International Roaming Charge Surprise

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Jan 6, 2015
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#21
One tidbit I picked up from a recent cruiser to Cuba. He said that his cell phone service wouldn't work but he could still navigate with Google maps. He figured that Cuba might be blocking some services but couldn't block the satellites.
Except for building interiors, I have never seen a GPS lose the satellites. So if you want reliable, consistent navigation for free (after purchase of the unit) they are a great solution.

But @Just A Guy and @ADM also have good advice in terms of the advantages of cell phone navigation. It comes down to personal preference and how much risk a traveler wants to assume ...
 
Jan 9, 2016
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#23
Two additions to some of the excellent advice. Google Maps offers “off line” access. Consider enabling off line access for the region in which you are traveling, if your phone is not tied to your home carrier, by contract, you may have it unlocked so that you may purchase an alternate SIM card for lower costs. Also research your access to Free Wi-Fi which you may get as a benefit of your home cell carrier or home internet provider. Both often offer apps for finding free hotspots.
 
May 17, 2016
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#25
Totally disagree. I've used my phone for Google Maps (walking/public transport) or Waze (driving) in multiple countries, and it's always worked beautifully. I dumped my GPS years ago, and have never looked back.

You carry a Garmin around walking through foreign cities? Really? Does your Garmin give you public transport directions?
No need to get snarky. Your phone works fine for you, and you may be absolutely right about the public transportation aspect. Others may prefer the Garmin. Can we just leave it at that?
 
Likes: jsn55
Apr 30, 2016
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#27
Not just in this case, but bear in mind that your cell phone will connect with the closest cell tower. If you are near an international border, your phone might connect with a cell tower in the neighboring country. For example, if you are in Niagara Falls, New York, you could connect with a cell tower in Canada and incur international charges. I believe that residents living near borders have special cell phone rates due to their location so that they will not incur extra charges on their phones.
 
Jul 27, 2016
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#28
No need to get snarky. Your phone works fine for you, and you may be absolutely right about the public transportation aspect. Others may prefer the Garmin. Can we just leave it at that?
Absolutely, to each his own. I assume you'd say the same thing to someone who made the blanket claim that "Dorking around with internet signals and roaming issues make a phone the worst choice," as the post to which I was responding did. :)

Standalone GPS units work very well in many cases, and they certainly have the benefit of not being dependent on local cell service.