Let’s face it: we’ve become dependent on our mobile devices for nearly every task we do these days (it’s not just me, right?). I blog from mine, check and reply to emails, read books, take photos, listen to music, send texts, and stalk research the objects of my sexual desires associates on Facebook LinkedIn. Oh, and sometimes I use it to make calls.

But there’s another useful thing I use my mobile phone – as my personal navigation system. When I’m home, stateside, I’ve use of my monthly plan which offers unlimited data; I often use it to navigate my home, New York City, as there are still plenty of times I get lost even here.

However, when abroad, especially for those shorter jaunts, I often don’t buy a SIM to get by, and when I do, the data is likely a small fortune to use. Though I may not be able to use the data-dependent features of my phone (and these days that seems to be all of them), I’m actually able to use my GPS functions just fine, without incurring any data.

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Here’s how it works (it’s really simple):

1. Before venturing out of your hotel room (or even on your trip), go to your Google Maps application on your smartphone while you’re on wi-fi.

2. Go to the area of the map that you’d like to use in the near future, such as the city you’re about to explore. Zoom in/out as necessary to get the entire area you think you’ll cover within the frame.

3. In the search box, type in “Okay Maps” (caps and quotation marks not necessary). For IOS (iPhone, iPad) users, you might need to type in “OK Maps”.

4. Click the “Search” button or its magnifying glass icon, and voila! The map that you had previously on your screen gets saved to your phone.

5. While you’re out, turn off your data connections, and make sure that your phone’s location/GPS is turned on. GPS doesn’t require any data, and it will plot your position on the map that you’ve saved.

This should work for most devices using Google Maps, especially Android and IOS devices. Also, with their latest updates of Google Maps, the app might also allow you to save/cache maps for offline use by going through the settings; just look around the app menu for “Make Available Offline” and the map you had displayed should get cached just the same.

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