Update Apps Recommendations for Trip

Old Mar 15th, 2016, 05:05 AM
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Update Apps Recommendations for Trip

Hello all,

I will be travelling by rental car this summer for 1 month with my 2 young boys. I am looking for updated apps suggestions to make my trip easier. (I had my first nightmare about arriving totally unprepared last night.)

I will travel with a phone (need to get one still) and a pre-paid sim card to use for calls to friends in Germany or to connect with hotels if necessary. I might bring my KindleFire as well.

I will have traditional road maps with me, but am on the fence as to whether I use car GPS or downloaded Google maps. There will be no passenger in the front seat, just 2 squirrely boys in the back.

I have all stays booked, but anticipate checking email occasionally, videochats with husband, and reading up on places to see, so internet.

Are there any other suggestions I need? Not going to check out the best restaurants with children happy with a crepe and nutella or pommes frites with mayo.

Thanks all!
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Old Mar 15th, 2016, 05:54 AM
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Don't use google maps, use "Here" download all the maps you want for free before you go and use it, far easier than Google

booking.com or trip advisor are two I always keep handy
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Old Mar 15th, 2016, 07:05 AM
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You don't have a phone now? I don't know where you are coming from, but if you are coming from the U.S. there is a new comer to the no roaming charge international phone game by google, Project Fi. The major gotcha is that exactly two google phone models work on this plan, but if one is starting from scratch in the U.S., the equipment price is lower than comparative phones. If you are visiting several European countries, a local SIM from one country can be used in other countries, but data roaming, while lower cost than before, still chews up the balance than if you used the SIM card from the same country.

You can download maps and use the satellite GPS only without mobile data, but you will find that it take much longer to acquire your location than if you had data connection and can use assisted GPS. After a long tunnel, satellite only GPS can lose it position. A better satellite only GPS integrated into car solves this problem by monitoring where your car is heading and can guess where you are without any signals. My car comes integrated with GPS. While I like google navigation on my phone better in the open, my car GPS does not lose its mind easily in tunnels and in underground parking lots.
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Old Mar 15th, 2016, 07:48 AM
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It depends where you go in europe, tunnels are expensive.

I never use enhanced GPS and find it works perfectly.
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Old Mar 15th, 2016, 08:33 AM
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I thought that if you downloaded the maps and used Google Maps in GPS-only mode, you could see where you were and where you were going, but couldn't get turn-by-turn directions. Is this no longer true?

I haven't tried it in quite a while, but was thinking of trying in Ireland. I'd have a good navigator in the front seat, though, who could tell me where to turn.
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Old Mar 15th, 2016, 08:39 AM
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I just learned something recently. I LOVE all things Google, including their maps. As I prepared for our trip this summer I realized I was going to have an issue with using Google Maps in Europe and keeping my data downloads to a minimum. I then found Maps.me which allows you to pre-download maps of many areas. I thought I was good to go.

Then I found out they had recently allowed you to download Google Maps in advance as well. I'm not sure if this is a new function, or just an old one I found. But under the menu area of Google Maps (click on the 3 horizontal bars button to see menu) there is a section called SETTINGS. In the settings is OFFLINE AREAS. There you can download maps to use off-line. They are only good for about a month and then you have to download them again...but once you've downloaded them it's easy to update them all at once in the future.

So...that's my advice. Use Google Maps with pre-downloaded maps.
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Old Mar 16th, 2016, 04:13 AM
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Thank you all for the advice! I will check out the sites mentioned. I do have a phone, but it is work-issued, so may not travel with me internationally. So, I a sort of starting from scratch, but only need a phone for the trip.

I will check out maps.me and Here, as well as seeing how to download google maps.

I love tripadvisor and that would be a good one to keep handy!
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Old Mar 16th, 2016, 04:30 AM
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Thanks for the map suggestions.
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