If you’re hiring a car in Florida you are likely looking for a sat nav to get around the unfamiliar roads. All the major car hire companies can include it in the rental but for a premium. In our experience it’s an average of an extra $100 for a two week period.
There’s a free alternative though – using Google Maps offline on your mobile phone.
Google maps has a feature which allows users to download an offline map for any location. By downloading a map of Central Florida, including Orlando, you can use Google Maps sat nav with data roaming switched off (avoiding roaming or data charges).
If you don’t have Google Maps on your phone, you can download it from your App Store for free.
Once you’ve got the App, it’s very easy to load maps for the Orlando region (or anywhere else!).
- Search for Orlando in the Maps search bar
- Click on the Menu Button (three horizontal lines)
- Select the Offline Maps option
- Select Custom Map
- On the final screen, you can zoom in and out of the map to pick the region you want to cover. When you are happy click Download to save the map to your phone.
Now that you’ve downloaded the maps you can use the phone offline (i.e. with data switched off). You will still get sat nav directions on Google Maps for the map area you downloaded.
Just search for directions in the same way as you do when you’re online (Google will use the offline maps).
As your phone is offline you won’t get traffic alerts, but hopefully that’s only a small downside.
Unless you have international data roaming on your phone contract, make sure you switch roaming off before you start using Google Maps. If you don’t switch it off you will incur costly international roaming charges.