Years ago, I got smart and started compiling the best of what I wanted to see, do and eat into word docs and just printed them up to take along- leaving the back-breaking, luggage-hogging guidebooks behind.
Well, last week, I was playing around with Google Maps, as I often do to find places in a city. I am sure many of you have used it for driving directions.
While playing, I realized that I could now kill three birds with one stone.
You can mark an historic attraction, hotel, restaurant, store-anything with an address really, on a map, save it there, write a little blurb to go with it and save it to your map.
Do this over and over again, with every little thing and suddenly you have your own personalized guidebook of your favorites.
Rick Steves, eat your heart out!
Just to give you an idea, here is a snapshot of a map for Rome.
Though you can’t do it on the map above, on yours, you can hover over the blue marker and get the name of the location, zoom in and out, click on a blue marker to get a street shot picture, double-click to put your own notes in about that location. Notice that the nearest Metro stations are even clearly marked!
Print out this map and take it with you on your trip- leaving the heavy guidebooks and portfolio of paperwork behind.
And if you are bringing your laptop along- you can just open to your Google Map everyday to plan your itinerary.
Yet another cool thing about Google Maps is the virtual map. Not only can you get a street view of any specific location (which can come in handy for landmarks or spotting your destination), but now you can drag the little golden man in the left hand toolbar to any location on the map and he’ll take you on a little virtual walk of the area.
I could spend all day, whittling away countless hours doing this on the map of Rome. Or anywhere else, for that matter! Kinda gets you super excited before your vacation.
If you really wanted to be cheap and lazy- I suppose you could travel around the world, city by city, without ever leaving your house.
But what fun would that be?
And Cherrye’s back today. Don’t forget to head over and check out her Travel Tips today!
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