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Jun 09 2011

The Right Sat Nav For USA Road Trips

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The reason you want a Sat Nav (or GPS) for your road trip is that it gets rid of stress.  Various kinds of stress – a Sat Nav means you never have to argue with your passenger who seems fundamentally unable to read a map, you never have to worry that you’ve missed a junction, you never have to figure out where you are once you’ve got lost – or how to get unlost again, and you never have to look for local attractions – or places to eat or stay as they are all programmed in.  Even if you don’t want to follow the qucikest and most direct routes, most sat nav systems are able to avoid major roads and give you a senic tour.

There are three main options when it comes to satellite navigation

Rely on a hire company – this is a terrible idea.  I’ve used hire company GPSs in the past and never been impressed.  You get the bare minimum – which is fine, but if you’re looking for something that can make your life easier, I strongly recommend looking for a sat nave with features that suit you

Use a smart phone app – this is an up and coming area, and in a few years it will almost certainly be the right choice (however, remember to pack a device to hold the smart phone).  Google turn by turn navigation is, for example, excellent.  So why do I advise against it?  If you’re abroad, you’ll be relying on international data rates – and they aren’t cheap.  While your phone may be able to cache maps while you are in nice free wi-fi (assuming you’re able to attach multiple devices to the hotel wifi system) this doesn’t give you the option to chane things on the fly once you hit the highway

Bring your own GPS.  Its the best option.  But with a caveat:  You’ll need USA sat nav maps.  However most sat navs let you buy maps and install them easily. Bringing your own sat nav with you means you’ll already be familiar with how it works, and you can even have a nice, soothing, british accent tell you where to go.  You will, of course, want to ensure your sat nave also has maps for the UK, and preferably europe (who knows when you’ll want to try the great european road trip).  At the moment, it seems for buying GPS unis which work in all three territories, you are limited to Tom Tom and Garmin brands.  Tom Tom are my preference, but the way you would like the roads displayed is a matter of personal choice.

Click here to buy a GPS Sat Nav with USA, UK and Europe Maps

Click here to buy Sat Name maps for your existing Sat Nav or GPS


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