Bends&Curves road trips provides GPX files and interactive maps to drive the tours we organise. For each tour we compose a roadbook. Together with the roadbook you will receive GPX route files.
In general, each GPX file contains the route for one driving day. To be able to use these files you will need a sat nav device or a sat nav app on your phone. The choice between a device and an app is up to you. A sat nav device is dedicated to navigation, so it has the advantage of keeping your phone available for other things, such as shooting photos (and you want to take pictures for sure). The downside is that they are quite expensive and not all sat nav devices are compatible with GPX files. Navigation apps are cheap (sometimes free even).
If you don’t have a clue about how to transfer GPX files to the sat nav system/app, read the manual ;-). No need to worry, many participants of our tours know how to use these devices/apps, so just ask us or any participant and we’re sure your problem will be fixed.
Suggestions for sat nav devices
If you think about buying a sat nav device, you will probably end up buying a TomTom or Garmin navigation system. These brands offer the best systems if you need to use GPX files. Be aware of the fact that not all TomTom- and Garmin models are compatible with GPX files. Two top of the range models which work very good with GPX files are:
- TomTom GO Premium X (Dutch) – (English) / online available for about € 375
- Garmin Zumo XT (Dutch) – (English) / online available for about € 430
If you want to go cheaper and don’t mind second hand, try to find a TomTom GO 5200 or 6200.
Suggestions for sat nav apps
If you don’t mind using your phone to navigate, a navigation app is the smart choice. Check your App store /Google Play store and you will find many of them. Below we’ve summed up a few apps which are compatible with GPX files and have been used by participants of previous Bends&Curves tours, with good results.
- Android: TomTom Go Mobile (Dutch) – (English) / about € 4 for 1 month, € 20 for 1 year (NOTE: the app is alo available for iOs/iPhone, but TomTom doesn’t support the app anymore).
- Android: Kurviger (Dutch) – (English) / € 10 for 1 year.
- iPhone/iOs: Scenic (English) / € 24 for 1 year
- iPhone/iOs & Android: Calimoto (English) / € 7 per week or € 50 per year
- iPhone/iOs & Android: OsmAnd (English) / free
And Google Maps?
GPX files are not compatible with the Google Maps app which most people have installed on their phones. Although this app is user-friendly if you want to drive from A to B using the roads Google calculates, it is not if you want to use a route which has been planned by someone else. After it turned out that some participants were missing beautiful parts of routes, we decided to say goodbye to this system.
However, we do use Google MyMaps in our roadbooks. By clicking the map in the roadbook you will be able to see the route and several points of interest such as suggestions for lunch stops. The maps are ‘smart’; by clicking on a suggested restaurant for instance, you can start Google Maps navigation and it will bring you there – not by the planned route but by the fastest route.