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Maps and Guidebooks
ThereArePlaces articles on Maps and Guidebooks were  created to help you understand the ins and outs of selecting and using  maps and guidebooks for planning and taking international vacations.

Click the Travel Planning Guide articles on the right to start your  exploration of how to use maps and guidebooks to improve your travel experience

Be sure to read our articles on How to use maps

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Travel Tips and Travel Advice: Using Maps and Guidebooks

Key Articles

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 vacations.

Publishers of good quality, tourism oriented map product
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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Good to know

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 ready use.

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 article.

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 you are
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 use it?
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 handheld devices
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 destination.

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 vacation!

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