Tips for navigating a new city

colorful map of the United States

When travelling, it can be a lot of fun or a total disaster to try to get from one place to another in an unfamiliar locale. Some people enjoy getting a little lost and strolling about without a clue where they are. Others find it scary and even consider navigation to be the worst part of their trip. Whether you're headed to another city or overseas, you'll need some assistance getting around. Here are some tips for learning to navigate a new city:

Bring a map

Using a map is becoming a lost art. Many people don't even know how to align the streets on a map with the ones they can walk down in real life. You can teach your family this valuable skill while on vacation. Purchase maps ahead of time to get familiar with the area around your hotel. Spend time learning street names and even locate public transit and a police station just in case you need to know where one is. Plus, you can prevent your family from getting lost by studying the area around your destination. Don't forget to bring your map with you when you head on your trip. All that studying is helpful, but nothing beats having a map right in front of you. You can also purchase one once you reach your destination. You may be able to find a more detailed map of the region when you're actually there. Look for the most recently made map in order to get the most accurate one.

Try a GPS

Most smartphones these days have a GPS built into them. Simply open the application and type in wherever you need to go. A voice system will guide you to your desired locale. If your phone doesn't have a GPS, you can download one as an app. Google Maps and MapQuest are both popular. These are super helpful if you are using a rental car, as vocal directions can be very handy for hands-free navigation. Just be sure that you have everything typed in to your phone before you start driving. Accidents can happen if you are fiddling with your device while driving.

Ask a local

One of the fun parts of travelling is interacting with the locals. Visiting with the people who live where you're visiting can provide awesome insight into the area. Locals can recommend great places to eat, coffee shops with beautiful latte art and offer directions to just about whatever you're looking for. If you're heading out for some Asian travel or visiting Europe, you may need to learn a bit of the language in order to ask for directions. You can Google how to say "Where is _____" in any language on earth and the computer will help you learn this vital bit of information in just a second. If you really aren't sure how to try the other language, you can also just ask if the local speaks English.