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Is GPS necessary for a self drive trip?

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Is GPS necessary for a self drive trip?

Hi...we are doing a 12 day self drive round Iceland, basically taking Road No. 1, excluding the western part, but including places like Borgarfjordur Eystri and Fljotstunga Lava Cave near.

Is it necessary to get a GPS? Or is relying on printed maps and Google maps sufficient?

We are having a problem downloading Iceland map on the GPS, so if depending on printed maps could get us round the island, we thought of doing away with the GPS -- is this advisable?

Is it easy to find printed maps in the airports or city?

Any advice is greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance!

Salisbury, United...
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1. Re: Is GPS necessary for a self drive trip?

Printed maps will be all you need. Iceland is very easy to navigate as there are few roads and road signs are very good. You can buy a map on arrival or pick up a free map, you car hire agency should give you one.

I never rely on a sat nav totally and also it generally only shows your route. You may miss things just off the ring road because they aren't shown on the sat nav. I like the broader picture a map gives.

Enjoy your trip, it's a great country.

Icelander in...
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2. Re: Is GPS necessary for a self drive trip?

Sat nav might be allright in the summer, but absolutely not in the winter, since so many roads are not serviced in that season.

It seems to me you need some serious navigation assistance, if you think Fljótstunga and Borgarfjörður Eystri are near each other.

Vancouver, Canada
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3. Re: Is GPS necessary for a self drive trip?

Some say it's not needed, but I find it essential and super convenient. Just select your next waypoint and you can drive worry free, especially if there is no one beside you to fiddle with paper maps. Navigating town streets with street names you can't pronounce even if your life depended on it, is actually not that simple without a good aid.

Hong Kong, China
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4. Re: Is GPS necessary for a self drive trip?

Hi wife and I came back from an Iceland trip a week ago and we made it all the way to Myvatn from Reykjavik. I am usually a big fan of GPS and love the convenience it offers, especially given we like to pack our vacation schedule with activities and don't really budget in time to "look for" roads.

Having said that, all the roads in Iceland are easy to find (mainly just ring road plus some offshoots which are all well sign-posted to the end towns). So I made a decision not to pay USD20 a day for the GPS and instead just bought a map and things are super easy to find. By the way, we did make it out to Borgarfjordur Eystri and loved loved loved it...we saw hundreds of puffins there and just loved how quiet and serene the small village is.

Another tip - if your phone is unlocked and able to take sim card, would suggest you just buy a sim card at the airport for USD10 and use it for data. Then you can use Google map as a backup service in case you do get lost - that's what we did and we used the data service more to upload photos than the Google map.

Enjoy! We loved Iceland and at this time, the sky is bright all day long!

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5. Re: Is GPS necessary for a self drive trip?

sat-nav is a luxury we all love but could easily do without - I toured around the country before sat-nav existed and can honestly say you will not get lost in Iceland ... and if you do make a wrong turn it's a safe place to be, there are no -'no go' areas to wonder into.

Reykjavik, Iceland
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6. Re: Is GPS necessary for a self drive trip?

I remember a trip just a few years ago. It was September and we had had a grrrreat day. But the night had fallen and we hadn't reached our accommodation. Couldn't see a thing - there were no street lights in that area - and unpaved roads.

We were soooo thankful to have the GPS, 'cause there was no reference to tell us whether we had taken the right turn or not. We were so tired, wanted to go straight to bed - which WAS possible 'cause we had the gps.

At the least, I feel it can spare a traveler quite some time and maybe some degree of nervousness from not being sure if it's the correct way.

San Francisco...
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7. Re: Is GPS necessary for a self drive trip?

I just came back a few weeks ago and we used Google Nav for everything. It was helpful when we were looking for restaurants and our sleep accommodations. It was also helpful for those not so easy to find places like Bruarfoss and Haifoss.

Albuquerque, New...
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8. Re: Is GPS necessary for a self drive trip?

I took my Garmin Nuvi with their Europe maps and found it very helpful. One nice feature is that it can let you know driving time to your destination. But, with that said, you can do just fine with paper maps.

9. Re: Is GPS necessary for a self drive trip?

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