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We just concluded our road trip from Manila – La Union – Cervantes – Abatan – Sagada, then back Sagada – Baguio – Manila. We had our trusty Toyota Fortuner and a stash of handy gadgets in the car to help us navigate without fail. In 2012 and beyond, there is no excuse for not having an electronic Google Maps capable device ready and handy. And to have uninterrupted battery life on still short batter lifespan devices, we had a power inverter in the car plugged to the car lighter… in the case of the Fortuner, it had a receptacle specifically for additional devices like our power inverter.
We also had a power strip which connected to the power inverter. The power strip had 6 outlets. We could charge all our gadgets while we were driving. I had the power strip under the arch of my legs. We could charge: the Ipad 2, the small Samsung Android with Wifi Transmitter Tethering, the bigger android Dell Streak, and we could charge 2 digital cameras. At first my wife thought I was insane to plug in such a tangled mess, but she saw the benefits of it all.
Last year we used only the small Samsung Android. But now we had an Ipad 2 which is so much bigger which translates to comfort when reading Google Maps. And besides, Ipad 2 Google Maps has neat functions that make map reading a joy. Having a Wifi on board the car made us feel like a provincial bus. Hey it works. Dell Streak had no tethering function, booo.
We brought with us 3 internet 3G providers, Sun, Globe and Smart. My Sun was only in the Huawei dongle for the netbook. The Globe was in the Dell Streak Android, the Smart was in the Samsung Android that provided the internet. Smart came out to be the most reliable with almost continuous coverage until Sagada. Globe was nowhere in Sagada.
Smart cellular internet in Sagada was difficult, but it was the only one available. At Rock Inn, I only got an E connection usually, but at certain times of the day and certain spots I might get a 3G connection. Down town, at some times I can get an H and sometimes 3G and worse it gets to E.
This is the 2nd year we have been depending on Google Maps for our road trips. Saved us lots of time. If there was traffic, we can always do a detour and would know where to go. Such as the Tarlac traffic was impossible, we used the detour coming to La Paz to enter the SCTEX highway. In Baguio City, we always knew where to go, except for the dizzying one way streets.
I used prepaid loads for Smart and Globe, my Sun is part of a cheap plan, but coverage is only in the big cities.
Maybe this would have been more convenient with an iPhone 4S ! But the screen size would still be small even with the fine resolution.
Enjoy your next road trip! Always bring a Google Maps capable device with you, there is absolutely no reason to get lost these days.
You can buy car power inverters in CDR-King.