Being a technology enthusiast who relies on a smartphone daily, I thought that I will get lost on a recent trip to China without Google Maps. But the lack of Google services in the country is only half the problem now for foreign visitors: China also recently banned VPN and forced App Store China to remove VPN applications.

The good news is, things aren’t as scary as they seem. If you research solutions before your trip, you’ll survive just fine. And to save you some work, here are a few lessons from my own experience navigating Beijing and Shanghai with the help of a smartphone….