Fast forward a few years. I now drive professionally. My commute to the office is 27 miles each way, but I'm only there about 25% of the time. The rest of my work is done on the road. I travel all over the central part of Texas, often driving a couple thousand miles just for work...not including driving to see friends and family and normal commuting. My little Honda gets a lot of love and is currently sitting pretty at over 200,000 miles. She's paid-for and I love her.
While the Garmin 255W was great when we used it occasionally, it was outdated (even though we updated the maps) and caused me a lot of frustration and headaches on the road. I finally hit the end of my rope last weekend when the GPS got us all turned around twice on two separate trips this weekend. I needed a new GPS.
Of course, I started where I always start when I need help finding the perfect product - Facebook! I put this call out on Monday:
Anyone have a GPS that they LOVE? I'm in the market for a new one. I need it to have lifetime maps and traffic updates. And I need it to be awesome - I drive a lot! Suggestions?I got a lot of suggestions of what NOT to get, a lot of generic "Garmin!" "Use your phone!" answers, and several phone app recommendations. While I do not have an iPhone, even if I did, I would still want a separate GPS. Because I routinely drive 6-8 hours in a day, I'd like to be able to rely on my phone for talking, searching for information, and emergencies. I do love the idea of an all-in-one device, it just isn't practical for the amount of travel that I do.
July was a higher-than-average month for me, but I drove over 1,800 miles for work alone. Add in another 50 miles a few days a week for driving to the office, normal driving around town, and a few trips out of town to visit friends and we're talking well over 2,500 miles in a month. That's a lot of hours in the car!I did get some very helpful information from Skye. I took her information, some of the comments on facebook, and hit amazon.com. I also took Jarrod's experience with a Tom Tom he recently purchased for his job. I knew I wanted lifetime map updates and lifetime traffic updates. There is nothing worse than being out in the middle of Nowheresville, Texas and the GPS thinks you're driving in a field. I love the traffic updates on Jarrod's Tom Tom - it reroutes if traffic is bad. Perfection for my city driving!
Turns out that Amazon was having a sale on the Garmin nüvi 1450LMT. I learned that LMT stands for Lifetime Maps and Traffic. Wahoo! It seemed to have everything I wanted - large-ish screen, maps and traffic. And I paid $136.38 including tax. Shipping was free (Wahoo for Amazon Mom!) and it arrived in 2 days.
I've lived with the new GPS for several weeks now. At first, I noticed zero differences. The interface was almost identical as the old Garmin. It still didn't know the highway split north of Waco. I wasn't getting any traffic updates and I was angry. I read the manual (which was like 3 pages...) and plugged the GPS into my computer. Nothing changed.
Really, I wasn't trying very hard.I figured out how to get traffic updates and BAM! My life is 100% better than it was before. I'm the nerd that programs work into the GPS even though I am completely confident I can get to work without the GPS. But I love knowing what time I will be there. And now I love knowing where the traffic is!
On my way to work earlier this week I saw that the GPS had me take a different exit than I normally do. I realized quickly that it was avoiding traffic. I exited two exits early, missed the traffic, and felt like a genius! I practically waved at the stopped cars, "Suckers! You're NEVER going to get to work!!"
Did this purchase make me prettier? No. Thinner? No. Smarter? Prompter? Better? Yes, yes, and YES!
Garmin has absolutely no idea who I am. This is just my experience with two of their products. Links are affiliate links, but I do believe Amazon.com has the best prices. Amazon has no idea who I am either. :-)