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Road Trip 101: Where to Buy Paper Maps

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Road Trip Map

Photo: Raw Pixel

In the digital age, most people have sworn off using paper maps in favor of high-tech, built-in GPS systems. But if you’re taking a long road trip, especially by yourself, it’s important to have a backup plan in case your technology doesn’t hold up. It can be difficult to find paper maps in a digitally focused world, but there are a few accessible places for you to look.


While on the more expensive side, your local bookstore will have a variety of maps for you to choose from. You can usually find a selection of states, regions, and even countries if you plan on traveling internationally. When purchasing your map, make sure it’s a current edition so all of the roads listed are up to date.

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Online stores such as Amazon will likely have the largest selection of maps. You can also purchase map collections such as the Road Atlas that will have a handful of different regions bound together in one book. But unfortunately, as with any online purchase, you can’t flip through the map and see if it will truly meet your needs until arrives in the mail.


You won’t be able to mark up the maps and books you take home from the library, but they’re an inexpensive (free, in fact) way of navigating during your road trip. You can also find travel guide books at the library, which will point you in the right direction for hotels, restaurants, and sites in the area. If you check out books or map collections from the library, you can always use sticky notes to make notes inside the book (just don’t forget to remove them before you return it).

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Print them yourself

We live in the digital age; use it to your advantage. If you have a quality printer (this is important, considering maps are pretty detailed), print out a map of your area. You can find these with a quick Google search but, again, make sure they’re up to date. The U.S. Geological Survey also offers printable state maps with all of the major highways.