I have spent many, many hours in a vehicle driving around. While travelling, I've found a GPS to be one indispensable tool. These are some of the GPS-related tips that I have discovered:
- Having a "navigator" - someone else to help operate the GPS - can be very helpful in stressful driving situations. If you have someone that can help, let them handle GPS programming.
- Know how to operate your GPS. Planning routes are just the beginning; know how to get your GPS to find food and lodging nearby, and how to change a route to avoid trouble (road closures, traffic jams, detours).
- Update your maps! Old map data can drive you into construction zones or route you into congested areas that new map data would have let you avoid.
- Be aware of tolls! The Northeast loves road tolls, and they can quickly add up. My GPS has the option to route around toll roads; so you can use that, or make sure you are prepared for that expense.
- You can also use your GPS as a normal map, except it's a map automatically centered on your exact position. In certain situations, this can be more useful than having your GPS provide you with directions.
- My GPS tells me the local speed limit, in addition to how fast I'm going. This is an excellent way to avoid getting a ticket.
- Mount your GPS somewhere. Looking down into your lap is a good way to find yourself in a gutter.
- GPS are not 100% accurate! Don't believe their lies! If the directions they are giving you sound bogus, use your better judgement.
- BONUS: Cameras! If you want to take pictures while on the road, try leaving your camera set to the "Landscape" macro if you have that option. It will prevent focus issues when taking quick shots. Also, keep your camera easily accessible to avoid extra distraction. If you have a navigator, they might be the best photographers.