Raspberryfisher's Blog

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Travel – GPS and power

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GPS Model – TomTom

Simple but subtle: TomTom World Edition (Global) bought in Europe.

TomTom may have corrected this, and I have raised this compliant with them, when they sell their “global” product in North America, their world edition includes maps for Mexico, US and Canada (forgetting Europe, Asia and Africa!).  This is a very “American” centric view of the world, but it is wrong.  So make sure, if you get the world version, it includes Europe, Africa, et cetera.

At the time of  my purchase, the world edition – when purchased in Germany – included Europe plus the Americas, Africa, Europe,  et cetera.  I guess, the product managers in Europe have a globe on their desk and the Americans have a map from the New Yorker.

You may have to buy a memory card and download all of the maps, but you want the data in the GPS and not have require a PC to change maps.

I have used many GPSs with rentals and et cetera, but I have like the instruction and layout of TomTom over Garmin. Most of the other players are gone.

Google Maps is excellent, but it guzzles power and data, and if you have to pay for data, consider another choice.  If you do plan to use your cell in this way, make sure you can plug your cell into the car – include a 12V car adapter.


I have found TomTom to be fairly accurate, but it does not replace the need to be thoughtful and errors that can be within a city block do happen.

If there is any issue, it is – is the address given to you is accurate or reflective the map data (this goes across all GPSs). With long streets crossing city boundaries (especially in the US) and the use of short forms of N, NW, Express, et cetera, resolution of the designation may be difficult. Using Google Earth and Google Maps as a secondary step can assist, as well as locate to locate to a “place of interest” near the destination versus a specific street address.


My experiences with car rentals in Japan are good, but I would urge two considerations for any trip to Japan.

  1. Have the Car Rental supply a “English” GPS, but you may not be able to resolve Japanese addresses. This is simply handled by the fact Japanese Maps also include phone numbers to a specific street address, and you can use a business phone number of the location OR a business nearby to get to your destination.

    This is were Google Maps is an excellent mate with the GPS, as a search tool, but not necessarily as a navigation system.

  2. Car or no car – rent a portable-pocket wifi device, such as those available from JR (Japan Rail).
    1. You order online.
    2. It is delivered to your hotel or you may be able to pick it up at the airport (warning lines at Haneda can be long, and need to be considered if you are making a connection) (and office is not open 24 hours either, and may be closed when your delayed flight arrives – hint deliver to your hotel)
    3. You can mail it back at the airport, when you depart.
      The coverage and speed of the wifi device is great, and it puts Canadian Telecom providers to shame.


Get a large battery backup, such as a Morphie to power your iPhone, iPad and-or GPS.

Always pack one set of cables for all devices. You can see I colour code them:

  1. White 2m long for my iPhone with lightning connector
  2. Red short for iPad, old style apple connector
  3. Black with Blue Tip (Heatshrink) for whatever.
  4. Black with Purple Tip for whatever.

Last – Driving on the wrong side!

Simple, there is no wrong side. Adjust your thinking.

Remember the driver is on the inside of the lanes (away from the road edge), and always oriented yourself such that you – as the driver – is in the middle.

When exiting parking lots, add 5 seconds to observe, then move.




Written by raspberryfisher

2017/11/12 at 21:58

Posted in Work Travel

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