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I love Cassis, but out of season. From late spring early summer until autumn it is impossible.
Well, unless you are very wealthy I am fortunate enough to have a facsimile of a resident pass and somewhere to park when I arrive, but it is still a major headache, which I suspect that could be very different in Brittany and Normandy even at the height of their shorter tourist season. But as I said I am not familiar with those areas, whilst many here know them well.
 

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Just a thought for you, Barb. If you're going to be driving around you may want to get yourself the Waze app for your mobile phone. That way you can use it in France for driving directions without having to buy a new set of maps and all. The other advantage to Waze is that it is constantly updated - and routing is based on how people actually go places rather than just calculated based on what the map shows as available roads. I have yet to be sent down a dirt road/path using Waze - unlike when I was using a GPS device with dedicated maps.

Automatic transmissions are becoming more and more popular here - though I don't know what the rental car companies are renting out these days.

But you're getting lots of interesting ideas for your trip. Let us know as you start making firm plans.
 

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Just a thought for you, Barb. If you're going to be driving around you may want to get yourself the Waze app for your mobile phone. That way you can use it in France for driving directions without having to buy a new set of maps and all. The other advantage to Waze is that it is constantly updated - and routing is based on how people actually go places rather than just calculated based on what the map shows as available roads. I have yet to be sent down a dirt road/path using Waze - unlike when I was using a GPS device with dedicated maps.

Automatic transmissions are becoming more and more popular here - though I don't know what the rental car companies are renting out these days.

But you're getting lots of interesting ideas for your trip. Let us know as you start making firm plans.
Bev, is Waze(which I hadn't heard of) better than Google maps, only, I've had signal problems(lack of) with Google which was quite traumatic
 

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I think Waze is more up to date, and it does provide more real-time information on road conditions, detours and the like. However I cannot say that it would necessarily resolve an internet signal problem because there so many things that could potentially cause that.
 

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I've always assumed that apps like Waze don't offer the same route options, that's what puts me off, but maybe I'm wrong. For instance can you opt to avoid all motorways/péages/etc? My GPS has a "green route" option that suits me perfectly for most of my driving these days, whereas I somehow (perhaps wrongly) envision the switched-on, clued-up peeps that contribute to Waze choosing routes more for quickness and efficiency.
 

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I've always assumed that apps like Waze don't offer the same route options, that's what puts me off, but maybe I'm wrong. For instance can you opt to avoid all motorways/péages/etc? My GPS has a "green route" option that suits me perfectly for most of my driving these days, whereas I somehow (perhaps wrongly) envision the switched-on, clued-up peeps that contribute to Waze choosing routes more for quickness and efficiency.
I know nothing about Waze, so I just checked on my local area, and found that a little mini estate near me, has been omitted/ not updated. Its been therefor 18months, so I give up:)
Edit, just checked Google maps and its not there either:unsure:
 

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Waze is an online app that doesn't really have any influence over the quality of your signal. And obviously, you would need a roaming plan while in France that gives you some data capacity - though Waze isn't really a "data hog" in use.

Each app has its own method of calculating routes. I'm not sure what Google does, but the GPS gadgets seem to calculate the route based on what's on the map (including things like speed limits, etc.). Waze actually uses the data submitted by the users about how they get places and what routes they prefer. And it has options to use or avoid toll roads, get a minimum of possible routes (I think the standard is 3, though the routes may overlap) and I think you can actually indicate what sort of vehicle you're driving (i.e. truck vs. passenger car). Plus, they show updates for closed roads, potholes, bad weather, etc. as these are reported in by the users.

As to Boilerman's problem with the local mini-estate - that may relate to whether the roads have been "officialized" yet by the town or whoever. Some of those small complexes are considered "private property" and thus may not be included on official maps (yet?). Or maybe just that no one in the new estate uses Waze so they've had no reports yet from those streets. Try plugging in an address in the new mini-estate and see what it shows you on the map.
 

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I don't use either, I don't use the integrated GPS in my car either. That's because I know from experience that they are all pretty useless in my area and I have even checked how they function in my immediate vicinity. I recently invested in a Wi-Fi Tom Tom that updates continuously, but even so it doesn't know the specifics of roadworks, detours, some of the flooding etc here sometimes on the same day but definitely not in real time (but it works better for me than the others). That said I don't think I have traveled further than about 45 or so kilomètres since the pandemic started.
 

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Waze is an online app that doesn't really have any influence over the quality of your signal. And obviously, you would need a roaming plan while in France that gives you some data capacity - though Waze isn't really a "data hog" in use.

Each app has its own method of calculating routes. I'm not sure what Google does, but the GPS gadgets seem to calculate the route based on what's on the map (including things like speed limits, etc.). Waze actually uses the data submitted by the users about how they get places and what routes they prefer. And it has options to use or avoid toll roads, get a minimum of possible routes (I think the standard is 3, though the routes may overlap) and I think you can actually indicate what sort of vehicle you're driving (i.e. truck vs. passenger car). Plus, they show updates for closed roads, potholes, bad weather, etc. as these are reported in by the users.

As to Boilerman's problem with the local mini-estate - that may relate to whether the roads have been "officialized" yet by the town or whoever. Some of those small complexes are considered "private property" and thus may not be included on official maps (yet?). Or maybe just that no one in the new estate uses Waze so they've had no reports yet from those streets. Try plugging in an address in the new mini-estate and see what it shows you on the map.
Thanks Bev, I look into later when I walk the dogs. I dont know any of the road names😮
 

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I've got a built-in GPS system in my car, too, but it costs a fortune to update it every 2 or 3 years and I prefer how Waze works. For someone visiting France from the US, Waze also saves the issue of having to buy additional maps for travel purposes. (And actually, you can see routes on the other continents, too. Haven't done that in a while, but it can be fun.)
 

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I understand about the signal problems now, but at the time it was a shock, so its just something to consider. I'd been using my VW in car sat nav happily for years till the radio unit died, then the new non VW radio made me use Google maps. It take some getting used to for an old git like me:)
Sorry, we digressed from Barbs thread(y)
 

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Do they still exist? I thought they were wickedly expensive over a decade ago, but yes they are good.

Sort of related: 50 years ago my girlfriend joined me in UK to set off on a month of camping holiday covering most of Europe. She thought she was helping out by bringing a stack of "European" maps bought from the AAA. Three days into the trip I discovered why we were having so much trouble. The American maps were "translated". With that I mean they had translated the local language place names into English. Gravenhaag became The Hague, Firenze bacame Florence, etc. With the more famous places this wasn't a big problem but with the smaller places it made local road signs into chaos. An expensive stack of maps firelighters taking up precious space in a Mini.
 

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I use Waze and like it a lot. Barb, if you're on T-mobile in the US they do an international add-on for $50/mo - I know it's ridiculously expensive but it's very good. It's seamless so you can call the US and they can call you like you're in the US, and the internet signal is really good when you're in the Brittany boonies. I used it until I got my Free mobile acct activated. There may be cheaper options that others know of.
 

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Do they still exist? I thought they were wickedly expensive over a decade ago, but yes they are good.

Sort of related: 50 years ago my girlfriend joined me in UK to set off on a month of camping holiday covering most of Europe. She thought she was helping out by bringing a stack of "European" maps bought from the AAA. Three days into the trip I discovered why we were having so much trouble. The American maps were "translated". With that I mean they had translated the local language place names into English. Gravenhaag became The Hague, Firenze bacame Florence, etc. With the more famous places this wasn't a big problem but with the smaller places it made local road signs into chaos. An expensive stack of maps firelighters taking up precious space in a Mini.
they are too expensive, my commune was split between three, but now they have consolidated. nevertheless they are reliable and show all the little walking routes. I once used the inbuilt gps in my car for a route in the center of Brittany and it directed me onto a dirt track. my blue series paper map would have alerted me to that.
 

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Some years ago I was following a route on my budget TomTom gps and the road led me to a river crossing where there was no actual bridge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
I use Waze and like it a lot. Barb, if you're on T-mobile in the US they do an international add-on for $50/mo - I know it's ridiculously expensive but it's very good. It's seamless so you can call the US and they can call you like you're in the US, and the internet signal is really good when you're in the Brittany boonies. I used it until I got my Free mobile acct activated. There may be cheaper options that others know of.
Thanks! I have Verizon and while I think they have something similar (and similarly expensive) available, I do need to check on the options. I know there's a $10 per day you use it option, or was a few years ago when I last went to Europe, but I think they also have a monthly add-on available that's more economical when you know you'll be using your phone for more than a few days. What I really don't know is how their networks are in the wilds of Brittany. I guess I will find out when I get there. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
And I did have Waze installed a couple years ago, but after the day it directed me to the wrong town when I was trying to get to my local post office in the wilds of Maine, after a couple similar incidents on back roads, I stopped using it and stuck with my iPhone's GPS (is that Google Maps? Not sure what they use.) At the time, Waze worked great here on "bigger" roads/more populated areas, but not so well in rural areas, probably because they would have had fewer users there to get data from.

I found during my drives between Florida and upstate New York this Christmastime that the iPhone GPS also warns me if there are accidents, speed traps, etc. reported by other users. This is something new, and I don't know if it is due to incorporating Waze somehow or if they have their own method for users to report that stuff (I didn't see a method in my quick look over the app.)

Anyhow, both apps may well behave differently in Europe so I appreciate the tips on that too!
 
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