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Getting Maps

Old Jun 30th, 2003, 06:29 AM
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Getting Maps

I live in the US and need to know if its better to purchase maps here of the cities and towns we will be traveling to, or buy them when we get to the actual town...Any reccomendations for stores here in the US that have good mapes , like bookstores maybe?
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Old Jun 30th, 2003, 06:48 AM
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dln
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Borders and Barnes and Nobles bookstores have overseas maps for all countries. The advantage of purchasing a map prior to a trip is that it allows you to do a bit of advance planning, as well familiarizing yourself and getting comfortable with your destination. I always sit down with a guidebook, a map, and a big highlighter pen. Then I proceed to mark up both book and map. It makes for a colorful mess, but at least I feel a little more prepared and a little less scared about venturing forth to unknown territory!
 
Old Jun 30th, 2003, 06:52 AM
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Someone has finally invented a 'no-rip' paper which is being used for maps. I don't know if it's been in the US for ages (like some things that make it over the pond later) but if you don't see it, you might want to wait and buy your maps in Europe. I like to fold, re-fold, then fold again, open up and re-fold - resulting in rips and holes inevitably right over the metro stop and street I need - so this map paper is my idea of a Great Invention! Second place goes to plastificized maps, though they thwart my folding mania.
(But don't wait until you get to Europe to start looking at maps of the cities and towns you'll be visiting! Check out guidebooks, Internet, and make copies in the library.)
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Old Jun 30th, 2003, 06:54 AM
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Most of the large US chain bookstores will carry Michelin maps, but be aware that they are rather expensive to buy in the US. If you are a AAA member, if you ask early enough, they can often get you very nice maps, for a lot less than you will pay in a bookstore.

For London, you need a "London A to Z" guide (read that as London A to Zed); which is actually a street atlas. Those are available in advance from Amazon.co.uk, and also at bookstores, newstands, petrol stations, and convenience stores all over Britain, including the ones at airports. They make a pocket size, though it doesn't include some of the far suburbs. (Amazon shipping from Britain on light things isn't bad, BTW, because you are not paying VAT; it works out to about what you would pay in a UK store.) I'm sure that there are also atlas-type guides for the other major cities of Europe; I'm just not sure of the titles.

For town-to-town driving directions for rural areas and small towns, try the EuroShell website:
http://www.euroshell.com/INT/EN/index.asp
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Old Jun 30th, 2003, 07:03 AM
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I bought laminated maps at Barnes & Noble for our upcoming trip to Italy. With all my opening and closing them while researching over the past year, they're still good as new.
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Old Jun 30th, 2003, 07:06 AM
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Definitely buy in the US--there's no guarantee that maps you buy when you get to Europe will a) have anything in English or b) be available when you need to buy them!

Also, you don't want to be spending valuable vacation time looking for a place to buy a map when you could have just as easily bought one at home (and had time to comparison shop for best prices), do you?

Most larger bookstores--B&N, Borders, etc., should have extensive map sections, and if not, see if there is a Rand McNally store in your area. Any map you have ever wanted should be available there.
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Old Jun 30th, 2003, 07:18 AM
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Depending where you are traveling to...keep in you mind that you might be able to get free map calling the government office of the country you are planning to visit.
In my experience you can always find great, wonderful and updated maps free of charge once you arrive in your destination. Many times maps available in book store here might be outdated.


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Old Jun 30th, 2003, 08:19 AM
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i have never been at a hotel in any major european city or tourist destination that does not have a freebo map of the city at the front desk. generally these are sponsored by department stores or the like. mc donald's sponsors an excellent map of verona, for instance.

they vary from basic to very usefull. their main advantage to me is that they're light and compact and eminently disposable. we frequently will pick one up at night and draw out the next day's itinerary.
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Old Jun 30th, 2003, 10:11 AM
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As mentioned above, the best map I had for Paris was the free one from the hotel lobby.

In my home city there is a chain called Metzger Maps, which is what it sounds like, a store full of maps.

I'm a bit confused by the poster who wants his/her map to be in English, that doesn't make sense when all the street names, parks, monuments, and sites are in French anyway, non?
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Old Jun 30th, 2003, 12:18 PM
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This spring I stayed at a hotel in Gianicolo (Rome) and the only map they had was a virtually illegible xerox-of-a-xerox-of-a-xerox of only the neighboring streets. So I definitely wouldn't count on the hotel for a decent city map.

I generally like the maps in tour books because they're so small yet well-labeled--I just rip out the page with the map and carry it in my purse. In fact, that's why I don't get Rick Steve's books--my one complaint about them is the poor quality of the maps. But, for our upcoming vacation, my Italy tourbook's map of Venice is poor, and that's one city where it's so easy to get lost, so I'll be investing in one from Barnes & Noble.
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Old Jun 30th, 2003, 12:32 PM
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Obviously, you are getting all kinds of advice and none of it is ever bad.

Typically, we'll pick up a guide book if it's somewhere we haven't been to before and they usually have maps.

Like mentioned previously, it is rare to find that your hotel will not have maps available and you can also pick them up in gas stations and train stations for a fraction of the cost of buying them at home.

The average price for a map at B&N is way out of hand. You could get your maps at your destination and have dinner for what you'd likely pay locally. If you need directions just to get you from the airport, train station, etc., get them online for free.

Try it, you'll like it.
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Old Jun 30th, 2003, 12:47 PM
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The maps in Barnes and Noble and Borders are usually the same ones you find in Europe.

If the maps of smaller cities, like Innsbruck and Salzburg, are not available at a store year you, I have had good luck with www.onemapplace.com

I have ordered maps directly through email with a credit card and gotten very good service. The store usually has what I cannot find elsewhere, like that big Michelin map of Paris with the street index.
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Old Jun 30th, 2003, 12:53 PM
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I'm trying to find a map of Rome thats easy to understand that has the churches and monuments on it..
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Old Jun 30th, 2003, 01:22 PM
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I saw one that meets that description at Borders Bookstore. My mother also sent me her map, which has the same, plus a few other goodies like subway line and opening hours. She picked it up for free at tourist information in Rome when she and Dad arrived.
 
Old Jun 30th, 2003, 01:25 PM
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Try this:
www.Italy-maps.com
Have a great trip!
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