GPS or a printed street directory or state map for success when travelling

Whether travelling around an unfamiliar area or to and from new destinations, street directories and GPS navigation systems (GPS) are both tools popular that are a popular means for finding your way around, but they have their own advantages and disadvantages:

Street Directories


  • Work without batteries or signal: No need to worry about a dead phone or a lost GPS signal in remote areas.
  • Big picture view: Can help you plan a route beforehand and see the overall layout of an area.
  • Detailed information: May include information like one-way streets, parking restrictions, and points of interest not shown on GPS.
  • Physical copy as a backup: In case your phone dies or GPS malfunctions.


  • Can be bulky and inconvenient: Difficult to carry around, especially in large cities.
  • Not always up-to-date: New roads and developments may not be reflected.
  • Difficult to navigate complex routes: Can be time-consuming to follow written directions, especially while driving.
  • No real-time updates: Doesn't show traffic conditions or road closures.

GPS Navigation Systems


  • Real-time guidance: Provides turn-by-turn instructions and can adjust routes based on traffic conditions.
  • Voice guidance: Keeps your eyes on the road while following directions.
  • Can find points of interest: Helps you locate gas stations, restaurants, and other amenities.


  • Relies on batteries and signal: Can malfunction if your device dies or loses signal.
  • Limited view: Doesn't show the overall layout of an area like a map.
  • Limited battery life: Phone battery can drain quickly when using GPS.
  • May not be as detailed: May miss smaller streets or points of interest.
  • Can be inaccurate: GPS can sometimes make mistakes, leading you astray.
  • Over-reliance: Can lead to a decreased awareness of surroundings and potential dangers.

In conclusion, the best choice for you depends on your needs. If you're looking for a reliable backup or prefer a big-picture view, a street directory might be a good option. If you value convenience, real-time updates, and ease of use, a GPS system is the way to go. In some cases, you might even find a combination of the two most helpful!

In my case I find each valuable depending on where and why I am travelling.

Around busy areas and in a suburban or city environment, when travelling to an unfamiliar address, I like to firstly use a street directory to give me a good overall idea of where I am going but then find using a GPS invaluable as I get nearer the destination as it’s easy to zero in on the address I want.

On country trips such as when going camping or just for a relaxing day drive, referring to a street directory or printed map enables the exploring of more interesting routes and a bit of sightseeing. On these occasions the old maxim that its as much about enjoying the trip as reaching the destination comes into its own.


If you are aa appreciator of street directories and maps, then we have a good range available at newsXpress Sunbury and online at

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