Check out our Customer Reviews page, where
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portable GPS navigation solutions
Which if any portable GPS navigation offer on the market is best for you?
IdeaMerge's analysis of portable GPS navigation solutions.
We recommend that you invest in a top quality map or maps, or an atlas. You can
buy your map(s) domestically, from the likes of Amazon.com, or once abroad from a bookstore (present
in most airports) or service station. Everyone wants a free map, but in addition to death and taxes at least one further fact will always be generally true: free maps are
not good maps. And no matter what map you get, remember the words
of Thomas Ottavi: "There are lies, damned lies, and then there are maps."
Many cell phones (i.e. mobile phones, handies) now work overseas. Check with your
service provider (i.e. your carrier, the phone service company) in this regard;
it might be a good occasion for you to
upgrade to a phone (and plan) that works well overseas.
If indeed you want to be able to use your phone on another continent, you'll need to call your service provider customer support to get
international roaming turned on.
But beware: such roaming in and of itself is very expensive. Every missed or rejected call will use a minute of
roaming charges; every notification of a voicemail that's been left will cost a minute too. More charges will come
if you use data, even unknowingly -- and the new smart phones are constantly using data that you're unaware of.
Data roaming costs about $15/MB, which means a dollar fifty or so for every single web page that you view.
If someone sends you a nice 2 megapixel photo from home, that'll be $30! If you want to avoid data roaming charges
completely, you should disable data roaming and data synchronization before you go abroad.
International roaming is not a good value unless you have tri-band GSM phone. Such phones can be “SIM subsidy unlocked”
via your service provider to accept a foreign SIM card. Calls received through such card will be charged to you as if you are
using a local phone. To initiate such unlocking of your tri-band GSM phone, call your service provider at least a week or two
before you go abroad. Your service provider will then request an unlock code from the phone manufacturer, but the service provider will
not officially guarantee the manufacturer’s response time (it’s usually 24-48 hours) nor even that a unlock code will be
provided. Moreover, you’ll need to obtain a prepaid SIM card or cards for the country or countries you plan to travel to.
Those cards cost roughly 30 euros and can be bought in mobile phone shops in Europe (the primary companies in France, for
instance, are Orange, Bouygues Telecom and SFR). Alternatively you can buy or rent them before you go abroad, from various
internet-based companies. You would replace your current SIM card with the European one. (Typically they go under the
battery.) Do save your current SIM card, however; you’ll need it when you return home.
For SIM card or special phone rental or purchase online, see the following:
The rentals include insurance which covers theft of your
rented vehicle, but it doesn't include insurance to cover theft of
your belongings. IdeaMerge recommends you consider purchasing travel insurance
to cover, among other things, such an eventuality.
motorhome propane, water, waste, electrics, etc
online driving directions & route planners
flights to whitehorse, yukon's gateway to alaska
Condor offers direct
flights from Frankfurt, Germany, to Whitehorse every Tuesday and
Thursday, May through October.
operates two daily flights between Vancouver and Whitehorse,
and tickets for these can be appended to Air Canada and
tickets from/to Europe.
automotive measurement conversions
your domestic drivers license
The minimum age limit for the motorhome and campervan rentals presented
by IdeaMerge depends on the vendor.
(Many vendors require that drivers have posssesed a valid domestic
drivers license for at least a year prior to the rental.)
In some cases there is a maximum age limit.
See the relevant Payments & Policies page.
Drivers must of course possess their valid domestic drivers license.
The Canada motorhome and camper van rental
vehicles presented on the IdeaMerge Website are designed such that relative
especially to the laws of Canada
virtually all domestic drivers licenses suffice for operation of these
vehicles, even in nearly all cases where the inherent limits of the
license (i.e. relative to your domestic laws) would preclude the holder from
driving the vehicle in his/her own country. Which is to say, standard foreign
drivers licenses are translated by the laws of Canada such
that these licenses basically function in Canada as
standard Canadian drivers licenses.
To state this yet another way: In Canada the standard domestic drivers licenses of foreign states
are, in connection with foreign tourists, considered equal to a standard Canadian drivers license.
Therefore the foreign drivers license allows the holder to drive the same
range of vehicle types as does a corresponding Canadian license. This means, for instance,
that the 3500 kg permissible-weight constraint that applies to European
Union licenses in Europe is effectively raised in Canada to match the
Canadian standards, which are invariably so high that all the vehicles
represented on IdeaMerge's Canada "Rates & Reservations" page may be driven
by a standard-European-drivers-licensed client.
Nevertheless, you might be interested in researching the inherent limits of
your drivers license. To do so you can
check the back of your license and visit the Website of the
governmental agency that issued your license.
You can also see the following Wikipedia articles:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Driver's_license and, say,
international driving permit
Canada does not require of foreign drivers
an international driving permit.
However, if your domestic drivers license is not primarily or secondarily (i.e. in parallel)
written in English, the vendor does
require of you an international driving permit (IDP).
IDPs are available
for a small charge (about the equivalent of US$ 20) from the automobile club offices in the
client's country of residence (but not outside their country), and
a person need not be a member of such club to obtain the IDP from the club.
Basically an IDP is a means by which police in a foreign
country can know in terms of translations in nearly a dozen
that your domestic driver's license is indeed recognized as being valid by
the proper authorities in your country. (See the
excellent article at
If you need an IDP, take
your license, two passport-sized photos and the requisite cash to the club office. (Though for about US$6 the
club may snap Polaroid photos for you.)
Web searches will bring up a host of Websites selling documents that conform
to the international driving permit model delineated in annex 10 of the United Nations Convention on Road
Traffic (1949); but according to Article 24 of that convention,
a truly valid IDP is one which is "issued .. by the competent authority of
another Contracting State or subdivision thereof, or by an association duly
empowered by such authority ...."
With respect to manual transmission vehicles, it is the client’s
responsibility to know, or to learn how, to drive a manual transmission. The
rental company (i.e. the vendor) will likely refuse to deliver such
vehicle unless all the drivers listed on the rental contract are expressly or
evidently proficient in the operation of a manual transmission vehicle. There
are no refunds in such cases.
Vehicle models and layouts are not guaranteed. Some vehicle accessories, such as an
awning or a bike rack, are not guaranteed, because some of the vehicles are
delivered from the factory to the rental company so near to the pick-up date
that there is no time to install such items.
Where and when road or weather conditions, and perhaps laws or ordinances or such, dictate the wise or requisite
use of specific tires or specifically embellished tires (e.g. tires fitted with snow chains or socks), it is the
driver's responsibility to abstain from driving until such tires are installed on his or her vehicle.
It is nevertheless the client's responsibility to return the vehicle with the initial (i.e. original) set of tires
installed or co-present; otherwise the client will be billed for those initial tires.
It is the client's responsibility to research and understand such laws in relation to his or her rental and itinerary.
Regarding snow chains, it is vital that you check and if necessary maintain the tension of the chains frequently,
and certainly after every short journey. Also, with the chains fitted do not drive faster than about 35
miles per hour (60 km/h).
IdeaMerge suggests that our clients do not plan to rely solely on any one
guide nor even on any collection of such guides (whether they be in book form,
software form, or online) to determine the location or quality of appropriate
hotels and campgrounds. Such a guide — especially if it is provided free of charge by the
vendor or another entity — should not be considered suitably thorough and up to
date, although in many cases they are very useful. Even if a vendor’s policy is
to provide such guide with every rental vehicle, they occasionally run out of
supply because too many clients lose or abscond with the guide, or for other
reasons beyond the vendor's control. IdeaMerge therefore suggests a sort of
rule of three: use at least two published guides (in book form, software form,
or online), and rely on your own on-the-ground research (e.g. following local signage,
questioning local people, and so forth) to complete the picture. Market forces
usually take care of the rest because they result in hotel and campground locations per
the general demand and thus near where you are most likely to desire such
Neither IdeaMerge nor the vendor is responsible to assist in locating or recommending hotels or
campgrounds to clients. Any assistance IdeaMerge or the vendor does give in
that respect should not be interpreted as sanctioning or signifying the
suitability of the services or products provided at the hotel or campground.
For motorhome travel soft-sided, collapsable bags are the best sort to use, because
they can be stored within the vehicle without taking up much room. See our
relevant Locations page for information about whether or not the rental depot
will store luggage for you.
Unless otherwise specified on the IdeaMerge website or by the relevant IdeaMerge
vendor, clients should not plan to park their own vehicle at the rental
depot. At some rental depots such parking is possible, but only if upon the
pick-up occasion there happens to be room on the depot grounds. Typically
rental depot personnel can direct clients to optimal parking solutions nearby
Check all accessories at the depot to be sure they are in working order. If there is
a problem say something at the depot before leaving.
Ask questions during the vehicle orientation; refused to be rushed.
You will be held liable for vehicle damage that is deemed to occur during your
rental. Test drive the vehicle at and near the rental depot where you begin your journey.
If you notice anything unusual about the vehicle, especially the clutch, return
it to the depot immediately.
Drive carefully. The security deposit that you leave with the rental company upon the
pick-up occasion will be debited for vehicle damage.
Please carry a mobile phone with you so the vendor can easily contact you if necessary
and in case of emergency. Please confirm that your phone service provider and
contract allows you to call toll-free numbers.
The vehicle should returned with the toilet waste receptacle (e.g. blackwater tank)
and the shower/sink waste water tank (greywater tank) empty. Otherwise
the vendor reserves the right to charge a waste cleaning fee.
Moreover, the vehicle should be returned clean inside and be emptied of luggage
by the reserved return time. (Typically the vendor will clean the outside.) If
the vehicle is not clean on the inside — i.e. not only emptied of luggage but
also with clean floors (vacuumed or thoroughly swept), clean seats, clean
appliances, clean bathroom, and generally clean surfaces — the vendor reserves
the right to charge an interior cleaning fee.
If proper return (as described above) occurs after the reserved return time, a
charge will be levied for each extra such hour (up to the daily or nightly
rate); and the customer will assume responsibility for claims made against the
vendor by the subsequent customer because the subsequent customer's pick-up is
the delayed by the late return.
Upon returning the vehicle the client should report to the vendor any ticketed
parking violations, ticketed traffic violations, and toll-road violations and
such that the client knowingly incurred during the rental, along with any
documentation thereof (e.g. the ticket itself). The cost of any associated fine
or fines devolves upon the client, even if the client was not directly ticketed
for the violation or was otherwise unaware of the violation. Moreover, the
vendor might charge to the client an administration fee for processing each
Also see our General Disclaimers & Notices.
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