The Gypsy in My Car

Posted by Brette in Travel

car mapWe refer to our GPS as Gypsy. When Gypsy first joined our family, I was resentful of her. Was my map reading and navigating not good enough? Soon I learned to love her, and we rely heavily on our GPS whenever we go somewhere unfamiliar. We started with a GPS that sat on the dash, but now use apps on our phones.

We often find that Gypsy is not completely trustworthy. There was the time we were driving home from a vacation and she  had us circling in a residential neighborhood in Pennsylvania, in an endless loop. Then there was the time she thought the best way to get home from another trip was via slow and windy backroads – for 3 hours – when there was an interstate nearby. Then there are the times when we’re driving along and she thinks we are not on actual road.

Lately I was ready to toss her out the window when she could not find a street I needed to go to. It didn’t exist, according to her.

I’m not alone apparently. Michelin recently did a survey and found that 63% of Americans who use a GPS say it has led them astray at least once. Most drivers say it’s been wrong 4.4 times. 7% of users say it’s misdirected them more than 10 times.

Whenever we are traveling, I always make sure I have a back up map because I don’t feel I can completely trust the GPS not to get us lost. The other issue with a phone app is that if we lose our signal, the GPS is lost also. A backup map is still necessary in my mind.

What are your experiences with the GPS? Do you bring a backup map?

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