1. Don't drive while setting up the device.
Whether it is a cell phone or GPS, it's an obvious distraction if you are fiddling with it while driving. Bases and many local communities have laws about hands-free devices and texting with cell phones. This distraction is no less serious with GPS and can often take even more of your attention. Set the device up ahead of time while parked. If you change plans mid-stream, find somewhere to pull over or have a passenger make the changes for you. Just beware; even a passenger assisting you is a distraction.

2. Expect the GPS to be wrong at some point.
Technology is great but it does not fix everything. Bring a paper map, and be prepared to use it along with GPS. Rental companies and hotels still have these most of the time.

3. Plan ahead.
It's fun to take out your phone or GPS and ask for directions to the nearest restaurant, but you just failed to plan anything. You are relying entirely on the phone or GPS. Refer to tip two, and you can see the problem. Ask the concierge or a local for directions. Not only can they tell you the simplest, safest, fastest or otherwise best route to follow, but they also can tell you restaurant X is horrible and you should try restaurant Y.

4. Don't overreact to the GPS.
When you hear the inevitable "recalculating route," don't slam on the brakes or swerve to make the off-ramp. It's recalculating just like it says. If you trusted it the first time, you might as well take the next turn or accomplish the U-turn when it tells you. Depending on the accuracy of the GPS, you might not have missed the turn at all.

5. Give yourself plenty of time.
This applies doubly if you choose not to use tip three. There is no harm in showing up a few minutes early to your final destination. If you have a fancy cell phone, you can even use it to check your e-mail or play a game while you wait a few minutes for the people who got lost using the GPS-only method.

-- Maj. Frank Cooper