Jim Abbott on Travel
Postcards from Florida
June 27, 2010
I have a hand-held device, but on a road trip I'm still a road-atlas fan.
If you don't like dealing with dog-eared pages, here's a check list from the folks at Geek Squad on what to do so your technology helps you have a stress-free trip.
Before you head out the door:
•Invest in a GPS device when you plan to drive in an unfamiliar city. Road trips are fun, until you get lost.
•Tape your contact information to all your devices; include your hotel number, if possible.
•Print out or e-mail your travel documents and trip schedule to yourself to make the information easy to access from a borrowed computer.
•Program your GPS device with the addresses of all the destinations you plan to visit during your trip. This prevents you from having to find and enter this information while on the road.
•Remember your power cord, chargers and extra batteries.
•Pack a moisture-absorbing silica gel pack (comes in electronics boxes, shoe boxes or in some preserved foods, such as beef jerky). If you spill anything on a device, put it in a zip-sealing plastic bag with the silica pack and you may be able to revive it.
•Check on the local laws of the states you'll be visiting; some states forbid mounting GPS devices on the windshield.
•It's easy to lose track of cell phones and smart phones. Activate your unit's password feature to make sure no one can see personal data.
Once you're on the road, using a GPS device can help you save money on gas. Most GPS devices offer users two options for route preference: quickest or shortest. The shortest route is not necessarily the best option for saving gas if that route requires a lot of stop-and-go driving. Sometimes instructing your GPS device to find the quickest route will be the most economical way to travel. Many GPS units also will provide you with regular traffic reports and updates on fuel prices at nearby gas stations.
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