TRAVEL

8 Google Maps Hacks That Will Change The Way You Travel

02/20/2015 07:00 am ET | Updated Feb 24, 2015

We knew Google Maps could show us the world. But we didn't know the app could pull quite so many game-changing travel tricks.

From booking a black car to planning a ski route, this little tool is primed to completely revamp the way we travel. Here are some of the smartest Google Maps hacks to enjoy on your next adventure.

1. Save a map so you can use it without Wi-Fi or data.
When you don't have Wi-Fi or data, there's still a way to use Maps. While you do have a connection, search for a place and either: 1) tap the microphone and say "OK Maps," or 2) swipe the info sheet at the bottom of the screen and choose "Save Offline Map" from the menu in the right corner. You'll then be able to save the map and access it later in the "Your places" tab, even when you don't have data service.

2. Use Maps on ski runs, just like you would on the street.
Google has tons of mountains fully mapped, so you can use the app to plan your runs for the day or plot your route from the lift. If your mountain won't have data service, just use the "OK Maps" trick to save a mountain's map to your phone.

3. Find bus and train timetables... even ones for the future.
Click the train icon for instructions on how to reach your destination with public transportation. Then, click your desired route to see arrival times for that particular train or bus. You can also toggle your "depart" day and time to see which trains will be running at the time of your journey (even if that journey isn't for a month).

4. Find out when the last train will leave.
Search for your destination, tap the train icon, tap settings, and select "Last." You'll see the final trip for the day... and you'll rest easy knowing there's a way home no matter how long your adventure takes.

5. See inside your destination, BEFORE you get there.
Search a spot, swipe the info card at the bottom of the screen, and check out "See inside" for a view of a restaurant, hostel or airport terminal's interior. It works for most places, though it doesn't work everywhere. Of course, you can also see Street View images and user-uploaded photos in many cases.

6. Zoom with one finger.
Gone are the days of the two-fingered zoom -- just double-tap the map with one finger, and swipe up or down to explore a bigger view.

7. Put all your must-see places in one big map.
When you've mapped a location that you want to visit later, tap the star icon. The place will be marked with a star on your map, so you'll always know where to find your must-see spots.

8. And when everything gets too confusing, just book an Uber using the app.
Thanks to last year's Google Maps update, you can now tap-tap to call an Uber from the directions screen (FYI, you'll have to have the Uber app first).

Google Maps showing 3D London
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