How to not get lost with printed driving directions

There are many things very wrong with paper printout directions. Not the least the fact that you'll get lost just about every time.

If you still want to put off purchasing a good GPS, I can attempt to show you how to not get lost with printed driving directions.

Firstly, do not trust printed directions. ALWAYS look at the map of route and the list of directions the night before you have to drive. Make sure to note any directions or routes that are not clear. Paper maps are very often simply wrong. You need to keep in mind that:

A) Sometimes, there are turns in the road that are not indicated on the printed directions, and at other times, a road continuation is indicated as a turn on directions.

B) Taking a single wrong turn makes directions useless, unlike a map (which can be used to correct errors). Therefore, not only carry a road atlas, but also more detailed maps of where you are driving. If you get lost, do not continue driving hoping to get somewhere. Turn around and get to the last turn where the road agreed with what instructions said.

C) Sometimes, printed directions take you off a familiar route, or you start driving by a familiar route instead. That is why reviewing directions beforehand is important.


You will make it much easier for yourself if you print out several graphical maps of the route. Starting map, destination map, map of the whole route, and any difficult or unclear turns along the route. Time is most often wasted being lost near the destination if a large printout of the destination area was not printed out. If you are traveling to a mid to large size city, you will need to research parking and one way streets, and give yourself extra time and money for parking.


If you get lost, stop at a gas station. Find out where you are on a map, or ask for help inside the gas station.

  • It is also impossible to navigate by road signs alone without a map, since most of the time the signs give too little time for the person to think or change lanes, esp at large roads in and close to large cities.

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Page last modified 13-Feb-11 18:43:10 EST
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