Map or TomTom for Tom?

Old Apr 18th, 2008, 10:22 AM
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Map or TomTom for Tom?

Outside of occasionally filling up with the wrong gas or driving on town squares, I have had good luck in driving in Europe.

Next month, we will have two separate car adventures.
The first: Prague to Cesky Krumlov to Olomouc to Krakow to Vienna (yes, that will be a long one).

Then the next driving tour on our epic adventure: Dubrovnik to Trogir to Plitvice to Ljubljana to Bled to Rovinj (nothing but net).

In looking at viamichelin, the routes look fairly easy to navigate, but I have also heard that a GPS in CR and Poland is quite a help.

I don't necessarily want to purchase a GPS for this trip, so for those of you who have used either in these countries, I would appreciate your comments.

I also apologize in advance for what could be the longest trip report in Fodor's history upon my return. Be afraid! Be very afraid!

maitaitom is online now  
Old Apr 18th, 2008, 10:33 AM
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The main roads usually aren't that hard. The GPS will really help you get to either your hotel, parking or points of interest. If you can converse a little in the local language, it's kind of fun asking directions all the time but you will burn a lot of valuable time doing it.
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Old Apr 18th, 2008, 12:58 PM
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For what it's worth, we have a Garmin 340 with European maps which has been used several times in Europe....only problem so far, we cannot always understand the phonetic pronunciations. It does, however, get us where we need to go.

I was recently trying to load the address of our hotel in Trogir and, according to Garmin, the location does not exist. One of the reasons we bought the garmin was the availability of croation maps.

We'll still take the device but have also purchased Michelin map for the area
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Old Apr 19th, 2008, 05:29 AM
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Thanks. We're leaning toward a map as the hotel/apartment people have given us directions when we get near to their respective towns. Of course, it will give us more of an opportunity to screw up, but we like to live dangerously.

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Old Apr 19th, 2008, 05:45 AM
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Have done numerous driving trips - often 3 weeks - over many areas of europe with nothing but paper maps and it worked just fine. You just need to be sure that you have a good car street map (not pedestrian one) for each city you will visit. (The pedestrian maps don;t show one way streets - but the car maps will.)

If necessary download town maps (at least to and fro your hotel) from mappy.com or via michelin.com. Naturally you need good quality maps for the areas outside the cities - we always buy Michelin maps.
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Old Apr 19th, 2008, 06:02 AM
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I have a TomTom and love it. Even if you don't use it every time you start up the car, it is a very nice safety blanket of sorts. I think it helps you get off the beaten path, because you think: "TomTom can always get us back if we get lost, so why not take that left instead of a right."
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Old Apr 19th, 2008, 06:29 AM
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We began using the rental car navigation system three trips ago and would not travel without one again. Getting out of Florence would have taken us much longer, getting to the hotel in Verona would have landed us in divorce court and finding our way through other various adventures would have been...well, an adventure with some very animated discussion. In the dark, with drivers going past us at high speeds and street signs that look 50 letters long....you get the idea!
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Old Apr 26th, 2008, 10:40 AM
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maitaitom:

Nice to see your post. You bring back fond memories of your Tuscany & Umbria episodes, especially the wrong gas. Boy, was I cautious thereafter.

I followed many of your tips on almost the identical itinerary and had one phenomenal trip. Thanks again for your day to day.

In case you Fodorites out there haven't followed maitaitom's travels, when he threatens an epic posting, believe it. I, for one, am looking forward to it....over a glass of prosecco.

BTW, we're also doing the Croatia-Slovenia-Mostar-Montenegro thing beginning 5/13 for a month but have not been able to find software for our GPS yet...and I hate to buy another, so we'll take along our maps. We're flying into Munich and picking up our car there, then to Salzburg, Lake Bled, Ljubljana, Zagreb, Plitvice, Split, Dubrovnik with day trips to Mostar and Korcula, Trogir, Isle of Rab, and using Hrusevje, Slovenia as a hub for day trips to the Karst, Julian Alps, Postonja, Lipica, Trieste and the Istrian peninsula incl Rovinj. We'll exit via the Grossglockner drive (one of the 1000 things to do before you die)from Lienz thru the Austrian Alps back to Munich.

If I could write like you and get up enough courage, I'll write it up.

I understand the roads are fine and signage is mostly good, especially if you can read cyrillic while in BHZ and Montenegro.

Enjoy your new adventures.

Where are you staying at Plitvice?

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Old Apr 26th, 2008, 02:54 PM
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Tom, I absolutely loved using our Garmin Nuvi 670 on our trip to Germany and Austria last September. For one thing, it made me less nervous since I was always the navigator on previous trips. I could just relax and enjoy the scenery and not have to watch for road signs all the time!

It takes a little getting use to but after a short while, we were old pros.

I don't think we'll ever do another trip without our GPS.
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Old Apr 28th, 2008, 04:51 PM
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Thanks again everyone.

tenderfoot - thanks for the nice words. We are staying at Hotel Plitvice.

Maybe we will pass on the roads of Croatia.

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Old Apr 29th, 2008, 04:29 PM
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We would still be driving through Tuscany if we hadn't had our Garmin a couple of weeks ago. Winding our way to Monte Carlo would have taken us a lot longer without it.

That being said, the cigarette lighter and the 12v charger in the car were both on the blink, so the Garmin conked out after about 4 hours. Blown fuse, but we didn't know it at the time.
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