GPS Travel Tips

They may be promoted as relationship spouses, and based on who does the navigating when you’re on holidays this might be correct. However, a GPS not only gets you from A to B with the minimum of hassles, but it may also make your vacation come alive; with strategies to plan your itinerary, track down the best restaurants, and make your vacation hassle free. We asked our experts from Hitachi, Nokia, Mio, TomTom, and Pioneer to share their secrets on getting more from your GPS when travelling the planet. No doubt if you are heading abroad, it is best to do your research and check that the GPS brand that you’re considering has maps available for the countries that you’ll be travelling to. Plus check out the price of the overseas map you desire to purchase as map costs vary considerably based on the GPS you buy.

Once you have your own GPS, ensure you have the correct mapping for the country you’re visiting and that it is in real time GPS tracking. Check that you can navigate between states where applicable. Maps may come as a joint pack or individual countries based on the brand you buy. Remember overseas mapping needs to be the exact same brand as the device you’re going to use, rather than all mapping is configured in exactly the exact same way. It is important to note that if the supplier does not have the mapping of the country you need, you can’t use another brand’s in your device, so best to do your homework before buying. Some GPS providers also have city guides you can download for free, and some even have vehicle GPS tacking in real time. However, they do provide useful tourist information on the city of your destination. If you’re downloading these while overseas it is ideal to use Wi-Fi since it is going to be more affordable.

Make certain you install the maps before travel. This will let you navigate and test the maps before embarking on your journey. The GPS may navigate you to use motorways, toll roads as well as ferries in overseas countries. Ensure that you are knowledgeable about the route calculation settings of your device. Also check the path the unit is indicating before driving to make certain you know what you’re getting yourself into. Points of Interests (POI) are convenient when in new cities or if you want petrol or any other information including tourist points. You can check that at the listings before leaving to get accustomed to what is and isn’t listed. Plus, if you browse through the Points of Interest, then they can offer you ideas of things to see and do, from beaches to cafes, stores to amusement parks in the areas you want to go to.

When browsing to a location, it may be easier to search for a location by name as opposed to address. By way of instance if you would like to see the British Museum in London you can find it listed under museums as a point of interest as a way to browse there without knowing the precise address. All GPS versions need to be charged, so make sure you pack a universal adapter on your luggage. Battery life of GPS devices change, therefore it’s important to get a cigarette lighter charger since you don’t need to run out of juice when you’re on the road driving. It is also useful to buy a case to protect the GPS and a travel charger with overseas plugs to maintain the device powered up when you return to your accommodation. Ensure you have the sound guidance on when driving as you may keep your eyes on the street and be more attentive when driving in a foreign city. Do not ever underestimate using your own commonsense when using a GPS device. Sometimes conditions may change because the mapping has been developed, as an example, road works begin, or two-way roads become one way.

All of us like to minimise our travel accessories. Some GPS models include a 2Mp camera, in addition to telephone and PDA capabilities. Some premium GPS units double up as MP3 players helping you to leave behind your digital audio player. So one device solves three demands and makes for lighter packing and simpler functionality between devices.


Best Business Retreats: Australia

When it comes to MICE destinations (that’s Meetings, Incentives, Conferencing, Exhibitions) Australia has stepped up to the plate. We no longer need to dread the team escape like we once did on school camp. The new kind of corporate escape knows how to combine business with pleasure, with innovative conference facilities augmented by new team-building experiences.

So where to go? A gorgeous location, naturally. You need sunlight. You still require a boardroom set-up but you’ll need an escape when it’s time to break. Maybe a relaxed coastal style retreat will make you feel like you’re not even at work.

Getting away is an important part of getting to know the people you work with and is great for group morale and worker productivity. Working for a global company, it’s necessary to travel to meet with colleagues in different countries… It is a really efficient way to acquire an understanding of the way people think, work and to build relationships.

At these Australian corporate-friendly places, the sky is the limit.



Balgownie Estate Vineyard Resort & Spa

At the heart of the Yarra Valley, a major Victorian wine region and only an hour’s drive from Melbourne. Balgownie Estate boasts an architecturally striking conference facilities and executive boardrooms, all equipped with the latest technology and presentation equipment. Sunny balconies with magnificent views of the Estate’s vineyards are fantastic for breaks, and the events team can arrange everything from hot-air ballooning to laser clay shooting.

Mansion Hotel & Spa in Werribee Park

It is a breathtakingly ornate Italianate mansion dating from the 1870s, sitting amid 10 acres of manicured gardens. Highly corporate-friendly with 8 versatile meeting spaces, including a ballroom accommodating 100 people. Employees can unwind with a gentle game of bocce or practice their chukkas in a polo demonstration. And all just thirty minutes from Melbourne’s CBD.



The Louise

A luxury lodge in the Barossa wine region, the Louise is all about the boutique experience. 15 suites, all with vineyard views, are augmented by a sun-filled boardroom for up to 24 people with its own secluded breakout terrace. Private dining choices in the lodge’s Appellation restaurant include a chef’s degustation and, of course, the renowned Barossa shiraz. The clincher: it is just 1 hour’s drive from Adelaide (but much shorter if you use the helipad).



Cape Lodge Margaret River

3 hours’ south of Perth on a secluded Margaret River vineyard, this luxury country house hotel of 22 suites and rooms is similar to a private country estate, albeit one with contemporary business capabilities. There’s a dedicated boardroom and two meeting rooms — and with award-winning wineries like Vasse Felix as partners, the conference team are dab hands at organising wine and food masterclasses.



Spicers Peak Lodge

Located in Queensland’s High Country surrounded by World Heritage-listed national park, Spicers Peak is a mountain lodge with an edge:  A high-end assortment of 10 suites and 2 private lodges, with it comes a boardroom and private dining facilities in a grand contemporary building located on its elevated Scenic Rim location.



Saffire Freycinet

Housed in a building as magnificent as the its surrounding scenery of Great Oyster Bay and Freycinet Peninsula scenery. This 20-suite coastal retreat, filled with beach décor, puts the local into luxury. Food and beverage options are carefully selected, while down-time in the 20-suite property with 24-seat boardroom may include boating on Wineglass Bay, an oyster farm tour or trip to the Lodge’s own Tasmanian devil refuge.



Groote Eylandt Lodge

50 km kilometres from the Northern Territory mainland, the biggest island in the Gulf of Carpentaria provides a singularly Indigenous-owned corporate getaway. Dedicated meeting rooms and a breezy conference pack at this 60-room lodge could have trouble competing with breakout activities including some of the most thrilling sport fishing in the world, Indigenous cultural activities and freshly caught seafood at the Seagrass restaurant.



Fairmont Blue Mountains

It’s easy to see why this is a corporate favourite that hosts over 300 events per year, from small plan meetings of five individuals to 600-strong conferences, perfect for small business coach training. The sprawling retreat only a 90 minutes’ drive from Sydney capitalises on the surrounding Blue Mountains beauty. It boasts 222 rooms and suites, 15 flexible conference spaces for up to 850 delegates, a ballroom that could sit 450 in a gala dinner, and flexible outdoor options. Leisurely distractions? Think laser tag, Segway tours of the 9.5-hectare property, golfing, bushwalking and yoga.

Q Station Manly

A distinctive sympathetic mix of Sydney heritage and contemporary corporate facilities, this renovated quarantine station surrounded by 30 hectares of Sydney Harbour National Park is different from most others and only five minutes from Manly. Choose from 13 beautifully renovated meeting rooms, such as function rooms with harbour views, or and the rustic Governor Bourke Ballroom. For the best in after-dark team building, try one of the ghost tours — if you dare.

The Best International Off-road Trails

As anyone who manages to head offroad even occasionally will tell you, an adequate 4WD and a will to explore are all you need to get out there and see places most people never dream of.

And if you are a genuine offroad nut, then there really are few better places on earth to be born than Australia. What other nation is home to landscapes as varied as Cape York’s tropical beaches and jungles, the High Country’s arctic ridges, the Kimberley’s majestic contrasts and the primitive beauty of the red center? It is also worth mentioning that there are mind-blowing offroad destinations available on every continent on earth. While the logistics of moving 4WDing overseas are certainly tricky, remember that nothing is impossible if you want it enough, just take a look at all the backpackers that make the pilgrimage to our beaches every year.

Take a peek at these epic offroad destinations from around the world, and get motivated to tick a few of them off some day.


This 225km track runs from Bullhead City in Arizona into Newberry Springs in California and has been initially blazed by Mohave Native Americans. The desert track has been followed by European colonisers, Spanish explorers, and generation after generation of offroad pilgrims, searching for their own truths in the desert. It is tough, dusty and dry, and there’s lots of wildlife to look out for, but you will notice a side of America you won’t find anywhere else unless you go off-road.


Iceland’s the property of Viking mythology, the Northern Lights, and the world’s most gorgeous women, who knew it was also home to an epic 4WD destinations? The Golden Circle is a 300km loop from the funds of Reykyavik into fundamental Iceland and back, seeing amazing national parks, geothermal valleys and the famous Geysir and Strokkur geysers.


The gateway from Europe into North Africa and the Middle East, Morocco’s a meeting and melding of cultures. The Dades Valley is located 350km inland in the funding of Marrakesh, also is one of the most popular offroad destinations in the nation. Plenty of tour operators provide day trips from the capital to visit the surreal landscapes of the Dades Valley and nearby Atlas Mountains.


The UAE are one of the largest markets for LandCruisers in the Earth, and for good reason because the terrain is tough on the market. The Wadi spans UAE’s western deserts, towards the border with Oman and is home to archaeological remains well over 100,000 years old. There is plenty of desert dune driving to be performed, so a dependable 4wd with a nudge bar and knowledgeable guides are an essential.


This 100km offroad alpine trail traverses Colorado’s San Juan Mountains and crosses two 3,600m passes. The trail passes by many deserted ghost towns while also offering panoramic views reminiscent of Australia’s Victorian High Country. The trail can be closed over winter during poor weather.

However, even when off-road driving internationally there are some things you need to remember.

It’s one thing to respect nature while you’re out and about in it, however don’t think that just because you have your own cruise control on, your 4-wheel drive engaged with all your 4wd accessories, along with a high driving position onto your side you are able to arrive safely at your event no matter what comes your way. You are never bullet-proof, either on- or off-road, and driving safely to an event is as important as driving safely while you are off the beaten path.

With driving safely goes an appropriate choice of vehicle. It should go without saying, but make sure you have a car that can perform the job. Don’t head out at a convoy of contemporary, stylish and technologically innovative four-wheel drive cars and trucks and think that the decked-out Land Rover can perform exactly the same task as those that are designed for the rough terrain.