How to make Google Maps work for you while traveling this summer

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Going on a summer vacation? Knowing the nuances of Google Maps can make the difference between getting to your hotel on time or wasting precious hours by taking the wrong route somewhere.

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Although Google Maps can’t prevent traffic jams, there are many ways it can help make your trip easier, like getting to the airport quickly or using the Maps app offline. Check out some of the app’s best features for travelers below.

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1. Navigate easily to airports and railway stations

Google Maps app on phone Google Maps app on phone

Move around airports with a map.

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If you need to quickly find a store in a major mall or transit center, Google Maps has a feature. Directory Tabs for all airports, malls, and transit stations. This can come in handy when you’re scrambling to find a place to eat at the airport or trying to buy a last-minute souvenir before catching your flight.

The tab will tell you the destination’s business hours and what floor it’s on. You can see restaurants, stores, lounges, and parking lots.

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2. Find out how busy an attraction is before you go

To see how busy a place is, check out Google Maps engagement tool. You can already search for a location, such as a business, to see a chart that shows in real time how crowded it is. But a feature called Area Busyness lets you see when an entire map area is packed with people.

To use this feature, open the Google Maps app on your Android or iPhone (or your computer’s browser) and move around the map to find a general area, like downtown, the Riverwalk or a quaint neighborhood. Busyness information will now appear automatically on the map, so you don’t have to specifically search for a location to see how crowded it is. Google Maps might say something like “Busy area,” and when you click for more details, it might say “As busy as it can get” or “Not too busy,” for example.

However, you can also search for the location you’re looking for and scroll down to see busy times vs. non-busy times.

3. View all your reservations in Google Maps

Not only can Google Maps chart your trips, it can also quickly show you your flight, hotel, car rental and restaurant reservations, saving you the hassle of searching through your email for check-in times and confirmation numbers.

To see your upcoming reservations, all you have to do is search for “my reservations” in the Google Maps search box to see a list of what you’ve booked. Maps pulls this information from your email in Gmail. You can also select an item to see more details about the reservation, including the date and location.

4. Make restaurant reservations without calling

Planning dinner with a large group can be a hassle, especially if you’re visiting at a busy time. Google Maps can help you book reservations for lunch or dinner. Find out how.

1In Maps, tap restaurant Click the button at the top of the map to see a list of places to eat.

2Choose a restaurant that looks nice, and reserve a table during the opening window or join a waitlist if it gives you that option (not all do).

Remember that you can choose the least crowded location using the occupancy feature mentioned above. Also, keep in mind that some restaurants that are closed for dine-in may still allow delivery, curbside pickup, or outdoor seating.

google maps gps app google maps gps app

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5. Use Google Maps when you don’t have a cell signal

Are you headed to a remote location where you don’t have a mobile network connection? Google Maps can give you directions even when you’re offline.

1. Before you go out, research Maps To the location you want directions to.

2In the Location window, tap pull up menu on the bottom.

3Scroll right to the tab and tap Download offline mapsand then in the next window tap download again. Maps will download a map to your phone for the area you selected.

Now, when you use Google Maps for directions in an area you’ve downloaded a map for, when your cellular connection breaks, Maps will switch to offline maps to guide you. Note that since you’re offline, Maps won’t be able to provide real-time traffic information.

6. Find nearby EV charging stations

If you’re taking your electric vehicle out shopping, for dinner, or on a vacation, Google Maps can help you find the right place. EV Charging Station on your route, along with estimated wait times for charging ports. You can also filter your search by connector type — such as J1772, CCS (Combo 1 or 2) and Tesla — to see only stations that are compatible with your EV. Note that you can also search for gas stations by following these same instructions. (Here’s how you can save money at the pump,

1In Maps, scroll to the tab at the top of the screen and tap More,

2Scroll down to the .Services section and select Electric Vehicle Charging,

3The map will display nearby charging stations and the number of available stations.

4.Tap charging station Add it to the map to add it as a stop on your trip.

You can also use this trick to search for other places along your route, such as coffee shops.

7. Share your location with friends and family

Is there anything more frustrating during a group activity than when the group gets scattered and no one can find each other? Google Maps can help get you all back together.

1. In Google Maps, tap your profile icon in the top right corner and tap Location Sharing,

2. Tap share location, And choose who you want to share your location with and for how long.

3. Tap shareAnd Google Maps will send your location to all the people you select.

4If you want to see someone else’s location, tap that person’s icon at the top of the window, and then tap Demand,

8. Create, share, and view curated lists

How can you make sure you see everything you want to see during your vacation? If you create a list in Google Maps, you’ll be able to save future destinations and have them all available at a glance.

go to the bus Rescued Go to the tab and tap + New List Click the button. You can give the list a name and description. Then when you see a place on the map that you want to visit later, you can add it to your new list by scrolling through the tabs and tapping. save Click the button. You can share this list with your travel companions and even invite them to collaborate.

For more, check out these airports that no longer require TSA PreCheck travelers to show ID, and new self-service screening pods coming soon to some airports, too.

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