Use the iPhone Maps app abroad for free

One of the things I love about my iPhone is the Maps app combined with the phone’s GPS capabilities. Together, these two help me locate myself and find my destination with ease. Because I have national coverage with AT&T in the US, my iPhone has become an indispensible domestic travel companion, but the cost of international data coverage can be prohibitive, so I’ve been reluctant to use the phone for this purpose while traveling outside the US.

Travel Tip: When you arrive in your foreign destination and before you head out for the day, find and connect your iPhone to an available WiFi connection (e.g. in your hotel or in an internet café). Make sure that Airplane Mode is Off and Locations Services (Settings > General > Location Services) are turned On. Both of these are required for you to use the GPS capabilities of your iPhone. You’ll also want to disable Data Roaming (Settings > General > Network) to avoid the hefty costs associated with international data roaming.

Then, launch the Maps app and cache the map for your current city or the part of the city you’re planning to visit. To do this, just zoom in to the level(s) of detail you’ll need for the day, wait for the map to download and become clear, and then move around in each of the four cardinal directions to download each tile of the map.

Now you’ll be set to use maps on your iPhone for the day – and without paying for international data coverage!

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