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No GPS in Central Europe

My husband and I will be traveling between Prague, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia for 17 days. We are renting a car, but are not planning to rent a GPS or buy one before we leave. Is this a bad idea?

We have printed google map directions from destination to destination. Can anyone recommend a good road map/atlas for these countries.

Any thoughts, suggestions, or recommendations would be greatly appreciated!

Posted by
2081 posts


all i can say is:

Congrats on your trip and going old school.

If you have a smart phone, you can use or download a compass/map/tracking app if you care to.

Since there are 2 of you, traveling old school maybe easier since one can drive and the other can navigate. Of course if the navigator sucks doing the job, then expect to get lost.

happy trails.

Posted by
4722 posts

Puzzling phrasing of the question. If a GPS is helpful and desirable when traveling in unfamiliar areas of the US, why wouldn't you want it abroad? (My wife keeps one available at home for traffic jams and road closures on the interstate.) I'd rather buy the machine than pay the rental car company, especially if it has included updates. But I've also found that GPS boxes have a limited life. As the database updates get bigger and bigger, either the onboard memory is insufficient, or you have to add a slower ouboard memory card. You have to view it as a consumable item of consumer electronics, not a long-term investment like a furnace in your basement. That applies at home and abroad. If you go to Europe every year or two, it will pay for itself.

Posted by
7878 posts

Of course you can do without a GPS and rely on maps. People have done it for years. I didn't have a GPS the first time I drove in Europe. But I have every time since then! It makes life easier. It's a personal choice. I choose to have one, but I also carry maps and use them to have a general idea of my route so I don't get taken way off course.

If you have a smart phone there are apps you can download for a price to have offline navigation.

Posted by
388 posts

I agree with Andrea. Maps are always a reliable backup and people have been using them for decades. If you go with a device like an Iphone or Ipad, you could try the NavFree app. We haven't used it in the Europe, but in the US it seems to work okay. It doesn't require a wifi connection and is self contained on your device. I hope this helps some.

Posted by
15 posts

Thank you all for the tips! We downloaded some of the apps that don't require wifi, so hopefully they will work for us.