There is often a question that is brought up in business offices, "What did we do before e-mail?" A similar question will soon have the same stigma. "What did we do before GPS units?"
I rented a car, and being the techie that I am, I wanted to play with a GPS unit while on vacation. I had no idea how good of a decision that was until later.
The unit that we had was a Garmin, but I would imagine that the experience would be similar or the same with most any GPS unit. All you have to do is choose a type of destination, an address, or suggest a name, and away it goes! Unless it has an exact match, it will give you a list of destinations. When you choose the destination, it gives you exact directions to it.
With the unit that we had, I was immediately surprised at the level of accuracy it had on knowing exactly when we had to turn, and when I missed one. And when a turn was missed, it would immediate respond with new directions. While sometimes the new directions would involve turning around, most often it wouldn't. Sometimes it was amusing, as it would sound like the GSP unit would be upset when you missed a destination. Once, it just kept repeating, "Make u-turn now," when we didn't turn into a parking lot.
While we were in a place that had a simple layout for roads and highways, it seemed like I was really just playing with a new toy. But the value was immediately apparent when in San Antonio.
If you have never been to San Antonio, it has A LOT of highways - most of which "loop" around the city with upper levels and lower levels. It is not always obvious which direction you should go, or which level you should be one, because there are so many roads!
At first, I mostly just listened to the Garmin. In San Antonio, I learned to also take peeks at it to not only know that I needed to "exit right", but which right I needed to take, as the road number and direction would be right on the screen. It was a life-saver! As complicated as the roads were, I couldn't imagine reading those routes on a map!
If you travel in a new place, get a GPS unit! It saves paper, heartache, missed turns (read - fuel), and you will never be lost. How is that for peace of mind? And for us guys, there is never a need to stop and ask for directions like the ladies like us to do from time to time. ;)
All that, and this is (theoretically) greener too. There is less dependance on paper for the maps.