I love the idea of travelling, seeing different places and learning about different cultures and customs, not to mention having the opportunity to shop in different currencies (and in amazing shops!) but all too often I forget the UK is actually a pretty cool place to live. And there's a lot of it I haven't seen yet, and often the easiest way to actually get about in the UK is by car.
I love the freedom of being able to jump in the car and head off on an adventure. The one thing I can't do, however, is map read, and this is where the travel time essential comes in: The sat nav.
When Tesco Compare got in touch and asked if I'd like to be a safety and security tester for a Garmin sat nav, the opportunity couldn't have come at a better time, as Adrian was about to set off with his band on a small UK tour. Driving from city to city and ensuring a timely arrival for the gigs was essential, as well as nosing out the venues they'd be playing in and finding somewhere safe to park the van!
The sat nav I was sent was the Garmin nuvi50, which has a huge colour screen which is really easy to read and really clear to see. I remember one of the first sat navs I ever used which was fairly small and kept refreshing itself as it went in and out of signal on country lanes, not ideal if you are relying on the technology to tell you where to go! No chance of that happening with this model, though, as it has detailed UK-wide coverage and even speaks street names (so you know exactly which exit or left hand turn to take!) as well as utilising Lane Assist technology to direct you to the preferred lane.
The signal strength was excellent and the sat nav only lost it once, in the middle of central London, but quickly reset itself and found the signal again. This is so important I think, because when you have a sat nav you tend to really rely on the voice and on-screen instructions telling you where to go; so much so that it can be easy to become unaware of the street signs around you, because the sat nav indicates where you need to go. So for it to suddenly stop can be quite disconcerting but this did only happen the once and it quickly got back on track. It also is very quick to calculate a new route, if you miss an exit or a turning, so there's no need to stress if you do inadvertently take a wrong turn, as it sorts that out for you too!
To summarise, this sat nav was really handy and worked really well, in fact it far exceeded expectation! It's always a pain to have to rely on using Google maps on a phone whilst driving; not only is it not as clear but it also runs your battery down, so this sat nav saved a lot of time and stress there too!