GPS for driving in Ireland?

Mar 15th, 2008, 08:33 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 133
GPS for driving in Ireland?

So we have planned our trip in Ireland for three weeks in May. I saw a post recently from honeymooners trying to decide whether to take a tour or an independent vacation. We are independent vacationers all the way. When we travel to Asia or Africa or some other places where language is a huge barrier we pre-arrange guides in the area. Sometimes we even have them meet us at the airport but still we try to keep these vacations as independent as possible. Our safari in Botswana wasn't independent so I can't say it is 100% of the time.

When we travel we prebook all of our hotels and that is because of how we are not because wandering along and finding small guest houses or b&b's is a bad idea but just because we need to know where we are going to stay.

When we were in Portugal a couple of years ago it seemed we were lost all the time. We asked for directions so often and usually from kindly Portugese people, who seemed to speak very little English. We would end up with about 8 or 10 people gathered around our car discussing at length in their language where we should go. Usually when we left them, with all of their help, we were still as lost as we were when we stopped. It wasn't awful, sort of fun really because they were all so nice and tried to be so helpful.

This time we decided because of the narrow roads, and driving on the opposite side (we are Canadians) that we would invest in a GPS and we bought it today, fully equipped with maps of Europe.

Have any of you traveled independently with a GPS and how did that work out? In Ireland?

We were really excited today after we got it. We think with the challenges of the narrow roads, and opposite-way round abouts and driving on the left,
it should really help.

We do not drive 120 km. a day. As a matter of fact we try to spend two or three nights at a location. There are few one-nighters as we travel quite a distance from one spot to another and try to break up the drive.

This is our first GPS and would like to hear if any North Americans have used one for your European vacation how it worked out, especially in Ireland.

By the way I know that people in Ireland use GPS's the same as we do in N.A. but am wondering if it lightens the load for those of us from across the pond.
Sprig is offline  
Mar 15th, 2008, 08:52 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 11,993
Having been hopelessly lost in a Gaeltacht area, I think a GPS is a wonderful idea. Most of the time in Ireland a GPS wouldn't have been much of a help because we normally had no problem finding our way.

However, Ireland is unique in that there are areas where only the Gaelic name is given, and the map has only the English name. If we hadn't come across a helpful Polish!! truckdriver, we'd probably still be wandering around on back roads.

By the way, you will need a World Mastercard if you want to use a credit card to cover your CDW in Ireland, unless you don't mind paying for your CDW. None of the other cards will cover the CDW there. I got mine from Citibank. Someone on this board stated that the card should begin with the numbers 5466, and sure enough, when mine arrived, it began with those numbers.

Have a great time! Ireland is a wonderful place to visit.
Pegontheroad is online now  
Mar 15th, 2008, 09:54 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,647
Actually, since you are Canadian, what you needfor the CDW waiver is "CERTAIN CANADIAN VISA CARDS". Only a US issued World MasterCard or (I believe) a Diner's Club cover Ireland, though.

As to the GPS, I haven't used one there, yet, but a few of my wife's Irish cousins own them and swear by them for negotiating Dublin and other cities, but say that coverage is "spotty" off the main routes.

Itallian_Chauffer is offline  
Mar 16th, 2008, 01:05 AM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 8,072
I can second Italian_Chauffeur's last paragraph.

Friends of mine live in rural county Tipperary. Their GPS usually works fine, and gets them from A to B. But the routing the system picks is sometimes a bit odd, and often does not discriminate between small byways and major highways - even if they don't choose the "shortest routing" option.

For exploring the countryside, we did not need GPS.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Mar 16th, 2008, 07:35 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 46
Just returned from Ire. again.As always, Diners Club picks up the CDW too.
chezzle is offline  
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