If you have plans to tour a city that is new to you this summer, you need to be able to safely navigate and find you pr way around the city. The last thing you want to experience on vacation is being lost in an unsafe part of the city. Take these 3 tips for navigating a new city so you can relax and enjoy you vacation.
Use a GPS
Before you head out the door, think about various places you will be going. If you know the address of your hotel, then plug it in to the GPS and save it as a favorite. Are there historic landmarks, restaurants, or museums you plan to visit? Save them all as favorites so you will be able to tell the GPS your destination quickly without losing time searching for an address. You can always go back in later and delete these addresses from your GPS. The other benefit of having them plugged in ahead of time is being able to see a quick glance where the closest place on your ‘to-visit’ list is going to be. You don’t automatically know which museum is closest if you don’t have it plugged into the GPS.
Don’t forget about your phone: Google Maps and other map apps on your phone will give you step by step directions if you are on foot in a new city. Just plug in your destination and let your phone guide the way. But don’t rely 100% on a mobile GPS. Make sure you take visual clues as well so you will be able to find your way back. Look at street signs to see which way the numbers are going. Look for large building that stick out over the other roofs. Be aware of your environment so you won’t get lost.
Get a Map
When you enter a new state, stop at the rest area or welcome center to pick up a free state map. Sure, the GPS will be pretty dependable, but there are times when you may want to explore something off the scheduled path. You may also see something on the paper map that catches your attention that the gps doesn’t show you.
If you plan to stay downtown in a large city, you may want to pick up a city map showing the streets. This is especially good if you plan to do any exploring on foot.
if you plan to use public transportation to explore a large city, do a little research first so you know which bus or stop you want. You can download apps for some large cities public transportation systems to help you know where to go.
Ask for Help
Don’t overlook 2 great sources of local help. Talk to the hotel concierge and ask them for travel tips on parking, directions, restaurants, discounts or basic navigation of the streets. They live in the area and can give you real life ideas of traffic patterns or places that are safe for families.
Whether you plan to book your lodging and activities through the city tourism office or not, they are a wealth of information. Contact them before you arrive for things to know before you arrive. Don’t be afraid to tell them specifics of what you are looking for in your visit to their city. They are very qualified and experienced with helping visitors discover the best things about their hometown.
Exploring a new city is an exciting time when you are vacation. But if you don’t know where you are going, you can waste valuable time as well as get yourself into some sticky situations. Be prepared so you will be able to enjoy your time in a new area.
How do you navigate and get around a new city on vacation? I’d love to hear.