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Raileurope.com: See Europe by train
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Old 06-23-2006, 11:20 AM   #1
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All this tech talk, and I see no mention of a handheld GPS unit?

Wouldn't this come in handy? Just a thought...

And recommendations, ideas, bla bla... let me know. I'm thinking of getting one for the trip.

-bv
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Old 06-25-2006, 02:28 PM   #2
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I've never used a handheld, but we have one in our car and it is the bomb. Nothing like starting your day in Milan, hitting "Home" on the GPS and pulling in to your driveway in Germany 8 hours later, never getting lost or stressed out. Ours also has a deal where it can find us gas stations, restaurants and whatnot along the way. Driving home from Paris, we found ourselves a tasty Chinese restaurant in a little out of the way town in Belgium that just happened, (though the GPS didn't know this) to be having a festival that day. Ours has Europe specific software though (and obviously road related).

I don't know how useful a handheld would be - I guess if you knew the address of a place you wanted to visit it would take you there, but if you bought it stateside, would it have the right kind of software for finding places in Europe? I mean, you aren't going to know that your destination is at xx,yy lat/long, are you?

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Old 06-25-2006, 05:06 PM   #3
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A GPS would definately come in handy for finding your way back to the hostel. You know those days where you just walk and walk and walk around the city you're staying in and then you realise you have no idea where your hostel is. Well, if you had a GPS you could put your hostel and other points of interest in as you find them and when you want to get back home just follow the arrow. Also, geocaching can be a good way to find little out of the way places or kill some time if you have a spare day or two.

However, having said all that, i've never taken one on my trips. A mate of mine that i went around Europe with had one and we pretty much just used it for geocaching, but he already owned it, he didn't buy it specifically for the trip. Half the fun of wandering around a foreign city is trying to find your way back to the hostel.

My verdict - if i already owned one i would take it, otherwise i wouldn't worry. There's more important things to spend your money on.
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Old 07-23-2006, 12:34 PM   #4
 
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I Travelled with gps in europe and it blew me away how amazing it is.
If you can afford it and dont mind sticking out a little go for it!
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Old 07-24-2006, 03:50 AM   #5
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It's good in a city but I ordered one for our UK sales manager and used it around here (the Irish countryside) and most of the roads and towns wheren't on it, as far as it was conserned I was driving through fields. Other than that it was very acurate and even had a sense of humor thanks to the John Cleese voice.
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Old 07-24-2006, 06:08 AM   #6
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Ah, you're lucky - the female voice on ours is an absolute harpy. We listened to her for about 20 minutes and then couldn't take it anymore. Nigel (we've christened him, because Americans think that's the funniest name, I don't know why) is much more patient and pleasant to listen to. Though I still sometimes imagine a hint of frustration creeping into his instructions when I make a wrong turn...

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Old 07-24-2006, 07:01 AM   #7
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We used a handheld plugged into my cigarette lighter on my cross-country road trip. It was invaluable, especially at night on poorly-marked, poorly-lit roads. You always knew exactly where you were and when the next turn was coming up.
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Old 07-24-2006, 04:23 PM   #8
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GPSs definately have their place, but i think for a lot of purposes they are not needed and actually take something away from task you're undertaking. GPSs are priceless for accurately collecting data for mapping and scientific purposes. However, i believe when used in conjunction with travel, they take a lot of the adventure out, as you rely less on your navigational skills and more on the GPS telling you where to go. For travel purposes i think they should be used as a last resort and you should at least attempt to find the way to your destination the old fashioned way - paper maps! This goes for everything from complex multiple country road trips to simple city strolling. Now, i know this may not always be possible, but where it is you should give it a go. Navigating your way around using a paper map is a much more adventurous and rewarding process, and requires you to pay a lot more attention to your surroundings.

Could you take one backpacking with you? Sure. Do you need to? In just about all cases i would say NO.

....and that's what i think.
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Old 08-20-2006, 12:08 AM   #9
 
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Anybody know a certain GPS handheld that is good for using in Europe?
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