GPS or Michelin Map

Old Apr 8th, 2008, 01:03 PM
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PatandHank, we luv the Garmin 370. It's fully loaded w/ maps of North America and Europe. And it's small enough to put in your pocket when you leave the car or to use in pedestrian mode. In Europe, we always keep a 1:200k map as backup
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Old Apr 8th, 2008, 01:29 PM
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Up until a couple of years ago, we all navigated by Michelin maps and we seemed to get there ok. sure it's easier (especially within small cities or even on small country roads) to find places with a GPS, but it's still doable without one. Invest in not only a small scale Michelin map of Normandy and the other areas you'll be covering and take a Michelin red guide which even has maps for smaller areas--for $25 US that's still a lot cheaper than buying another GPS.
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Old Apr 8th, 2008, 01:51 PM
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Thanks DickM - I see some good comments about this one so I will take a look.
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Old Apr 9th, 2008, 05:32 AM
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Hi C,

>...we have never rented a car when we have been in France before...

Much easier to drive in France than in most countries.

We use the Michelin maps -

You want the 1:175k or the 1:200k series.

On the road:

Usually, signs will direct you to a place, not a route number.

As you approach roundabouts, there will be a sign showing you where each turnoff leads.

Cars IN the roundabout have the right of way.

At all other times, cars on the right have the right of way - mostly.

If the road becomes 2 lanes, the right lane is for turning off at the first exit only.

Each exit has a sign pointing to a place and a route number.

If you miss your exit, go around again.

As you enter a town, there will be a sign marking the town limit. The speed limit is 50 kph, even if it is not marked.

Do not cross a solid line in the middle of the road.

If you wish to make a left turn, you must continue to where the solid line becomes a dotted line.

I use www.viamichelin to plot my routes.

You can use the zoom function to navigate through towns and cities, see where the roads jog and where the roundabouts are.

The maps are printable and are a good supplement to your road map.

Enjoy your visit.

ira is offline  
Old Jun 26th, 2008, 11:25 AM
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Just bought a reconditioned Tom Tom Go910 for a little over $200 on Ebay with a year warranty. This unit has a hard drive with Europe loaded, most units you have to add Europe software for big bucks. Last trip to Europe we had nav in our rental car and would never travel with out it after many lost and stressful previous trips.

Good luck, Jon V
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Old Jun 26th, 2008, 11:29 AM
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I would recommend both. We had both GPS and hard map on our recent Central European trip, and when the Garmin did not recognize the road we were on, we used the Michelin Map to reinforce the route until the GPS got back on track.

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Old Jun 26th, 2008, 03:28 PM
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I'll take a Michelin map any time, if only because it allows us to sit down in the evening and plan the next day's driving.
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Old Jun 26th, 2008, 06:25 PM
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Here's another way to plan the next day's driving - Microsoft Autoroute ($40):

You can run it with or without a GPS.
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Old Jun 30th, 2008, 07:59 AM
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Gadgetman and I are leaving for two months in UK and France July 30. He bought a GPS before his three-week trip to France in May, of course at the time I thought it was frivolous. He loves it and I can forsee putting the blame on it anytime we get lost, which should allevitate a lot of marital strife. He's already programmed in much of our itinerary and I'm impressed. Of course, we also had to have the $25 Michelin Atlas (1 cm = 2km) so I think we are set for every eventuality. I love the Atlas which is so detailed I can find my sister-in-law's hameau of eight houses. On the downside, it is going to add a good 5lb to our luggage as I can't bring myself to take it apart, whereas the Garmin is the size of my mobile and weighs less.
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Old Jun 30th, 2008, 08:22 AM
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Stay away from Auto Europe; definitely go for the GPS.
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Old Jun 30th, 2008, 08:56 AM
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On both our trips through France we went without a GPS. We had both a detailed Michelin map and the print-outs from viaMichelin.

Oddly, there were places where the map had one highway number, the print-out had another, and the actual road had another. I'm sure there was a system there--i.e., maybe an N15 on one was an A158 or something on the other, but it was very frustrating.

However, there was a recent post where 4 people in a car with 2 GPS systems still managed to get lost, so.

I guess one just figures it's part of the fun.
hopingtotravel is offline  
Old Jun 30th, 2008, 10:03 AM
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We just used our portable TomTom One in Boston. It has a walking setting so I would just sort of hold it in front of me (nonchalantly) while we walked. It was wonderful! No giant maps! It is also useful for finding points of interest. And it was only like $150 at Christmas-time. You would have to buy the European maps though. I highly recommend it.

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Old Jun 30th, 2008, 01:17 PM
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Get both! We learned the hard way. We brought our Garmin (pre-loaded with European maps) with us for our trip. A couple of weeks ago we were driving from Montpellier to Nice, France, and about half way to Nice, our GPS quit on us. Still haven't figured out why. . . So, we had to find the Nice train station for the AutoEurope car return with only a little Rick Steve's hand drawn map of Nice ripped out of a guide book to guide us. Total nightmare. I had relied completely on the GPS to get us there. So stupid of me not to bring a back-up Michelin map.

You think I would have learned my lesson, but noooo - Just a few days ago, we drove from Munich to Rothenburg and back. We rented through Hertz and requested neverlost (their gps unit) since ours was not working. Neverlost worked great, but we wanted to drive the Romantic Road, and the gps had us going on the A7 and A8 . . . We eventually found the Romantic Road, but the entire time the gps system kept telling us to turn around and get on the A7 . . . We couldn't turn the volume completely off, and we were afraid to shut the darn thing off in case it stopped working! It wasn't very "romantic" to have Sally Satellite repeating over and over again "at the next intersection turn left . . . " trying to guide us back to the highway. Again, I wish I had a detailed map as back-up.

I do think you should absolutely have a gps unit if you plan to drive anywhere in Europe. It is invaluable for getting you in/out/through the cities. Once on the highways, it is easy to follow the signs to your destination. But definitely bring maps too!!
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Old Jun 30th, 2008, 01:20 PM
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Attnymom - so you have no idea why your Garmin stopped working??? Can you tell me which model is it, as I'm planning to buy one soon. And I suppose it works after you return to the US?
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Old Jun 30th, 2008, 01:23 PM
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Our TomTom died too, but we shipped it off to the factory under warranty and they sent us a shiny new one.
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Old Jun 30th, 2008, 01:41 PM
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No, we have no clue what happened. We stopped for lunch, and when we returned to our car, it was dead. We had stopped before with no adverse effect, so I don't think turning the car off did it. We couldn't get it to power on. We tried everything - unplugging it, plugging it back in . . . nothing.

I have an older Garmin model that has been discontinued. When we get back to the States I am going to contact Garmin and see if they can fix it.
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