it works. I’ve rented a car while overseas before and despite having an international plan, internet connection can be a mess! What could be worse than your navigation going out of signal in the middle of no where? And no one wants to pay $20 to the car rental company for a navigation system add-on either.
So I decided to downloaded maps.me, and I used it on the drive from our hotel in Antofagasta, Chile to the Hand of the Desert . What I learned is that in order to use the app offline, you must download the map/maps for the area you are looking for. Chile was broke into 4 parts (probably because the country is so long). Once you do that you can navigate to anywhere within that map area through searching for it, inputing the address, or through bookmarks you’ve set.
With the map area downloaded, the route set, the data turned off, and excitement to see this cool Hand in the middle of the desert, we set off. Everything went super smooth. Dimy and I jammed to Stromae and Lupe Fiasco as we journeyed 45 minutes into the desert.
The bam! We arrived. Safe and sound. We chilled took our photos and eventually headed back to the hotel.
If you’re not already convinced, here’s a full rundown of why Maps.me is the real MVP.
1. It’s FREE
2. It works offline with NO internet or data as long as you pre-download the map areas.
3. It doesn’t use a lot of battery power like Waze or Google Maps can.
4. You can find nearby hotels and hostels within the app.
5. It’s perfect for off the grid adventures.
But what is all the good without some room for improvement. Ways the app can be better in my opinion would be:
1. Add possibility for voice search like how Google Maps has.
2. Show more options for alternative routes.
3. A little work on better user interface designing within the app.
As we all know, there’s no perfect app, but I do agree based on my experience that Maps.me can be useful to anyone wanted to save their data when navigating.
If you know other useful apps for navigating abroad leave them in the comments below so I can check them out!