Travel Tips and Travel Advice:
Using Maps and Guidebooks
Buying the right guidebook for you
A good quality guidebook will help you plan a great vacation. We provide
several recommendations that should help you make the right choice.
How to purchase a map that meets your needs
The content included in maps varies to meet specific user needs.
Our article highlights the types of maps that are useful to tourists.
We recommend specific types of map publications for specific types of
Publishers of good quality, tourism oriented
Read our recommendations on map publishers who produce the best
products by country. Our list includes recommendations for street
maps, road maps, and road atlases.
Travel dictionaries and phrasebooks
Many American travelers do not have a command of foreign
languages. For those traveling internationally, purchasing a
phrase book or dictionary designed for travelers or tourists is a good
idea. We recommend what to look for and provide the names of
several publishers of quality language products.
What makes a "good" map?
To many travelers a map is a map is a map: however, maps differ in
quality, features, and utility for the user. Read our expose to
find out how to evaluate map quality.
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How much should you pay for a good map?
Quality maps are worth the price. Find out why in our article.
Make a travel folder for maps and guides
Guides, maps, articles clipped from magazines, and those print outs from
the Internet, what do you do with all of this stuff? We recommend
a great way to organize and transport these types of information for
Articles on how
to use maps
Map use – Browse the legend to understand the
symbols used on the maps
Map legends are the boxes that contain all of the crazy symbols
cartographers put on maps. Read our article and be prepared
to use map legends. In addition, find out how to "read" map
symbols when a legend has not been provided.
Map use - Finding north
Knowing the cardinal directions can be a help during map use but it is
not always necessary. If you want to know how to do it, read our
Map use - How to use the map index and the grid
reference to find locations
Using the map grid and index are key to finding material on
the map. We provide insights on how to use indexes and grids
to speed you on your way.
Map use - How to search a map to determine where
Okay, you have a map and you're ready to go. How do you determine
exactly where you are on the map? It is easier to do when walking in a
city than when driving in the country. We provide an easy way to
find your map location ....wherever.
Map use - Orient maps to make them easier to use
Many people use maps without trying to orient them in the direction they
are heading. Orienting maps makes navigating much easier.
Read our article for some tips.
Map use - What does scale mean and how do you
Travel between cities would take seconds, if they were as close
together as they appear on maps. Maps are a reduction of reality
and you need to understand scale to use maps effectively.
Using maps and directions to keep on your route
Realizing that you are lost and have no idea which way to turn to get
back on track is a terrible feeling. Read our article for tips and
information that will help you to avoid losing your way.
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May be of interest
Alternatives to maps: Online mapping and routing
Do you find maps overwhelming? Our article on how to use
online mapping and routing sites describes a simpler way to locate
places and generate routes between them. We provide
recommendations for the leading sites for US and European routing.
Alternatives to Maps: Mapping and routing on
Mapping and routing software can be run on Personal Navigation Devices
and cell phones. Technology is changing fast and these units are
getting better and better.
Alternatives to maps: Navigation Systems offered
by rental car companies.
Consider renting a car that provides an onboard navigation system.
These devices talk to you and tell when and where to turn to get to your
Getting back on the highway, which way to turn?
Have you ever pulled of the highway for a break and wound up going the
wrong way when you re-entered the highway? We offer some tips that
might help you avoid doing it again in the future.
European map names that might indicate areas of
interest to tourists.
We review names on maps that might be unfamiliar to you but represent
some of the best tourist attractions in European countries. Take a
second to peek at our list and impress your friends on your next
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