9 Portable GPS Systems That Can Help during European Travel

There are so many portable GPS systems using apps and gadgets you can use to make travelling in Europe a little more fruitful. 

Most of them use GPS (global positioning system) as a handy companion to figure out where you are and where you should be going. Some are used for navigation while others are used for fun-filled activities so there are no excuses if you don’t have the best time of your life. 

Luckily, most apps and gadgets have offline alternatives so you won’t get saddled with high data costs while overseas. 

Let’s break it down!

Tower of Pisa

Getting Around with Portable GPS Units

Obviously, you’re going to need some navigating help in a new place. These trusted names have your back along with great tips of places to go!

TomTom VIA 1505M World Traveler Edition GPS: With a 5” touchscreen showing 3D maps you’ll be set to drive anywhere you want. This device comes preloaded with U.S, Canada, Mexico, and Europe maps with a lifetime of free updates so you can leave right away. Plus, it’ll give you plenty of points of interests (POI) and IQ Routes so you’re always traveling on the fastest routes. 

Garmin Nuvi 2559LMT North America and Europe: You’ll be all set with your preloaded maps of Europe that are kept up-to-date along with a POI database linked to Foursquare that won’t let you down. The voice directions are also welcomed in an unfamiliar land because it’ll tell you which turn to take by giving landmarks, just like an old friend in the car. Plus, it’ll sync to your smartphone so you can make and receive calls. There’s also the option of a back-up camera so you don’t hit any Europeans.

Practicality with a Portable GPS Systems

Use these apps to help you get on your feet once you land in Europe, that way you’re not stressed and can start having fun!

Hailo: Once you land at the airport with all of your heavy bags and fatigue, what do you do? You need to get a ride somewhere so you can start your adventure. That’s where this app comes in. Simply press a button and a cab car (of your choice) picks you up wherever you are using your phone’s GPS. And don’t worry about figuring out currency right away, your credit card info is already programed in the app!

HostelWorld: This app will give you budget-friendly hotels in your direct area using GPS. You’ll also get customer reviews of these places so you can make the right choice. No hidden fees either!  So, you see how these portable GPS units become useful.

Best Portable GPS Systems for Active Activities

Sometimes, vacations are for discovering rather than relaxing. Luckily, these portable GPS systems will help bring out the inner explorer in you while having fun too. 

Garmin eTrex 30: For the adventurers. This handheld device with an electronic compass and great durability uses GLONASS and GPS to locate you quickly while providing maps for offline use. Take it with you when you go exploring or geocaching in exotic places.

AlpineQuest: This GPS enabled app is a great companion on any outdoor activity like hunting, sailing, hiking, or running. It’ll find your location quickly and then orient you in the right direction. The topographic and road maps are stored offline so you won’t have hefty data charges. 

GolfBuddy WT4: Get out on the green! This GPS watch can give you distances to the front, center, and back of the green. It’ll also give you pin placement and distances to hazards or targets. And don’t worry, the watch also tells time so you can catch the next train!

Colosseum Italy

What about a GPS for the touristy Stuff!

Since you’re there already, you might as well take in the sights and attractions that so many before you have seen. So get out your camera, fanny pack, and phone to get started!

Museums Mobile: Since Europe is really old, you should definitely check out some museums. This app uses your location to let you know which museums are around you. 

It’ll also give you information about the museums including their current collections.

Tour Pal: One of my favorites, this app acts like your very own tour guide! Using downloaded offline maps, you’ll get guided tours in the big cities of Europe. You’ll also get popular restaurants, shops, and sites and even the best hotel rates. 


You’re pretty lucky to be embarking on this amazing journey to Europe! Fortunately, you have so much technology at your disposal to make this trip memorable and rewarding. Since a GPS tracker doesn’t need Wifi to work, a lot of these technologies have offline options for maps and information so you won’t be broke once vacation is over. So what’s the hold up? Start packing and don’t forget your portable GPS tracking equipment!