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Is a GPS going to make it that much easier?

Is a GPS going to make it that much easier?

Aug 17th, 2012, 01:30 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,256
I love being the navigator and map reader but using the gps allows me some welcome time to just be a passenger. It helps especially when we need to put gas in our rental car before returning it or when there are unexpected detours in heavy traffic, like our drive around Cork. Some of the roads our gps has taken us down have been a hoot--that road less traveled!! The gps also helps if the navigator is ever forced to be the driver because the driver has dislocated his elbow and has no idea how to navigate---one very memorable trip

We have a garmin which included European maps and we have used it throughout Europe, including while in Ireland. The one time we had one in a rental car from France, we lost service as soon as we crossed the border into Switzerland. That's when we started packing our gps. Deborah
DeborahAnn is offline  
Aug 17th, 2012, 02:28 PM
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I think it is worth it to buy one. I do not think it is worth it to rent it. I use mine at home when I am going somewhere unfamiliar. I love the feature that lets you know what time you will arrive. If you are generally frustrated by techno devices, then maybe you don't want one. If you are going to get one, get it before you go, so you learn how to use it.

I just got the Garmin 2475' two days ago from amazon -the only current model, that includes preloaded Europe maps for $204 from amazon. I am driving around with it to get used to this newer model.


I had another preloaded euro map garmin with me to a trip to Ireland, and it was particularly helpful negotating my way back to Shannon airport in the dark early morning. Helped me with the roundabouts, Reading a map in the dark is not fun when you are trying to make an early ,orning flight.

I also supplementaled the gps with a nice atlas spiral map for Ireland-- one that had been recommended here.
davispeets is offline  
Aug 17th, 2012, 02:44 PM
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i believe this is the atlas -- freshly published 9/12 - 5th edition.

davispeets is offline  
Aug 17th, 2012, 04:09 PM
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I would personally never travel without a gps. I enjoy taking a break from my map reading duties to enjoy the drive. I love the search feature to find our hotel, gas stations, grocery stores etc. Saved us a bit of searching on our own.

We bought the Garmin Nuvi and used it in Austria, Denmark and Norway for our trip earlier this year. Excellent results. Only tried to send us down a pedestrian street a couple times. No biggie. Easy to adjust. I also do take a map for each location just in case.
michele_d is offline  
Aug 21st, 2012, 10:16 AM
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I loved having a GPS. I have one at home, and I just bought Europe maps and brought it with me. It worked pretty well. It allowed us to get lost on purpose, always knowing we could find our way home if we needed it.

A note: Many places (B&Bs, etc.) don't have real addresses, just names and a road, so may be difficult to find. Make sure you get real directions for those.

Take GPS with a grain of salt. Sometimes it doesn't realize that the quickest route is NOT the best route, and I've been sent on a sheep track over a mountain, and down off a cliff. (in the US as well as in Ireland).
GreenDragon is offline  
Aug 21st, 2012, 10:22 AM
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Definitely get the GPS! We brought ours to France and it was SOOO much better than having a navigator. For one thing, you get advanced notice of roundabouts and where you need to go on them. With a map there's usually not that level of detail and you have to react and figure out what you want on the fly, and you don't always know from the sign where you need to go (because your city isn't listed). We had so much less stress this trip because we brought ours.
MonicaRichards is offline  
Aug 21st, 2012, 12:19 PM
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Even if you aren't driving, a GPS can save you hassles and money.

After an overnight flight from Toronto, my wife and I were taking a cab from Paris' Gare du Nord to our hotel. I'd plotted the route to our hotel and had the GPS' turn-by-turn voice turned off. The cabbie was navigating with his TomTom and I noticed that we'd missed a few turns.

When I turned the voice on and the English navigation on my Garmin matched the French navigation on his TomTom, he knew the jig was up and our route suddenly got much more direct.

Just another reason for a GPS.

UTour is offline  
Aug 21st, 2012, 12:45 PM
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GreenDragon has a point about addresses in Ireland, but many of the B&Bs' websites now have the coordinates so if you note those down it can help your initial search for them.
jaja is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2012, 04:23 AM
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jaja, very true - and some it doesn't matter. For instance, our B&B in Ardara was simply listed as 'on Portnoo road', and the directions showed it was a km out of town. The Portnoo road was followed, and the B&B had a nice, big sign proclaiming the B&B, no worries. THe B&B in Dingle was a bit more difficult to pinpoint.
GreenDragon is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2012, 05:33 AM
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Yep, Green, if I had a euro for every time I said, "There was the sign; let's find a place to turn around" I would have a lot of euros! I'm learning to drive more slowly and ignore the local speed demons behind me.
jaja is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2012, 06:29 AM
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I'm beginning to think that it might be best all around to buy one here and bring it over.

I have done absolutely NO research on this yet, and time is getting a bit short.

I've heard of Garmin and TomTom. Any suggestions on which way to go. I'm not an online shopper either, but would consider that if directed to the right place. Any adviceÉ (sorry, I don#t know what these symbols are - they seem to have turned on, and I don#t know how to get them off!!)
sugarmaple is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2012, 07:10 AM
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Either Garmin or TomTom would be fine. You're definitely better off to buy.

While its best to plan your own route with a map rather than blindly follow GPS directions, what a GPS can do, without fail, every time, is tell you where you are, while maps only do that when you are near landmark that appears on the map. Good planning, combined with a GPS, should keep your detours to a minimum.
twk is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2012, 07:20 AM
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For all intents and purposes, there isn't though when I got my first GPS 6 years ago, the prevailing wisdom was Garmin for North American, TomTom for Europe. FWIW, I got Europe maps for my unit and didn't have any issues but then again I wasn't driving either.

Now, it's just a matter of what unit from what manufacturer has the look, feel and features you think you'd like. Drop into an electronics place where you can compare them side-by-side and then decide for yourself what's your best fit. I'll leave it to others to chime-in with their recommendations for where to purchase from.

Two quick questions:
1) Where is "here"
2) When are you going to be traveling?

UTour is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2012, 07:47 AM
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Here is Toronto, and leaving Sept 7.
sugarmaple is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2012, 09:59 AM
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In all probability, if you decide on the model this week you could buy a unit online and get it before you leave. I'm Toronto-area as well and am partial to Radioworld (Steeles and the 400) mainly because when I've gone in to buy there's yet to have been a question I've put to them they couldn't answer. They're also handy for accessories (I'm a beanbag mount fan FWIW).

I mean you can get a reasonable sense of the more popular models at the chain stores (and they'll likely be cheaper) but in that sort of forum, I've found that the advice is pretty thin on the ground.

UTour is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2012, 10:15 AM
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As well as the GPS unit you need to get a Europe map. That will probably be via the Internet so don't tarry before picking a GPS model.
Mimar is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2012, 01:04 PM
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What adrienne said.

I never use a GPS -- and never want to.

I drove in Ireland with just a Michelin map, and it was fine -- and I was alone and had no navigator. And I met some very nice people on those occasions when I had to ask for directions.

The same goes for all my other road trips. Now I also print out Google driving directions just as a backup, but I don't ever want to feel that I can't get somewhere without an electronic voice telling me where to go. Besides, a GPS can get confused on some back roads.
panecott is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2012, 02:12 PM
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If you are going to spend that amount of money, I would say buy the GPS, not rent it. You will always use it again.
We travelled with a GPS through Italy and took paper maps as a backup (sometimes you need to see the big picture and not just the next few kilometers). The GPS wasn't always perfect - couldn't find a location once and took us towards a one way street once (obviously you can always switch to common sense mode if GPS fails you) but it was so much easier especially if the navigator needed to snooze.
starofthesea is offline  
Aug 26th, 2012, 07:04 AM
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When I started reading these posts I almost stopped and looked at the calendar to make sure I wasn't in a time machine suddenly transported back twenty years ago. All the negative comments about GPS and all the raves in favor of paper maps sort of reminded me of people who say they have never been in a McDonalds and would never go to one and really haven't been. What are they criticizing if they have never tried it?

Using a GPS with all of its functions has been the single greatest enhancement to our driving trips in the US and elsewhere. Only an idiot would rely solely on a GPS. It must be accompanied by a good road atlas. But, with those two essential tools you're ready to take on the world. We're now on our third GPS and I've been through every single feature of each of them. The list of available functions just grows and grows.

We just got back from a trip to Arizona (from the San Francisco area) where my GPS fell and broke mid-trip and I got a replacement. My new Garmin (they have all been Garmins) has a five inch screen and voice commands. It will tell me where the next (or last) food, gas, shopping center, post office, etc, is (was). It will tell me the altitude, the time we'll get to the next stop, the time we'll reach our destination, you name it.

My wife, the best navigator I've ever known, told me initially she could run rings around "this little cookie." When Cookie (the name now given all of our GPS units) found lunch for us outside of Ann Arbor, MI, when we had no clue where to eat, my wife started to change. Now, when I ask her whether she wants to find our hotel in Barcelona she says, "Let Cookie do it."

If you have seriously ever explored the full capabilities of a GPS and feel that the paper map option is still better, you are a truly remarkable person. But, please, if you haven't tried it don't knock it. A GPS, properly understood, is so much more than a good map. And, by the way, I've also had current maps with errors on them. There is no substitute for common sense and a good pair of eyes.

Happy navigating!
BigBlue is offline  
Aug 26th, 2012, 12:50 PM
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Okay then, it might just be time to bite the bullet on this.

Radioworld advised getting the Garmin 2475lt, as it comes with European maps. On sale for $199. It should go nicely with the Garmin my husband uses on his bike!

When we get to Dublin we'll get the OSI atlas as well. I'm assuming it won't be hard to find in the city...?
sugarmaple is offline  

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