should I get the europe ap on my usa garmin, and take it with me to plug into my rental car? danke, nicholas
That worked great for us -- and then the rental car came with an unexpected free GPS -- and we were able to use phone GPS because I got a SIM card plan with lots of data. All three gave the same results. Just make sure you pack wall charger in addition to car charger (just in case.)
I prefer to use my own GPS (Garmin in this case) since I know how to operate it. Just make sure you have updated maps.
We used garmin in southern and central Spain, but also took Google off-line. Ditto Wales. Garmin was great in Wales and most of Southern Spain. Google was fine but less driver friendly. However, there were a couple small villages, including the one we were staying in that caused Garmin to hiccup. I suggest always having two options.
We always take our Garmin from home with maps of our destination loaded in. I program our base addresses and some key destinations in ahead of time. It’s always good to have the big picture and know the general roads you want to travel on prior to setting out because just like at home with gps navigation your unit can still suggest a wacky road or detour. Ours has tried to direct us to undeveloped gravel roads, bike paths through orchards, logging roads, parking lots, etc. as “shortcuts”. We have had to politely decline gps directions here and abroad from time to time with a “what was s/he thinking” laugh.
If you don't already have European maps in your Garmin, there are less expensive options out there. For the cost of a Garmin Europe map set, you can buy a multitude of data on a local prepaid SIM card for your phone. I took a Google/Fi phone to Germany and Austria and used very little data (@$10 per GB) navigating with it..Or, you can download the Maps.Me app and maps for your Android or IOS phone and use your phone (even off-line). Just be sure to download all the maps you'll need ahead of time while on WIFI. Finally, watch for rental car promotions - we received a free GPS/WIFI Hotspot with our Hertz car rental (Munich) just for being a preferred Gold member.
I have used the Garmin Nuvi with European database since 2004 and it has Performer well except in Tuscany,it got confused but so did a Tom Tom that one of the other guests in our B&B had.
I have found Google maps on my phone works well, with no need to lug around Another piece of equipment.
I have a relatively new TomTom purchased in Germany. The advantage is "Realtime" traffic updates and rerouting by radio/WIFI. Great for avoiding Stau, accidents, construction etc. Unfortunately Austria is shutting down these services during high travel periods to keep traffic on the Autobahns. A rental with a Navi and an active subscription would have similar service. I think by law US devices are fixed to US operation channels only, so a US device will not communicate in Europe. I also use the speed camera function that is updated every few days and in "Realtime" with reports from users. And yes it has taken me down some interesting paths too.