If you've ever rented a car - the rental company may have offered to rent you a GPS Sat Nav - typically on a daily rental basis around $10-$15/day. But can a smartphone provide a better result or will the associated data cost you too much while travelling?

If this is something you've pondered, read on.

Many in the TravelTalk community rent cars when travelling so we asked what works best for them. The near unanimous recommendation is use to a combination of techniques, that consists of:

  1. Your Smartphone
  2. Your preferred App: Google Maps or HERE We Go
  3. Downloaded Maps

The big benefit of Google Maps or HERE We Go is both now offer the option to download maps before you travel. Now you can survive using little or no mobile broadband data for navigation. And you won't get lost if your mobile coverage drops. The first app to offer free international map downloads was the forerunner to 'Here We Go' - Here Maps - but now Google Maps offers a somewhat similar feature.

When I travel I prefer to typically have data enabled on my phone to get traffic updates and to receive email. But if I have limited data, I'll often download local maps when I'm on Wi-Fi or before I leave home.

What's the the strengths of each? Google Maps covers more regions - including China. HERE We Go allows offline maps to be kept indefinitely (and even offers to update offline maps as they change) - compared with Google Maps offline data expiring after 30-days.

Have you go some tips or information to add? Please make a comment in the Community Message Boards / Forums.

Get the apps:

Here We Go   Android  iPhone

Google Maps     Android  iPhone