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GPS and packing light

Anyone have a recommendation for a GPS with installed No.America and Europe maps.
Also, I'll be in Italy (Northern..Lucca, Cinque Terra,and Milan) the last week in April until the middle of May and need some help for packing light.

Posted by
16 posts

I just ordered (haven't received yet) a Garmin Nuvi 270 which has both maps. It does not speak street names but I figured since one can never find the street names in most of Europe anyway this was not a big drawback. $140 on Amazon. The newer model is the Nuvi 275T but the extra features weren't worth it(to me) for the extra $100 it cost.

Posted by
893 posts

For packing light. First thing is get your makeup & grooming items down to the necessities. Put as much as you can in travel sizes and then throw out the empties as you go. We were in the same area of Italy middle to end of April, 2008. it was still pretty cool & rainy some days. For slacks I pack black & tan ones. Every shirt must go with both slacks. One sweater, one vest (goes with both) and a rain jacket with hood. travel umbrella. wear black shoes, pack another pair. Don't forget that you can do wash even if it's in the bathroom sink or find a laundromat. Take a travel umbrella, or miraculously the street sellers will have them as soon as it starts raining!
I travel with the RS 22" carryon & the Daybag. We don't check luggage. Send me a PM if you have any more questions or want more tips on packing light.
Have a Great Trip!

Posted by
1358 posts

Paula: I paid $250 for my Garmin c530 three years ago. It is perfect for my purposes. Although it does not have maps of Europe. Take Kent's advice.

Do a google search for "discount GPS" to see what is available. Some pages offer you a reduced price for a unit which you can pick up at a local store and save the cost of shipping.

Posted by
32272 posts


One of the smallest GPS units equipped with both North American and European maps is the Garmin Nuvi 275T. Current suggested list price is ~$299 and it's small enough that you shouldn't have any trouble "packing light".

You might check some of the discount retailers, as you may be able to get a better deal.

Happy travels!

Posted by
409 posts

Hi, Paula:

I just bought the Garmin Nuvi 275T a couple of weeks ago and highly recommend it. Bought it at and with a $20 discount code it was $239. It is shirt-pocket sized. Biggest differences between the 270 and the 275T: the latter has spoken street names as opposed to "turn right," and it has an FM antenna built into the power cord that allows you to pick up American traffic reports for the life of the unit. I would suggest getting either the 270 or the 275T as soon as possible so you can become completely familiar with it before your trip. (Tom Tom also has European maps built in to a couple of their models, the 910 and the 930, and some suggest them since Tom Tom started out as a European company....)

Posted by
48 posts

I just finished renting a car and driving in Tuscany (yesterday) with a Garmin Nuvi 370. This has both North America and Europe pre-loaded. It worked perfectly and was a great help. I assume the 270 and the 275 noted above would work as well. I found the voice prompt no help in the rural areas but somewhat helpful finding the correct entrance on the expressways.


Posted by
40 posts

Take a suitcase with wheels-backpackers think they are so smart,but backpacks have to be CARRIED-everyone in Italy has a wheeled suitcase.Also,remember that wherever you are staying,no-one cares what you are wearing,and won't notice if you only have 3 outfits-wash them in between wearing them,rather than pack lots of clothes.Take a large scarf,like a Pashmina-everyone wears those in the evening,as it gets cool,and they take no space in your case.

Posted by
52 posts

This isn't very helpful, but it made me chuckle. I was just programming the Nuvi 270 with the places we're going to in Italy next month and while programming our Venice hotel in, I must have hit the navigate function. It told me to take a left at the end of my street. I'm just outside of Chicago...what was I supposed to do once I got to the ocean?