The GPS vs Map Debate

If you are going to be driving around Europe, I’m a big fan of GPS and recommend you use it.   Don’t get me wrong, I love maps!  In fact,  I have a college degree as a Geographer and collect old maps. I believe every kid should know how to read a map!   But, if you are trying to get somewhere, erasing fear of being lost and mitigating driver/navigator stress, GPS can’t be beat.

The downside of this approach is that it doesn’t give you context of what else you are driving past.  Or it will tell you the quickest way somewhere which is generally on a major motorway and not the more interesting and scenic side road.  So, get your bearings and what experience you want that day before you depart … straight to the next city or a slow, meandering exploration of a country road.  You can always just use it to bail you out at the end of the day to get you to your hotel but not spoil the adventure and discovery of unexpected “Sunday” drives.

You can bring your own unit from home if you have a dash top model that you are comfortable with or at time of booking order one as part of your car rental.  Compare prices before you go.

Remember my words when you are negotiating your way through the freeways of a city in the pouring rain!  Or when you are out in the hinterlands in the middle of nowhere wondering where the road went ….  And don’t forget the map!

PS:  you do not want to even think about using your phone or tablet for directions which would require roaming or 3G.  (See Logistics).