Using a GPS navigator

Feb 23rd, 2007, 08:40 AM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 286
We rented a Magellan 700 series in Scotland. It was SO worth it! We doubted it many times when it led us thru unmarked sheep roads with grouse ambling across, but it always got us there! We would have wasted lots of time lost if not for the GPS. And when you haven't got lots of time, you don't need the frustration of being lost on vacation! Also, if you want to wander and not follow a pre-planned itinerary, you'll always know where you are, and how to find any destination. Best bet is to buy your own GPS, and bring it with you. Many are pre-loaded with Europe on them.
Virgogirl is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2007, 10:55 AM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 4,725
Virgo - I would agree with you completely for Scotland. As for Dordogne and the French signage system I disagree. Relax, enjoy the journey. I haven't foound one town that you would need a GPS in. The roads are marked. Do what StCirq says.
robjame is offline  
Feb 24th, 2007, 12:41 AM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 1,265
Well yes the roads are marked in France but its not all roses. The arrows may point to the name of the next town, the larger one a bit further down the road, something in between, or even a major city quite far away and not at all on the current highway you are on. Its not an exhaustive list of towns in that direction nor is it always the first town in that direction. If you dont have a general ideal of what is where it can be confusing. You need to have an idea in your head of what is found beyond your destination in case your town isnt selected for inclusion on the signs until you are much closer to it.

I also like the trick of following a sign to a town, the town name pops up at each round about and intersection, then all of the sudden, its not named any more, yet you havent arrived in that town.
MorganB is offline  
Feb 24th, 2007, 02:17 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 125
We used a Tomtom One this summer in the Dordogne.

Whilst it was not perfect, it got us where we needed to go, sometimes by odd routes but never failed us.

We were very pleased to have it when it found us a way out of a huge traffic jam whilst try to get back to the airport for our flight home.
Marz is offline  
Mar 19th, 2007, 05:54 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 447

I have the same unit and we're going to be doing Paris and then hopscotching through Italy in early June. Did you have any issues with locating when in tight spots? We're spending a week in Florence and I know it's a tight fit in and around the Duomo area where we're going to be staying. We won't be driving so I'm debating whether or not the $350 Can. for Europe maps is worth it
knickerbocker is offline  
Mar 21st, 2007, 04:13 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 90
Be very careful with the directions. A few times we missed cutoffs and could not make the "legal" u-turns it was asking us to do. It re- routed us, but some of them were quite round about trips. It took us a while, but we finally clicked on to this. Having said that, this wonderful but complicated machine took us right to the door of a friend's hotel, which I am not sure we would have found ourselves. For address specific locations, it can't be beat.
I would rather plan my driving route on a map, as I still prefer to have things right in front of me.
This time I am going to invest in good maps instead.(but if the car we rent happens to have one, I won't be too unhappy)
mom04 is offline  
Mar 21st, 2007, 05:17 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,256
Coming across many "deviations" during our month in France last August made our rental car with GPS the wonder car. "Madame Citroen" got us around and about in several cities. I'm the navigator on most of our trips but I became quite fond of Madame. Deborah
DeborahAnn is offline  
Mar 29th, 2007, 11:35 AM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 9

Not exactly sure what you mean by ' tight spots'. Please elaborate and send to [email protected].

Steve Stearns
Steve_Stearns is offline  
Mar 31st, 2007, 05:52 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 830
If you have not read them already, here are some notes I posted after our trip to France in June of 2004. As you can see, I highly recommend a GPS.

Author: john183
Date: 01/12/2005, 02:37 pm
Having rented cars in Italy twice and having to deal with maps and hard to read road signs, I was prepared for the same experience last June when we rented a car in Normandy. However, we somehow recieved a free upgrade to a car with a GPS in it and it made a huge difference. We barely even looked at a map or a road sign for the 4 days we were there. We drove all over Normandy, had a wonderful time and never got lost once (after my grand daughter figured out how to reprogram it to speak English). If you can afford it (I'm not sure what it costs since we were given a free upgrade), I highly recommend getting a car with a GPS and let technology do the hard work for you. The freedom of having our own car is very important to us so I'm thinking whatever the GPS costs is well worth it. The only thing you miss out on are the funny stories that happen when you are lost at night in a strange country and you have to figure out what to do. HA!!!!
Author: StCirq
Date: 01/12/2005, 03:22 pm
A GPS system is a nice little gadget, but lest ninalou get the impression that driving in Normandy is somehow difficult, I'd like to say it's not. Especially if your main interest is the D-Day stuff. You just drive along the coast! Hard to get lost doing that!

And inland, as everywhere in France, things are remarkably well signed. You just have to know the names of towns in the general direction you're going - easy enough with a 5-second glance at a map.
Author: john183
Date: 01/12/2005, 03:54 pm

You are absolutely correct. Driving in Normandy even without a GPS is very easy. Where we found it useful was programming in our exact destination (hotels, car rental agency, restaurants, etc) and never having to even look at a street sign or a road sign. But back to your point, driving between the little towns on the D-Day coast is very easy and very fun. The roads are well marked and the towns are little so getting lost there would actually be hard to do. Thanks for not letting me lead ninalou astray.
john183 is online now  

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