Are you a coffeeholic? I am.
Vanilla Latte, Caramel Mocha or Pumpkin Spice Latte always sound like a good idea anytime – morning, noon, early evening.
When travelling, going to a café always feels like the city is welcoming me with a creamy cup of pure deliciousness the way my friends would welcome me with a hot tea into their home.
Basically, it’s the city’s way of saying “Hello. We are happy you are here.”
Coffee and Travel
In case you didn’t know already, I am a person with an ambitious mindset, but trapped in the body of someone who prefers lying in bed and watching Netflix. Therefore, as much as I love traveling, it wears me out. Honestly, this can really suck. So when I come home after traveling, I often feel like I need a vacation from my vacation. Raise your hand if you have experienced the same!
However, it seemed that the contrasting personalities of the adventurer and the couch potato have struck a deal to get the best of both: Endless adventuring, if only I take a longer break each day.
So, taking coffee breaks has worked wonders for me. Not only do I refuel, but it’s a good way to see a different side of the city if you manage to find the spots the locals go.
Avoiding Tourist Traps
I absolutely understand if you feel a void in your wallet and start wondering “How could I possibly afford going to a café?”. I get it. You are right. It can be expensive.
What helped me is to do my research before I travel.
Because you know what? The times I don’t, I tend to run into what I know best: the green mermaid café chain Starbucks. I am not saying that Starbucks is in any way a bad café. Simply that you will end up leaving a lot of money there. –Even if you just order a single drink! The place will also not have the locals-tourists-ratio you’d want when looking for a sense of integration with the culture.
You can do better than this!
I usually use sites like CultureTrip or TripAdvisor to find local cafes. They also show how much you should expect to pay. (If you are a VEGAN, I highly recommend to also look at the website HappyCow. I found out about it at the Vegan Festival in Berlin last year (Bravocado!) and I have been impressed ever since.)
I love having options. And so do you (probably). Therefore, I always try to find places all over the city. As a result, no matter where I am, a café that won’t break my budget is in reach.
Let’s say you have put together a list of places to go to. What next?
Why You Should Plan Your Trip Using Google Maps
The one tool that was a game changer for my travels in Warsaw, Poland, was Google Maps.
If you follow my step to step guide on “How to Plan Your Travels Using Google Maps”, you will have your own personalized map showing you what is close: cafes (obviously), restaurants, sights, museums, parks. –Basically, anything you planned on experiencing.
And once you have that, Google Maps works exactly like it usually does: You select a place of your personalized list and Google Maps creates the fasted route for you to get there. Sounds great, right?
To me, this easy hack stripped away a lot of stress from my travel, since I didn’t have to constantly flick through my guidebook or have to rely on Wifi hotspots to do my research right then and there. I could constantly be on the go, while only going to places that were in my price range and that I actually wanted to see.
I found this so revolutionizing to the way I travel, that I felt everybody should know about this hack. Even though you don’t have technology wrapped around your finger, like me, this tool has a high chance of becoming your reliable travel buddy. Hopefully, you love it as much as I do.
How to Plan Your Travels Using Google Maps
1) Open up your Google Maps and click on the menu button on the upper left corner.
2) A drop down menu will open up and you want to click on Your Places.
3) A new side menu will open up showing all your places: The ones you labeled, saved, visited or maps. This time, you want to click on MAPS.
4) Click on SEE ALL YOUR MAPS and then on the red button labeled +CREATE A NEW MAP.
5) Now, your screen should look something like this.
From here on, we are going to create our map. The first thing we want to do is to title our map. Click on Untitled Map and a small window with the option to name the map as well as adding a description should pop up. Once you fill in the information, click Save.
6) Go into the search bar and look up the places you want to add to your list.I definitely wanted cafès on mine. I searched WakeCup Café Warsaw, which then was immediately located on the map. A window also showed additional information, such as the address, website, phone number and visitor’s ratings. After your place has been located, click on +Add to Map to include the place to your map. You can add more places the same way. Coffeedesk Kawiarnia and TO LUBIE also made it on my list.
7) If you have included all the places you want to see, go to preview. Now you should see all your places located on a map and a legend to the side. The whole map should have been saved automatically.
You are done!
I hope you love your completed and personalized map! If you are also logged into your Google account on your phone, your map should also be visible there.
(You can always go back to Edit if you want to change your map.)
The cafes I added to my map were insanely good! –Delicious food, great location and reasonably priced. I would go back there any time.
I hope you found this helpful. Happy travels, everybody!
Time to Chat
Have you used Google Maps for traveling before? Let me know in the comments below.
Also, what is your favorite coffee? If you have recommendations for the best cafes in your city, please let me know. I honestly love finding out about insider places like this (What else are great communities like this for if not for sharing knowledge?) and if I go to your city, I will definitely give it a try.
Have a great week everybody!