You arrive in a new town or city, what’s the first thing you need? A drink? a hostel? a taxi? NO – it’s a map!! Yes this simple and often free piece of paper with writing and drawing on it is the single most important first thing to have in a new town or city. So today’s Tuesday’s Travel Essentials are of course…maps!
My advice is normally always try to get a map for your next destination in advance. I like to read and study them on the bus, train or flight there, so that when I arrive in that new town or city, I KNOW WHERE TO GO. Picking up multiple maps is also a good tip as some maps can be confusing.
I’ve realised over the years that carrying maps is always a very good method for maximising time on your travels. You will always see tourists getting lost, hanging around on street corners asking for directions etc. So my advice – get a map BEFORE you arrive (either – from a guidebook such as Lonely Planet , print a map from the internet or pick one up in your previous destination). If you don’t have one before arriving – look for the tourist information office in the city and get one of them as soon as you arrive.
Here’s my ELEVEN Reasons why maps are a travel essential:
1. They are normally free.
2. They fit in your pocket.
3. You can write notes on them/tick off places you visit as you go.
4. They usually show the main sights and things to see in a town.
5. They usually have advertisements for hostels, restaurants etc. on them.
6. They save you time.
7. You can show a local person your map and check where something is.
8. They help you write about your travels (I keep maps with my own notes on them from each place I go – makes it handy and easy to write).
9. You become a lot more aware of distances between places.
10. You are less likely to miss an important sight in that place as the key sights will normally be on the map.
11. YOU WON’T GET LOST.
Happy travels and don’t stop living!