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GPS or iPad maps: what's best for the traveller?

11/01/2014 MICHAEL GEBICKI
GPS navigation © GPS or iPad maps: what's best for the traveller? GPS navigation

FOR TRAVELLERS RENTING CARS IN WESTERN EUROPE, IS TAKING A GPS DEVICE BETTER THAN USING YOUR IPAD WITH MAPS SUCH AS SYGIC? MUCH CHEAPER TO USE IPAD BUT IS IT AS GOOD AS A STAND-ALONE GPS?

G. ROWE, WYOMING NSW

I haven't used any other GPS device or map system in Europe apart from Sygic (sygic.com), first used on my iPad two years ago for a driving trip through Spain, France and Italy, and it worked perfectly. Sygic managed to deliver me small hotels in out-of-the-way villages, the point-to-point routes it plotted were straightforward and the maps up to date. I particularly liked the big screen of the iPad, so much so I've since downloaded Sygic's other maps and now use nothing else. I could also listen to music on my iPad with voice interruptions from Sygic when a manoeuvre was required. At a current sale price of €34.99 ($54) for GPS maps to cover all of Europe, Sygic's GPS map is great value and easily downloaded from its website. The iPad draws quite a lot of power when the GPS is in use so invest in a USB charger to plug into your hire car's outlet.

MY FAMILY OF THREE ADULTS IS MAKING A BRIEF VISIT TO MOROCCO IN APRIL. WE FLY TO MARRAKESH ON APRIL 24 AND DEPART CASABLANCA ON APRIL 29. WE WOULD LIKE TO SEE THE SIGHTS AND SPEND A NIGHT IN THE DESERT. CAN YOU ADVISE OR RECOMMEND ANY COMPANIES THAT CAN TAILOR A TOUR TO FIT WITH THIS SHORT SCHEDULE?

K. ELLIOTT, PETERSHAM

If you spend two nights in Marrakesh, you could head south across the Atlas Mountains and overnight in Ouarzazate, then continue along the so-called Kasbah Trail to Errachidia with stops at some of the palmeries along the way. Errachidia is the gateway to the Sahara and the way to experience it is to make an early morning trip out into the dunes. Spend a night here, re-cross the Atlas and overnight in Meknes before continuing to Casablanca. Adventure World (adventureworld.com.au) has a number of trips in Morocco and while none dovetail exactly with your speedy schedule, they can customise a trip to suit. You can contact them on 1300 295 049 to discuss your requirements.

MY HUSBAND AND I ARE PLANNING A TRIP TO CROATIA IN APRIL/MAY. WE ARE CONSIDERING HIRING A CAR TO DRIVE FROM SPLIT TO ZAGREB. OUR INTERESTS ARE ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES AND SCENERY. COULD YOU SUGGEST A ROUTE WITH POINTS OF INTEREST ALONG THE WAY? SHOULD WE BOOK ACCOMMODATION? L. NICHOLSON, CAMDEN

Smack in the heart of Split is the palace of the Roman emperor Diocletian, once a formidable work of military engineering and today a town within the city, a maze of cobbled alleys and marble-paved piazzas where jewellers, art galleries and cafes ply their trade behind facades carved out 1700 years ago.

Just north of Split, Solin is another Roman settlement with impressive ruins. To the west, the town of Trogir is the best preserved Romanesque-Gothic complex in Central Europe. The town of Pula has the finest surviving Roman amphitheatre.

As for scenery, Rovinj, a small city on the Istrian Peninsula, is a collection of huddled stone facades rising to a Venetian belfry. Off the coast is a small archipelago of islands that are relatively tourist-free apart from the peak summer months.

Book accommodation in advance. There's nothing worse than trying to find a room in a strange city with an impenetrable language when you could be eating gelato in the sunshine.

CONVERSATION

OVER TO YOU ...

The question, "If air travellers are allowed to use their mobile phones during flights, will it enhance your in-flight experience?" generated an unprecedented response, and a unanimous thumbs down.

"Can you imagine sitting next to a person making a call?" writes T. Harrington. "Bad enough on a train or in a restaurant."

According to M. Byrne, "An absolutely appalling idea. The idea of 14-plus hours' journey being forced to listen to other people's love lives, business plans, gossip etc, no thanks, no way."

"Sitting next to a businessman making a long, loud conference call in the middle of a night, or a teenage girl yapping on with friends to break her own boredom would severely lower the in-flight experience," writes S. Goldberg.

W. Finney writes, "There are films, music, games, papers, magazines, books, iPods, laptops and passengers. Who needs a phone! The plane is not going to turn around if you've left your toothbrush or your partner behind. It's a potential nightmare for what can be a stressful experience and there will be no escape!"

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Sahara Desert

Sahara Desert
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