View Full Version : Garmin foreign country advice

Bob Rufener
11-12-2012, 11:23 PM
My wife and I are planning on a 40th anniversary trip to New Zealand in January. We plan on renting a car and winging it. Since we will be driving on the left side of the road, I think I could use all the help I could get in terms of a gps device. We currently own a relatively new Garmin Nuvi and it works very well with lifetime maps. I am thinking of possibly taking our gps along but would need maps (possibly a mini sd card) of New Zealdand. Another possibility is renting a gps along with a rental car. Has anyone had experiences in foreign countries and could you offer any advice. As usual, all help is greatly appreciated.

Lee Schierer
11-13-2012, 8:28 AM
When we went to Scotland and England last year we purchased a SD card for the UK. I searched the internet for the best price, I did not end up getting it from Garmin directly. It worked well, it even called the traffic circles round abouts and told us which exit to take. We even carried our GPS in our hand while walking in London.

With regard to driving on the left. It will take you back to your first day ever behind the wheel, you'll have no idea where the edge of the road is and having cars pass at speed on the other side of the car will be disconcerting. It took me about 3 days to get comfortable, the first day my eyes never left the road. The second day I could take quick glimpses of the scenery and the 3rd day and on was fine. Just take it easy the first day and don't press how far you need to get in a certain time that day.

Myk Rian
11-13-2012, 8:36 AM
and having cars pass at speed on the other side of the car will be disconcerting.
That's the normal way of passing here in Michigan.

Joe Angrisani
11-13-2012, 12:32 PM
....Has anyone had experiences in foreign countries and could you offer any advice. As usual, all help is greatly appreciated.

Paper maps, Bob....

Eduard Nemirovsky
11-13-2012, 2:02 PM
I used downloaded maps for Italy, France from Garmin with my GPS unit. Safe my times many times over. Strongly recommend.

Myk Rian
11-13-2012, 5:13 PM
http:// www .poi-factory.com/forum

Larry Browning
11-13-2012, 6:50 PM
I took a business trip to Sweden last year and the rental car had a GPS in it. After many minutes with the help of the attendant, we managed to get the thing to display in English. This thing was like no other GPS I had ever used and was useless. We did manage to get our destination entered, but the directions were very confusing. At one point, it had us driving on a lake. I would strongly recommend having a paper map as a backup, and never hesitate to stop and ask for directions. I have no experience with the Garmin foreign maps, which I would think would be much better than that crazy one we had in Sweden.
I have no advice about driving on the wrong side of the road. I have always been lucky enough to talk my way out of being the driver while in those countries.

John Lifer
11-16-2012, 7:34 PM
Good luck! Driving on the wrong side of the road isn't that bad, I'd try and get out of the city as soon as possible, practice for a bit and you'll be ok. I drove over 2000 miles in Great Britain back in 1994 on a long trip and was fine after a day. It IS scary the first few hours..... And WATCH OUT when you go to turn right from a stop sign. You tend to look to the left not think about the traffic on the right side, and that is the WRONG direction to be worried about. Your closes traffic is coming from your RIGHT and you cross them. Other than that, it is easy:)

Myk Rian
11-16-2012, 9:51 PM
At one point, it had us driving on a lake.
I wonder if the satellites are programmed to send "Not so close info" outside of the states. It's a Military thing. They could have us driving in the next state if they wanted to.

Bob Rufener
11-19-2012, 11:05 PM
I think what Lee did makes sense. I found an SD card for New Zealand and Australia for under $40 including shipping. The car rental company wanted $8.00 a day which would have cost us about $200. I have driven on the left side but that was 40 years ago. I do intend to get out of Auckland quickly and make reservations for the first night about 1 hour away. This should give me a little practice driving on the left side. Believe me, I will be taking it easy. The insurance isn't cheap for the car but I wouldn't do without it. Our anniversary was on Sunday, Nov. 18th and our three kids surprised us by coming home for the weekend. 2 from California and 1 from Denver. I can't tell you how much that meant to us. Thanks for the help!

Larry Browning
11-20-2012, 1:34 PM
One other thing that just occurred to me. Do not pack your GPS in your checked luggage. In fact, do not pack anything small and valuable in you checked luggage if you want to see it again. It will likely not be there when get to your destination. You are not allowed to lock you luggage any more due to security precautions, they will just cut the lock off. I have had a few things stolen from my checked luggage, especially on international flights. I had a very expensive camera stolen from my bag on a trip to the UK. When I reported it, I was told that since the bag changes hands so many times, Airline to TSA, back to the airline, customs, etc... there was no way I was going to get reimbursed for it's value. They are very good at point the finger at each other. There is pretty much no way to get anybody to take responsibility for a claim. I know it will add weight to your carry on baggage, but it is the only way you can be sure it will arrive with you.

Joe Angrisani
11-20-2012, 6:16 PM
Nobody steals paper maps. And they're so light. And no cord or battery charger to lug along, either.