How to use google maps offline and international without using data minutes

Download maps before you leave

You’re already familiar with map apps such as Google Maps and Here, and if you’re like us, the turn-by-turn GPS navigation has gotten you out of more sticky situations than you care to admit. But did you know that if you download the maps in advance, they work even when there is NO cell service available?

If you get lost easily, this is a game changer. Your phone’s GPS always knows your location, even when you’re out of cell or Wi-Fi range. If you’ve saved the maps to your device, you’ll always be able to see where you are. So now you can go ahead and explore those back roads after all.

You’ll save money too. After you’ve downloaded the maps, your phone won’t need to continually have to reload map information, saving you both data and battery life. And they can eliminate the need to add that costly GPS unit to your next car rental.

We like having both these apps on hand for different reasons:

Google Maps is probably already on your phone. It will identify all the restaurants, attractions and stops along the way. However, as of this writing, the live turn-by-turn navigation only works when you have an active cell connection. If you know a particular journey you’ll be taking, you can always run that search in advance and print out the turn-by-turn directions. Old school, but effective.

Here Maps for Android or iOS doesn’t have the wealth of roadside information that Google Maps has, but it does offer you live voice navigation without the need for a cell connection. Map downloads are easier too.