Find The Best Walking Path Without Stairs Thanks To This Accessible Google Maps Hack

The day has arrived and you've reached your destination, the spot you've been researching and dreaming about visiting for so long. Perhaps you've arrived after taking a dreamy train tour with views of the Italian Riviera, and all you need to do is drop off your bags at your hotel so you can start exploring. On your map, it looks like a short walk to your quaint pension, but as you get underway, you're suddenly met with a set of stairs that seem to reach out of sight. If only there were a way to maneuver through the streets without lugging your bags up those steep stone steps. The other alternative is to call a taxi or a rideshare to reach your destination, but it's disappointing to be sitting in the back of a car when you want to be outside exploring. Before you pull up that rideshare app, take a look at this simple Google Maps hack that will simplify your route by avoiding stairs altogether.


#stitch with @Andrew Sullivan Accessibility benefits everyone! Did you know this feature on Google Maps? #travel #travelhack #traveltip #googlemaps #hack #greenscreen

♬ original sound – Rod | Travel Advisor

By choosing the "wheelchair accessible" option on your Google Maps settings, your journey will be steered toward sidewalks, elevators, and other means of reaching your destination without climbing steps. This clever tip from TikTok user @itsrodsworld can make an enormous difference to anyone who loves to explore but may find it daunting, or physically impossible, to find a route through a city filled with stairs. It can be empowering to know that your tour of the city just became more manageable.

Choose the accessible option on your Google Maps route

In his TikTok post, Rod explains to his almost 30,000 followers that he discovered this hack on his recent trip to Lisbon. He claims that his Google Maps directions indicated that the distance to reach his hotel from the port where he arrived should only take a few minutes. However, he found that he was being asked to carry his luggage up an enormous flight of stone steps. He discovered how to adjust the settings on his app to eliminate the need to carry his luggage up these steps.

To use this hack yourself, begin by entering your destination into Google Maps and choosing the option for the walking route. At the very top of the screen in the right corner, there are three dots in a row. Click on these dots, and a menu will pop up at the bottom of the screen. Choose "Options," and several choices will appear, including the choice of "Wheelchair accessible." This option will set your preference to avoid stairs and choose elevators when possible. Click the toggle button on, then return to the map. You'll now have an accessible route prepared for you to take. This hack will come in handy in locations around the world, such as when visiting one of the many walkable cities in the U.S. where you don't even need a car.

An accessible route provides the opportunity to explore

Once you've become accustomed to choosing this option, you've opened the door to new ways to explore your destination. When you're able to plot a reliable walking route in an unfamiliar city, you'll no longer be limited to bus tours and taxi rides to move around the area. While these rides are a convenient way to move from one point to another, nothing is more exhilarating than being outside and mingling with the crowd. Plug in your destination, plot your route without stairs, and explore the city like a local. Stop to read the menu of a cafe you'd like to come back and visit, or linger inside a shop selling handiwork from local artisans. Listen to the conversations on the street, and admire the natural beauty in the landscape of the destination you've come so far to enjoy.

Traveling down the streets of the city will be filled with the vibrancy and color of the local environment. It's amazing that changing just one setting on your phone can open up a world of possibilities on your trip. It's ironic that this opportunity is possible because of technology, which is usually associated with increasing the speed of life. In this case, technology has made it possible to slow down, feel more comfortable, and enjoy the ambiance of your destination.