Have you ever met such a circumstances?The car is packed, gas tank full and the kids settled in the back seat. You’re ready to roll when you realize the map you bought for the family road trip is 10 years out of date. Too bad you don’t have a GPS.
A Global Positioning System can be a real lifesaver when travelling. The handy little devices–many are pocket-sized–can pinpoint your exact location and tell you how to get where you want to go, when you will arrive and if the traffic is heavy up ahead.
They also highlight restaurants, tourist attractions and gas stations along the route and some will even tell you what the weather is like where you’re going. A must-have for any traveller, these handy gadgets sell for as little as $100.
Here are a few things to consider when shopping for a GPS:
- Screen size. GPS devices come in many sizes and shapes. While a system built into a person’s iPhone may be good for walking the streets of an unfamiliar city, it probably isn’t the best option for a driver looking for an off-ramp. When driving, bigger is often better as long as it doesn’t interfere with your view of the road. A glance at the screen can provide a driver with critical information about exits, lane changes and other points of interest.
- Volume. Again, a smartphone’s speaker may not be the best if you have road noise or screaming kids and a chatty spouse in the car. The unit’s volume has to be loud enough that you don’t miss those crucial “stay left” or “exit ahead” messages. Before buying, crank up the volume to test it out.
- Touch screen. Most, if not all, GPS are touch screen devices. This is a good thing, because it allows drivers to easily access information by simply touching the screen. Fumbling for buttons is a definite “no-no” for anyone who plans to use the GPS while driving.
- Bluetooth Technology. Some GPS come with Bluetooth Technology, which allows the unit to transmit its audio directions wirelessly over the car stereo. Before investing in a GPS with Bluetooth, make sure your car stereo has the ability to receive and play back Bluetooth wireless signals.
- Speech. This may not sound like a big deal, but when you’re stuck in rush-hour traffic in a strange city and there are cars zigging and zagging around you, having the GPS call out upcoming streets by name can save your life.from Honda gps
- Update ability. How does the GPS stay current? For people who don’t have time to connect their GPS to a computer every time they want to update street information, a GPS with a built-in card reader is best. Having the card reader means you can download a map to the card then just plug it into the GPS when you want to use that map. Otherwise, you’ll have to connect the GPS to a computer each time you want new map info.