Harness the Power of Google Maps Offline: An Underutilised Travel Hack 

 August 8, 2023

In this article, Cottagely collaborates with travel expert Joshua Rasia to give expert tips for your next holiday.

In a world where we’re increasingly reliant on internet connectivity, there’s an innovative feature in a tool that's probably already installed on your smartphone - Google Maps.

We’re highlighting Google Maps' offline feature, an ingenious, yet underutilized feature that’s poised to revolutionize your navigation experiences, no matter where your adventures take you. We’ll also include valuable insights from travel expert Joshua Rasia to fully comprehend the magnitude of this travel hack.

The Invaluable Offline Feature

Navigating through areas with limited or unstable internet connectivity can be challenging. Here’s where Google Maps' offline functionality is a lifesaver. It allows you to download maps of your desired areas in advance, ensuring continuous navigation even without Wi-Fi or mobile data.

Joshua shares his thoughts, "Being in wild areas not covered by 5G connectivity sometimes can be hard but using the offline GPS feature makes you feel somehow safer and closer to the world. I remember a trip to India a few years back and the plan of the day was ruined by torrential rains close to the fort I was visiting. Somehow I knew there was another activity to do close by as I had studied the area before moving there but couldn’t remember. The offline GPS saves my entire day"

Downloading Google Maps for Offline Use

The process to use Google Maps offline is straightforward. First, search for your area of interest on Google Maps. Once the area is displayed, tap on the name or address at the bottom and select 'Download'. Remember to complete this step while you're connected to Wi-Fi before embarking on your journey.

Joshua adds, "Normally I do this in the airport or train station in the remote places I reach as I am sure the internet connection is stable. Then once properly checking the functionality of the app I continued my journey, In Nepal for instance it worked very well. Always remember to download while you are under wi-fi coverage as later on it would be very tricky to get enough speed on data, especially in some remote areas, to be able to download it’’.

The Perks Go Beyond Just Navigation

Going offline with Google Maps does more than just smooth out your navigation experiences. It's an efficient way to avoid hefty roaming charges when you're abroad or save on your domestic data usage, leaving more room for other activities that require data.

Joshua points out, "I know people who came back home with something like 50-100$ charges and did not know how it was possible to receive such a bill. The fact is that international roaming costs around 10$ a day and it’s simple to sum up the cost if you travel for a while’’.

Your Essential Features are Still Accessible

Choosing to go offline doesn’t strip you of Google Maps' key features. You’ll still be able to access directions, search for specific locations within the downloaded area, and find points of interest. Thus, all essential information for your journey remains at your fingertips.

However, Joshua  offers insight into certain limitations, ‘’You won’t be able to see if there are actual live changes on some shops, museums and so on as this would require you to anchor to another link which would need connectivity however it’s worth if you manage to save earlier on, places you want to visit by marking them as to go places’’.

Enjoy GPS even on a plane

Many people still switch off phones rather than switching to fly mode during a flight, but here we are going to miss some excitement, especially if we have the luxury of the window seat.

Joshua points out a feature not known by many ‘’You need to know that GPS works even above the clouds and it allows you, especially when you visit countries with plenty of islands and it’s super helpful. During my last flight to Greece from Italy the GPS allowed me to understand the shape of the island, the name of it which otherwise would be very difficult to find out as there are plenty of islands within a few kilometres distance. Once I landed I knew exactly what I was gonna look for and the boat for the island was even quite enjoyable’’.


Mastering Google Maps' offline mode is a significant step towards smart, efficient, and convenient travel experiences. As we increasingly depend on digital tools, leveraging such tech hacks becomes crucial.

To quote Joshua, "It is necessary to use these hacks since we have so many satellites that can assist our movements around the planet, covering even the most hidden places on Earth. Things can get trickier if you’ll visit underground tunnels as GPS does not always reach there but we can have alternative solutions."

We remain committed to providing you with expert-guided travel insights and will continue revealing more tips and tricks. Until then, happy traveling!

Joshua Rasia

With over 11 years of experience in the hospitality industry, I have honed my skills in customer service, team management, and operational efficiency. As a digital nomad, I have embraced a lifestyle of remote work and exploration, traversing 7 countries to immerse myself in diverse cultures and adapt to new environments. Along this journey, I have mastered 7 languages, fostering meaningful connections and enabling seamless communication with individuals from different backgrounds. These collective experiences have enriched my global perspective, instilling adaptability, open-mindedness, and cultural awareness, all of which contribute to my ability to thrive in dynamic and cross-cultural settings.

Author: hotelmanager