Where to Buy Road Maps (And Reasons to Buy Them)

Do you have a smartphone that can be installed with GPS navigation apps such as Google Maps, Waze, Here WeGo, Maps ME, or Apple Maps? Then getting lost should be the least of your worries. That’s because these apps are designed to help you find your way regardless of which of the 50 states you are or where in the world you live.

However, it’s not all the time that there is a GPS signal or the battery of your smartphone has a charge. Because no matter how sophisticated they get, today’s technologies can still fail you once in a while.

This is when having a plan B matters a lot. When traveling by road, the best plan B to have to make sure that you will get to your destination is by having a road map with you. You may be surprised to learn that people nowadays still buy road maps despite being in the GPS age.

Just in case you have forgotten what it is because you have been counting on your smartphone for years now each time you travel by car, bus, or any other land vehicle, a road map is a visual representation of roads and transport links that are printed on paper. It also shows principal cities and towns, and terrains and other relevant data in some cases.

Aside from paper road maps, some people prefer to get their hands on atlases. You can think of atlases as books whose every page is a map. An atlas can be a collection of the maps of a city, state, country or the entire planet!

Instead of being on your Facebook, Instagram or any other social media account throughout the road trip, it’s a better idea to have a map before you. It will allow you to experience the beauty of navigating just like in the good old days, back when there were no things such as social media, smartphones, satellites, and GPS.

Here are some other reasons why you should consider buying and using a map:

·          It lets you bond with family and friends. These days, it’s common for a group of people to gawk on their gadgets than talk with one another. You will surely appreciate a road map’s ability to take you to where you are going as well as bring the family closer — even kids who use game maps can use a traditional map.

·          It helps keep your mind sharp. You can think of your brain as a muscle which gets stronger the more that you use it. A GPS navigation app does all the thinking. On the other hand, a traditional map encourages you to use your noodle because it involves reading details not only on the map itself but also on road signs.

·          It allows you to enjoy art. Because there are more people who choose to use their smartphones when they travel by road, not a lot of manufacturers of roadmaps are in existence. This is why you can think of map-making as a lost art. Some people use maps as eye-catching and useful alternatives to contact paper.

·          It lets you see the bigger picture. A GPS navigation app is great for getting you around a town or city. But if you’re crossing cities or states, a road map can lend a hand better. A map’s design lets you see right away what you need to see, unlike a smartphone app that requires lots of swiping and pinching in or out.

Because some people are still buying road maps, you are not going to have a difficult time getting one. You can buy it in various places. As a matter of fact, you can get your hands on a map without leaving your home. Keep on reading to know about where you can buy maps or how to produce one at home.

·          Bookstores and tourist gift shops. You can be certain that local bookstores are carrying traditional maps. Also, they sell atlases if you want your maps to come in the form of a book. Worry not if you were unable to head to the nearest bookstore before traveling by road. That’s because you can simply set foot inside a tourist gift store that you will come across along the way — maps are available there for sure.

·          On the internet. If online shopping is your thing because of the convenience and the sheer selection, you’ll be happy to know that you can find maps in all shapes and sizes in cyberspace. Just make sure that you order one several week or even a few months before you travel as you want the map to be on your doorstep before you go on a road trip.

·          Download and print. Other than buying a traditional map from an online vendor, you may also look for an image of the map that you want exactly and then print it. To save money further, you may save the image on your smartphone — just make sure that you have a fully charged power bank with you so that your smartphone won’t run out of power, which will keep you from using the map you saved on it. By the way, you may also send copies of a digital map to your fellow travelers via email or messaging apps.

·          Get one photocopied. You may head to the local library, borrow an atlas, and get a photocopy of the map that you want. If you can return the atlas on time after your trip, take it with you.

No matter your preference, there’s one very important thing to keep in mind: before you photocopy, print, or buy a road map has to be a current edition.

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