Have you ever wondered why your flatmate is submitting Snaps from Rialto Bridge? Or what your ex is doing in Costa Rica with your best friend? With Snapchat's new ‘Snap Map’ feature, you can now see what travellers are doing around the world, in real time. 

Snap Map allows users to see where their friends are and what they are doing when they post a snap. The app is attracting millions of users and is fast becoming the most exciting and colourful way to meet new people on holiday.

To make the most of Snap Map, you need to have a grip on the basics first. We’ve broken everything down for you, so you’ll know whether you want to go into ‘ghost mode’ or add your own story.

Going on Snap Map for the first time

Snap Map Travel

Image credit via TheSiliconreview

Your smartphone camera is the core feature of Snapchat, so you'll always open the app via your camera. From there, you can get into Snap Map by pinching your fingers together.

Snapchat users who choose to share their location will appear on Snap Map as an "Actionmoji" - a cartoon avatar that changes according to what you are doing.

By tapping on an Actionmoji, users can see the latest stories of another user's Snapchat profile, chat with them or meet them in person. For example, let’s say there’s a big party going on in Plaça de Catalunya in Barcelona, you can send Snaps to other users before meeting.

You can also see and tap on “heat maps” where lots of Snaps are being uploaded, potentially indicating a big football match or music festival in that area.

What is an Actionmoji?

Actionmoji Snap Map

(Image courtesy of Snapchat)

Your Actionmoji avatar on Snap Map will change, depending on what the app thinks you're doing.

Let’s say you’re sunbathing in Croatia, it will show your Actionmoji chilling under a sun umbrella; if you’re running to catch a cheap flight, it will show your Actionmoji with a suitcase; and if you’re streaming your favourite tunes on Spotify, it will show your Actionmoji wearing headphones.

You get the idea.

Snapchat also decides what you’re doing by examining your GPS location, time of day, the speed of your movement, and whether you’re using your headphones or not.

Actionmoji updates itself automatically when Snapchat is active, and if a Snapchatter has not opened the app for several hours, their Actionmoji will disappear from Snap Map entirely.

Changing your location on Snap Map

Snap Map Location Finder

(Image courtesy of Snapchat)

You can change your location at any time by tapping your avatar or selecting the settings icon in the top right-hand corner.

If you’re worried about people contacting you, then “Ghost Mode” will keep your location private. "My Friends" lets you share your location with all of your Snapchat friends, and "Select Friends" allows you to limit your location to certain people.

Using Snap Map on holiday

If you’re going on a weekend break in Prague, being an art tourist in Italy or backpacking in South America for six months, the latest game changer from Snapchat means you can meet new people in seconds.

So if you're checking into a hostel and want to party with other travellers at a music festival, hit back and log into Snapchat.

*Header image courtesy of Snapchat