Posts Tagged With: GPS

Smartphones & GPS in Travel

Smartphones allow us to stay in contact anywhere, look up information and get directions. There may be a cost to this when traveling. This BLOG helps you understand what alternatives you have like using wifi at your hotel, in a bar or a restaurant to have free access to email, FB, Messages and information.

GPS allows us to find points of interest, our hotel and restaurants, Looking up a name to get the GPS coordinates uses internet data and can cost you.

The video below helps you understand how to control these costs:

– Ciao
– George

Categories: Bars, BLOG, Cafè, Europe, GPS, Hotels, Italy, Italy BLOGs, Italy Tips, Smart Phones, Travel Planning, VLOG, WiFi, YouTube | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Using Your Smartphone in Europe

Phones have become a part of our daily lives. We rely on them for everything. I have an iPhone 5 and use AT&T cellular service. I was grandfathered into an unlimited data plan so they have me until that changes. When you go to Europe (or any place outside the USA) your plan no longer stands. If you have unlimited free calls, that is only in the USA. In Europe you will be charged for all calls made as well as incoming messages even if you don’t answer the call. If the phone is off or in airport mode, then the in coming messages are not charged unless you listen to them. Data is you ability to do internet searches, maps and run your various apps. Your home data plan does not include foreign data usage. You will be charged a hefty fee for the use of data. You can buy a phone plan that reduces the cost of calls. Only do this if you must make or receive calls for your work or an important personal matter at home. You can also buy a data plan. AT&T charges $30 for so many MB of data usage. This can easily be exceeded if you stream video or music or send pictures and videos to friends or Facebook. The experience can end up costing you a lot of money.

OK what to do? I keep my phone in airport mode all the time. If I am at a hotel I either get free wi-fi or I buy it (usually around $10/night). This is much cheaper than the data costs from your phone company. You can keep your phone in airport mode and still connect to wi-fi. There are no additional charges from your phone company. You can also go to a free wi-fi area (like a town, cafe or restaurant). Once you are on wi-fi you can get your email, check Facebook, etc. Avoid texting since that costs extra (except on apple texting to another iPhone – iMSG). Send emails and you can include all the pictures and videos you want. It’s free! I use a Tom Tom app for Europe when driving. It costs a one time $50. It is a great app that does not use the internet. I can keep my phone in airport mode and still get GPS directions. If you have to go off airport mode to make a call, Make sure you turn off data over cellular in your preferences. If not your apps could start using data.

Phones are important in Europe as is directions. If you get lost it is nice to find your way back to your hotel with a GPS app. Make sure you have it in walk mode. Get an app like Tom Tom that does not use the internet for directions. I usually save a favorite for my hotel so I can easily use it when needed. Happy travels!

George & Jo Anne


Categories: General Travel, GPS, Hotels, Phones | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

GPS’ing Your Way Through Europe

Image representing iPhone as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

WE use the Tom Tom app for iPhone in the US and love it. I just purchased the Western Europe Tom Tom app for our European trips. It is the same app so we are already familiar with it. We programmed in out Italian place as HOME and it found it and even showed the dirt road leading to us and the long winding driveway. I highly recommend some form of a GPS for getting around Europe. They are easy to use and will build your confidence in driving around your favorite country.

I programmed in favorites that we visit a lot, like the Rome Fumicino Airport (Leonardo Da Vinci). Now when we want to head for the airport we just pick from the favorite list.

Enjoy your travels and remember to relax and enjoy the country you are in. DO NOT BE AN UGLY AMERICAN! You are a guest, they are NOT your servants. The idea is to enjoy your stay, the food, the wine and the people. This will make for a more memorable trip.

George & Jo Ann


Categories: General Travel, GPS, Italy, Rome | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Renting Cars in Italy

Italiano: Segnale di autostrada riportato nei ...

Italiano: Segnale di autostrada riportato nei segnali di preselezione, preavviso e direzione (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rental companies come in all flavors in Italy. Some familiar from the states and some different. You don’t want to get a car too big! Some small cities have very narrow roads and large cars wont fit through. Get used to cars are smaller in Europe. Gas is very expensive,. Last time I was there it was around $ 4 per litter or $ 15.40 per gallon. GPS works fine and can be gotten on your rental or you can use the GPS on your smart phone. Tolls are on all the highways or Autostrada’s They have an auto pay system similar to our EZPass.  When I first started going to Italy, there were no speed limits. Today there are. Each lane has a different speed limit. The left lane is fastest, middle is in between and right lane is slowest. DO NOT HOG THE LEFT LANE! Italian drivers are fast and if a car is coming up behind you move to the right and let it pass.

Roads are well-marked as are exits. It is a good idea to have an understanding of where you are going and how far it is in kilometers. The roads have kilometer posts along their length. Italians drive on the right (correct) side of the road or for you Brits the wrong side.


Categories: General Travel, Italy, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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