Originally published at: http://www.howtogeek.com/162865/5-tricks-to-use-your-android-phone-as-a-travel-guide-without-mobile-data/
Leave the paper maps, outdated travel guides, and thick dictionaries at home when you go traveling — all you need is an Android smartphone. You can do everything offline with features built into Android and free apps.
In my case (Samsung Galaxy Nexus, running 4.1.2), Google Maps (or any other GPS app) cannot get a lock (i.e. the GPS doesn't start working) without an internet connection. So in my case, mobile data is sometimes required just to initiate the GPS and get an initial position, and then I can turn off mobile data. I dunno if that's the same for other users as well, but it's annoying.
The thing with Offline maps in Google Maps is that not all maps for some places are available to download. Here in Colombia, even Bogota is not available. Or Brazil. Or most of the countries in South America. And seems Google won't make anything for that ever. So I switched to using MapFactor Navigator and OSM maps.
Oops!!!! When I tried to install the "JiWire’s WiFi Finder" [edited] app it wanted permission to make phone calls that could cost me money. I cancelled out, of course. Does anyone know of an alternative WifFi finder?
Mobile data ISPs must be furious about this 'offline' mode. Fewer roaming charges or users blowing their caps...
The Google maps download isn't that much use, as it turns out, mainly because you can't do a search. Effectively, it's not much better than a paper map (that doesn't have an index).