If you are in unfamiliar territory,
driving while trying to map read to find your way around can
be challenging and stressful. I recently got back from a
holiday in Vegas and Los Angeles/Anaheim, and what could
have been a marriage threatening experience turned out to be
fun and relatively stress-free.
We had decided to drive from Vegas to LA
and, normally, this would have entailed a lot of frustration
and tension caused in equal parts by an impatient "Yours
Truly"" and my slightly directionally-challenged wife. This
time, however, we opted for a GPS (Global Positioning
System) device to go with our rental vehicle and managed to
easily and calmly get where we wanted to go.
My wife could happily retire from her
dreaded job as navigator and I got clear directions from a
very capable, directionally and positionally aware GPS
device. It worked so well, my wife wanted us to get one of
our own for Vancouver. Hooray! I'll finally be able to find
my way around Richmond!
Here are some things it can do:
• give you precise visual and spoken directions to any
address you enter.
• tell you the ETA (estimated time of arrival) to your
• help you find the nearest gas station, hotel, restaurant
(organized into various categories), and entertainment
How does it work? It works by receiving
signals from various satellites in space and triangulating
to accurately determine your location. It then references
this location to the maps and addresses stored in its
database memory and gives you a detailed map and directions
to where ever you choose to go.
How good is it? It's excellent and also
very user-friendly. It took 10 seconds to set up and another
10 seconds to enter my destination. If you are in a new
city, and you don't know the roads, the GPS is
indispensable. When we got to Anaheim, we were running low
on gas and simply picked the gas station choices from the
menu. It found us a station really quickly and even showed
us how to get out of the parking lot of the gas station.
With a detour caused by some road
construction, we just had to drive away from the blocked
road, and it found us another way to our hotel. When we had
a hankering for Vietnamese food, it quickly offered us a
listing of Vietnamese restaurants in the vicinity. It gave
us not only the directions, but also the restaurant's phone
number, and the distance and time to get there.
How much does it cost? From the car rental
companies, it's around $10 per day. Buying one might set you
back around $400.00.
Was it worth it? Definitely. How much is
your sanity and marriage worth?