It sounds funny, right? You probably have to think about when’s the last time you’ve actually seen a road map. For many of you, you’re wondering if you’ve ever really used a good ‘ol fashion road map. Nowadays we have a variety of GPS devices to help us get where we need to go! What possible reason would there be to purchase a paper map? We’re glad you asked.
When you’re headed out for an extended road trip, it’s a good idea to have an idea of the route you’ll be taking before you leave. Make not of significant landmarks, bodies of water, or cities that you’ll cross through, so you know what you’ll be passing through. It’s also important to know which stretches of road will have rest areas or restaurants so you can take a bathroom break and get food. Maps are great for planning ahead, and getting a good idea of what you can expect on your trip, GPS devices aren’t quite as easy to read in this way.
The GPS in your car or on your phone will only give you a small piece of the route at a time. This prevents you from having foreknowledge about cities, mountains, bodies of water, etc. that you would easily know about with a regular road map. How often are we totally taken by surprise by our GPS simply because we’re listening and driving, rather than paying attention to our surroundings? All of a sudden a wildlife preserve that you may or may not have wanted to avoid comes out of nowhere.
If you’re using a smartphone’s navigation app to guide you, you do run the risk of losing signal. You’re depending on being able to get cellular service wherever you are, which isn’t always the case! And of course the places you would lose a GPS satellite signal would be in more remote locations, where you probably don’t know where you’re going. If you were to plan on not having cellular service, you would make sure to have a road map on hand, so it’s best to be on the safe side and just keep one in your glove box.
If there is one thing that we are certain of, it’s that electronic devices, such as GPS systems and cell phones, tend to fail at the worst possible times. Out of nowhere, a battery will die or a screen will freeze. And if you don’t have car charger for your phone or GPS, you’re really out of luck!
Now we’re not saying to do away with your GPS, and only rely on maps. But if you want to make sure that you reach your destination as safely and quickly as possible, it’s important to be prepared. And that preparation should include putting a trusty map in your glove box, just in case.