GPS for Parents

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My parents are now interested in purchasing a GPS Navigation System. The units have become cheap enough to be attractive to them. That means that I must start on researching all the options available and what will be best for them.

I have GPS in my car. It was one of the features I was thinking about when I started looking at cars. It happened to be installed in the car that I wanted on the lot. While it may have been the much more expensive option, as opposed to a portable unit, I like having it built in much better. Sirius came with the car as well (after I told them I wanted that instead of XM, there was still an option at that time). The Sirius units offer a lot more presets and options but having it built in is so much easier to deal with.

I am a huge fan of my GPS. I’ve had the car for almost a year and a half. I haven’t used the GPS a ton but its well worth it when I need it. I don’t have to worry about printing out directions and if I need to get somewhere all I need is the address. If I’m going to be headed to a few places in different directions I’ll get the addresses before hand and plug them into the unit. I know where all these places are but I don’t know the roads that connect them. I’d wind up driving home and then back out to the next destination. Finding those new routes is always handy. On occasion I will have it on when I’m going through an area that I know very well. This causes me to start having discussions with my GPS. “I know where I’m going!” “Shut up!”

My friend Dave came to visit a while back. He had one of the portable TomTom units. I was very excited to try out a different flavor of GPS. The most exciting part was the choice of voices. In my car I have a female voice with no other options. The TomTom had a variety of voices, male and female, plus accents. I certainly would enjoy having a British navigator.

While doing the research I came across the TomTom voices section. You can purchase additional voices for your device. As soon as you load the page up Mr. T starts yelling at you. The $30 pack of Mr. T, Dennis Hopper, and Burt Reynolds sounds like a steal. Although Gary Busey on his own might be worth more than that.

My Mom came across an article from Reader’s Digest about a guy going on a trip with his brand new GPS. Give it a read, it hilarious and almost exactly what I expect to happen on my parents’ first adventure.

The research has been done and a Garmin Nuvi 350 has been ordered. The trip is in a few weeks. I’m hoping they take along plenty of actual maps for this first run.

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