Part of Venice’s charm is in getting lost, or so I like to remind my husband after we round another corner to nowhere. It’s true that Maps aren’t much use in this beautiful, mazelike city. Once you’re familiar with the Grand Canal, use the vaparetto or water bus stations to get your bearings and follow the signs. The yellow markers are official, the rest are placed by helpful Venetians.


For other destinations, if we’re renting a car, a road atlas is essential; otherwise I pair a city Map with a transit route guide. My husband likes to bring a Map of the entire country, which usually provides other entertaining information.

Modern technology: One of our pilots used GPS to guide him from the hotel to downtown Narita, Japan, though on the walk back, it steered him through every nook and cranny he visited on the way out. And during a drive across Canada one recent summer, our GPS went berserk when we passed a field of industrial wind turbines, directing us to immediately turn left into a farmer’s field.

As a flight attendant, I’m a big believer in the back-up system. While smart-phone travel apps are becoming more popular, a paper Map, like cash, always comes in handy. Grab one ahead of time and get your bearings as soon as you arrive, jet lag notwithstanding. Go to links.

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