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Cell phone usage for GPS #151823
01/09/2018 05:44 PM
01/09/2018 05:44 PM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 285
Schenectady, NY
kenmoore Offline OP
Traveler
kenmoore  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 285
Schenectady, NY
This past June during our trip through Germany I used my cell phone as my GPS. Naturally, when I got home I was hit with significant roaming charges from my carrier Verizon. We learned to use the cell phone only when back in the hotel or BNB when under someone else's wifi coverage. This May/June we are heading back to France and expect to be driving for about 7-8 days. I can rent a GPS through the car rental agency for about $100 for those 8 days or I can update my old GPS to Europe maps for about $50 from Tom-Tom. I would prefer to use my cell phone, but how one get around the roaming charges for GPS usage. Are there specific tricks that I should know about. .

Thanks very much

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Re: Cell phone usage for GPS [Re: kenmoore] #151836
01/09/2018 08:56 PM
01/09/2018 08:56 PM
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,232
New Jersey, USA
DanS Offline
Traveler
DanS  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,232
New Jersey, USA
A few possibilities:

Verizon has a plan called TravelPass that you can add to your phone. It costs $10/day for each day that you use the phone outside the U.S. If you don't use the phone (or only use Wi-Fi) on a given day, no charge for that day. Any data that you use is counted the same as if you were in the U.S.

Google Maps allows you to download the map data for a region into your phone. Once you've done that, you can navigate within that region with no cellular connection.

And maybe it's worth the 50 bucks to get the European maps on your TomTom. I have a Garmin GPS with European maps, and I still bring it along when traveling there, just in case.

Dan cheers

Re: Cell phone usage for GPS [Re: kenmoore] #151855
01/09/2018 10:07 PM
01/09/2018 10:07 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 2,591
Virginia wishing STJ
TomB Offline
Traveler
TomB  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 2,591
Virginia wishing STJ
Ken,

It takes a little bit of planning, but it should cost you nothing. GPS is free.

As DanS said above Google Maps will allow you to download the maps and you are off in running.

For example: when we are on Rhine cruise the ship had WiFi. So when we pulled into a town and on the ship I would download the maps and locate where we I was at that moment. The rest of the day my phone was in airplane mode and I google maps could always tell me where I was and where I was headed.

I will ask my travel friends what app they used. There is an offline GPS app they used.

Will get back with you.


Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Re: Cell phone usage for GPS [Re: kenmoore] #152003
01/11/2018 09:47 AM
01/11/2018 09:47 AM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 27
J
jbutah Offline
Traveler
jbutah  Offline
Traveler
J
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 27
We just got back from Germany last Friday. We were there through the holidays and visited France, Switzerland, and Italy by car. What I did was go to the vodafone store in the stuttgart train station and got a local phone company (Lebara) sim card. There were options from 25-35 euros for 30 days of service. With a sim card you get the advantage of being able to communicate as well as navigate. I then used the waze app for navigation. I have found that waze is better than google maps. We used it last spring in Costa Rica as well, and it has worked flawlessly. Your phone has to be a GSM phone for this to work, and possibly unlocked.


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