cruise direct

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

GPS saved our trip

Welcome to the inaugural posting for this blog. As my wife and i and our 6 kids have traveled we have found many little tricks that make traveling more enjoyable. i thought it would be fun to share these ideas along with the places and events that we would recommend as well as a few that are not worth the price of admission.

As a couple we recently traveled with my wife's sister and husband to Ireland. It was a wonderful experience, we did the bed and breakfast drive yourself tour. We had thought that we could do it like we had always done it in the states with a good road atlas and some luck. When we arrived in Dublin we very quickly realized that we were out of our element. we very quickly determined that the road names were almost worthless, most of the street names were only good for a block or two. i would encourage you to get on your google map and look at downtown dublin and look at all the name changes of just the road that runs on both sides of the river. After a few hours of asking directions from people on the street we did manage to find the small hotel we were booked into that night. We wanted to get downtown later to look around and eat, so we wisely chose to hire a cab for the trip.

The next morning we got out of town by trying to follow the river inland as best we could until we ran into the major highway that would take us toward our next destination. After getting lost a few times my brother in law had me stop at a little store out in the country and they happened to have a GPS locator driving guide which was up and working within a few minutes. It was fun to listen to the voice give us directions including clear directions for the multiple traffic circles there are especially at highway off ramps. It was amazing how accurate it was and the only time it really messed up was when we went on roads that were brand new and not in the database available to it. It definitely made our little road trip much more enjoyable.

I must confess that the car rental company had offered to rent us one for 15 euros a day i think it was, but we were able to buy this one for less than the total cost of renting would have been. The one thing you have to be aware of is that they are made for specific markets, an American model won't have the data for Europe. So make sure that your unit can either upgrade the data for other areas or just get one when you get there.

So my first advise for a great trip is get a automotive gps mapping unit. Please feel free to comment and share your experiences.