8 tips for travelling, navigating & exploring safely with google maps

words Al Woods

As the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic varies from place to place around the world, keeping up with local regulations and navigating day-to-day life—especially if you are travelling to a new destination—is not as easy as it used to be. Google Maps has now stepped into the breach, offering some helpful advice to keep you safe on your next outing.

travel google maps

1. Plan ahead if you’re taking public transit

Easing back into activities you enjoy may have become confusing and unfamiliar, so Google Maps has introduced some new features and product updates helping you navigate getting things done, reliving past adventures, plotting news such as finding the “ best things to visit in Bani”, for example!

Google Maps now plots transit crowdedness and makes predictions for 10K+ transit agencies in 100 countries. So, before leaving home, check to see how crowded your bus, train, or subway car is likely to be.

2. Find the latest information about COVID-19

Use the COVID layer to see how virus cases are trending in any area. You can now also access quick links to trusted local resources, so you’ll know at a glance if there are specific guidelines or restrictions you need to follow.

3. Avoid crowds with live “busyness” information

Search for your destination before you go, scroll down on the “Business Profile”, and you’ll find how busy a place is, typically or specifically, at the time you plan to visit. This way, you can avoid a long line or a large crowd.

4. Reserve your spot

Make a reservation ahead of time right from Google Maps with participating businesses—it may be a requirement, and it will also help ease crowding. Search for the business you’re targeting and check upcoming availability. Make changes on the fly of your bookings within the “Saved” tab of the app.

5. Tap and go with contactless payments

Tap to pay services naturally avoid contact with potentially contaminated surfaces. Pay for things like street parking or public transit right from the Google Maps app.

6. Know before you go

Sample a business’s profile on Google Maps to ascertain operating hours and current COVID-19 safety precautions. Hit up restaurants, for example, for trending dishes and reviews.

7. Leave a review

Support your local community, especially, by dropping a review directly on Google. You can now follow prompts to share helpful information quickly for any restaurant in the U.S.

8. Reminisce on, or repeat past trips

Via the “Trips” tab, you can revisit past sites that met your fancy. Transport yourself back in time to that market in a tiny Italian town known for a rare and highly prized variety of red mango, and famous for “dulce de leche”—local sweets made of goat milk and sugar.


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