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Best GPS for Europe

Melbourne, Australia
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229 posts
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Best GPS for Europe

Can any one advise on the best/easiest navigation system to purchase for our European trip travelling from Australia? We will be leasing a car from Paris driving to Normandy, Belgium, Netherlands and maybe Germany. We have driven in Europe twice before just using good maps but found on our last trip 2 years ago getting in/around and out of towns and cities were a real hassle if you took a wrong turn.At times we spent too much time trying to get out of a city - wasting a bit of time! We won't really be using it to get from town to town or to plan our trip but will definately use it to navigate ourselves in and out of towns. We could organise it through the leasing company but it has been suggested to us to purchase a unit in Australia before we go. I have been told the Tom Tom XL250 is a resonable one to buy? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Lake Macquarie...
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31. Re: Best GPS for Europe

I know these are old posts but thought by "replying" would be valuable information for those wanting to know about GPS devices.

This was a question I was going to ask, however, all info already given!

Melbourne, Australia
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229 posts
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32. Re: Best GPS for Europe

Hi,

I was the original person who wrote this post.

We did end up buying a Tom Tom.We had some problems loading the European maps initially but that was sorted and on our trip we found it invaluable! I was very glad we bought our own because we were then familiar with it on our trip. Our son named her Cheryl!

She has been used two more times in Europe since then. The only problem we found is not being able to select the minor roads instead of freeways/motorways. I have been through the whole device and it does not seem to have this function. We got around this by looking at our map book(which is also invaluable) and programming smaller towns along our route as we went. Having now travelled with a navigation sysytem - I honestly don't know how we did 2 trips previously with only a map book!

Hong Kong, China
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for Hong Kong, Osaka
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33. Re: Best GPS for Europe

Even if your unit cannot select minor roads, you can always deviate on your own. The unit should then recalculate to reflect the new route in seconds. In France, for example, if you want to stay off the tollways, just take the E or D roads and force the unit to do some work.

I use a Garmin myself and it's been worth every penny.

Ottawa, Canada
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34. Re: Best GPS for Europe

Glad to hear things have pretty well worked out for you.

I have 3 TomToms, a 920 and two 630s....one for each car. All 3 allow me to "Avoid Highways" when getting ready to plan a route. I'm surprised you don't have this function... try asking about this on the forum at http://www.tomtomforums.com

You can also use a handy program called TYRE to plan your actual route using Google Maps and import it into the device. That way, you decide the exact roads to drive, not just the general route. http://www.tyretotravel.com

Florida
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35. Re: Best GPS for Europe

Parisamsterdam, thank you for the "tyre" link, sounds like something potentially very helpful as I am used to rely on Google maps a lot! All I need to do now is to figure out which GPS to buy:)

Ottawa, Canada
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36. Re: Best GPS for Europe

TomTom! ;^) Look on craigslist... all kinds for sale. Get something like a 630, 730 or 930. You should pay less than 100 bucks. Buying Euro maps will be another 75 or so if you don't find them already installed in a unit.

Florida
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37. Re: Best GPS for Europe

Thanks for your advice, will have a look at what's available there!

Sydney, Australia
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38. Re: Best GPS for Europe

Hi there. We are Aussies living in France and have the western Europe Tom Tom app on our iPhone and its fabulous. BUT I do also advise a map - the Tom Tom is great for cities but a map gives you a perspective on where you are and what's around you. Enjoy France

London
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39. Re: Best GPS for Europe

We've used our Tomtom, (not the latest live version which would show traffic jams due to roadwork etc), for several European countries and Turkey. We've downloaded an update of France as new laws forbid maps with traffic camera location warning. In any case it's probably a good idea to update maps if they are more than a couple of years old.

On the whole the system works well and has found our way across most of France recently with ability to reroute to avoid tolls on occasion. When using off the beaten track, (mountains, countryside, village), I would not recommend blindly following the route without thought. The tomtom satnav logic is occasionally illogical as the most direct route could be a single track mountainside road liable to flooding and the main road although a few km longer would be faster! If a road looks narrow and unmade it might be best to check it out on the satnav before taking it. Browse routes and alternative routes on these sort of journeys. A dictionary is also handy as roadsigns can also give a clue about the state of the road. For example 'inondable' in French means liable to flooding!

Hong Kong, China
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40. Re: Best GPS for Europe

Updated maps are definitely necessary. I would say if you map set is more than 1-year old, you need an update traveling in unfamiliar territory.