- Travel and Places
ViaMichelin.com: Free Online Driving Directions
I've driven all over Europe, and it can really be a nightmare. If the maniac drivers don’t get you, the bizarre road signage will. This can be particularly frustrating if you’re driving a car tallying mileage – but cruising down roads counting off kilometers. The same goes if you’re a European traveling in the US – must drive you mad, with “miles” and “gallons” written all over the place! Your best bet in these situations having GPS navigation of some kind – but even those can go wonky. And they can certainly break.
Which means you really have no business going anywhere without something on paper. Yeah, maps are great – but they won’t give you step by step instructions, unless they come with a tourguide. I honestly can’t remember how I found it, but ViaMichelin.com is an absolute Godsend. Yeah, that’s Michelin, as in, the puffy-tire-coat man. His site is fantastic, and let me tell you why. All you have to do is know where you are, and where you want to go – he’ll do the rest.
Goodies for you:
- Want to make a detour on the way? He can swing that for you.
- You can choose what kind of route you want: economic, scenic, fastest, etc.
- You can choose to avoid tolls, border crossings, and congested areas.
- If you have viamichelin on your GPS device, you can have the results sent to it from the computer.
- It tells you how many hours it will take to get there.
- You can get the results in miles or kilometers.
- It tells you how much the road tax will cost.
- It tells you how much the gas will cost.
- It offers maps for each point where you’ll need to change roads.
- It tells you how long you’ll have been driving – and reminds you to take a break!
- It shows you both the local and national signage – important when traveling through the EU, as there are often 3 numbers for each road!
- And – you can even program it to tell give you a route for walking or cycling.
If that’s not enough for you, the site does hotel reservations and restaurants, too. I’ve not used those personally, but I can definitely vouch for the directions. I love this thing, I can’t tell you how often I use it. It’s excellent on all levels – local, national and international. My only complaint is that sometimes there’s more than 1 particularly city in each country – Germany is notorious for this – and it’s sometimes difficult to know which to choose. But with a little effort you can usually figure it out. What are you waiting for? Try it, you’ll like it!