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Readers Respond: Tips for Traveling With a GPS

Responses: 2


Do you travel with your GPS unit? How do you keep it safe while you are sightseeing? Have you had any problems with your GPS receiver during your trip? Share your theft prevention and problem-solving tips with your fellow travelers here.

Four tips

1. First few times using a GPS, always practice traveling a route that you already know. It very much helps you learn what the GPS is trying to tell you. 2. After your initial introduction, get more practice by 'riding shotgun' (being the navigator) while someone else is driving. This is especially helpful when taking a trip to an unfamiliar location. 3. Always, always take along paper maps anyway. A GPS could fail (not likely but possible) and a paper map can be a great tool for emergencies and unexpected detours. It also help to verify landmarks vs. your expected route. For example: If you did or didn't cross a bridge or travel along a lake, that may or may not be a good thing. 4. If you are using a portable (take-it-from-car-to-car) GPS unit, never leave it in the vehicle where it is visable. They are the 'hot' item to steal and nothing would be worse than to return to you car and find your windows broken and GPS stolen.
—Guest Earl, Allison Park, PA

Check the GPS route against your map

While a GPS is invaluable in unfamiliar areas and almost a necessity in some, the routes selected sometimes have problems. I have found myself driving down a narrow track in Ireland with grass growing in the middle, when a decent paved road was nearby. Or sometimes the GPS route will inexplicably take a roundabout path when a glance at a map shows a much more efficient one. The solution is to check the route against a map before starting out. Then you can make any changes to the route and save those as your preferred route (see your GPS instructions for how to do this). Reviewing your route against a map has the added benefit of familiarizing you with the trip so that you can anticipate and understand the GPS directions, and not just blindly follow them--or worse yet, find yourself realizing that an instruction is not appropriate but not know what to do about it.

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