Tools that Travel

Garmin's handheld GPS receiver offers a perfect balance between portability and power.

The last time I traveled to Europe, I felt like I had just stepped from the pages of Mark Twains Innocents Abroad. I couldnt speak the language, hadnt a clue where I was, and couldnt even figure out how to call anyone back home. Needless to say, I had a blast.

But this time, on a recent trip to France and Spain, I was taking my father, so I needed a little more, well, structure—decidedly not my natural state. But I vowed that technology would save my bacon. So I wrapped up a bunch of new devices in my suitcase, and put them to the test. These tools are designed for both business and leisure travel, and ought to help ease the pain whenever you set out on the road.

Today were going to talk about the first of the tools, a handheld GPS receiver from Garmin called the GPS V. Over the next few weeks, Ill bring you more tools that either did, or did not, make the grade.

So lets turn the page and get started with the Garmin GPS V: So much for getting lost! Two weeks in Europe, and I never had to ask for directions.

A little bit bigger than a deck of cards, this pocket-sized GPS device offers a perfect balance between portability and power. Its internal memory holds 18 megabytes of fairly detailed maps—enough for a country the size of Spain, or a good part of the U.S. It runs on four AA batteries, and works as a handheld or—using the removable mount—an in-car unit.

While walking or driving, the GPS V constantly updates the map displayed on its small screen, so you know where you are and where youre headed. It also calculates driving or walking directions—and gives you turn-by-turn instructions on getting from point A to point Zed.