Brits end up on firing ranges, runways and rodeos because they don’t want to read the map

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Getting lost abroad is all part of the adventure according to a survey, which revealed that we actually like to get lost on holiday and discover a hidden gem along the way.

Over 50% of those surveyed said that they had turned to a local for help or advice and had often been taken into the family home for a warm drink and directions home, or had come across an amazing landmark, restaurant or beauty spot as a result of following their own noses.

As tempting as it is to take a shortcut home though, take caution from this tale of a holidaymaker who did just that and found themselves sprinting across an airport runway in Reykjavik.

Another holiday maker wished they’d checked their route before setting out when they found themselves in the middle of a live firing range – they were quickly escorted to safety!

Many travelers said that they’d actually discovered something far more interesting whilst lost – a restaurant, bar, museum or exhibition that they wouldn’t have found otherwise. And with a little extra help from the locals, they managed to get around very easily. Some even commented that they purposefully don’t use maps or sat nav because getting lost is all part of the adventure.

And when it comes to getting from A to B, many holidaymakers actually found their sat nav more of a hindrance than a help, ending up in dead end roads, on a precarious harbor edge or even in a town with the same name 50 miles away from their destination of choice.

The fact that the satellite navigation systems (sat navs) are more help than hindrance we can also see at home and I come across those, and I only can refer to them as morons, on an almost daily basis. They will also then say that they are on a road or in an area where they have no right to be despite all the signs on the approaches that they don't take any notice of signs because they follow their sat navs. What is one to do with people like that?

It would appear that far too many people really still do rely on the sat navs in their cars and trucks and follow those gadgets like on autopilot without taking any notice, as said, of any signs, warning or not, and then, when they, literally often, end up in deep water, their excuse is “but my sat nav told me to go this way”. Duh?

Maps seem to have become a totally alien object to most drivers nowadays and while it may be fun, to some extent, to get lost abroad while on holiday it could and can also be rather dangerous.

A map – and today you can get any route planned well for you using the Internet, with turnings, junctions and the lots down to the meter – is a much safer option than a sat nav and also a cheaper one.

Whether traveling for business or pleasure, and whether at home or abroad, use mapping services on the Internet and plan your journey. Also have a map book with you for the “just in case” scenario. Forget the sat nav for they are only as good as the details that are on the program and unless it is a well updated one then things can go awry.

In fact things can even go awry with a well updated sat nav as those gadgets often list any road as one that can be used even if it is a private road that it may be unlawful to use.

Use a map, read signs and travel safely... ditch the gadgets.

© 2012