Travel Tip – Driving in Europe – Use a Tom Tom GPS and don’t forget to breath.


Driving in Spain from JP Holecka on Vimeo.

Well driving in Europe can be tricky. Round-a-bouts, lack of signage, crazy streets, foreign languages and foreign drivers for that matter. It can all be a bit much at times.  I am a good driver and pride myself on it but I have to admit I was a little nervous of the driving thing in Spain. The first week we used public transit and trains to get around but that all changed in week two. Week two in Seville was when we switched over to car mode and that meant that I would have to brave the driving madness in our shiny new Peugeot 308. I was totally sweating it as we pulled out of the rental car place at the train station. Luckily we rented the car on a Sunday and in Europe on Sundays everything is shut down and the roads are not the nightmare they are during the week.

Prior to pushing the car out into the traffic I programmed the Tom Tom GPS unit to take us out-of-town. The voice of reason just kept telling us where to go. It was great I could focus on driving and not navigation. If you have ever had those fights about where you are going with your significant other you know what kind of stress it can bring to the party. I could tell that this was not going to be the case with the Tom Tom. Hell if you do make a wrong turn on a six lane traffic circle Cathy, Martha or what ever the hell her name is just auto corrects and gets you back on the right course. It’s f*ck’n brilliant! I started to refer to the GPS as the marriage saver.

The cool thing about using Tom Tom in Europe is that the company is from the Netherlands so you know they have the right maps. Pre-programming the Tom Tom GPS is also a dream because it used Google maps for the desktop mapping software. If you have used Google maps then you already know how to look up a destination and then send it to the GPS unit. Once you are in the car just go to the favs and hit enter and you are off. I have had Garmin’s in the past and they pale in comparison for dash mounted GPS units. Tom Tom is like Apple or TiVo, they just work out of the box with little to no effort or steep learning curve.

Driving with a GPS unit is easy just punch in the destination in your GPS and go for it. The video in this post is a small town in the south of Spain called Vejer de la Frontera. Yes it was a tight fit but I honestly knew that we would find our way out no problem and just focused on not hitting the mirrors on the buildings that were ever so close. On a side not make sure when you are programming the GPS that you don’t select “Avoid Tolls”. I did that by mistake, thank you dyslexia, and we went on a three hour back country jaunt through a cork tree forests that we were not sure we would make it out of…just a heads up there.

Have you driven in a foreign land? What are your great tips. Please share them with the folks here on Jaypiddy’s Blog.

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