Secure Drive believes that travellers should minimise stress by choosing local transportation while abroad. Picture: Supplied.

Hiring a car when travelling on business or taking a self-drive holiday abroad has been so much less stressful since the ubiquity of Global Positioning Systems (GPS) devices, and particularly since smartphones included this functionality via apps. But phones are fallible in many ways, particularly when you’re in an unfamiliar country.

 While you can trust your phone’s GPS and your local knowledge when you’re navigating around your home city, there are several reasons you should consider using a local secure transportation service when you’re travelling abroad for either business or leisure:

  •  You need roaming data to use your phone abroad, and if your home network doesn’t have an agreement with a local service provider, you could be without the connectivity you need to navigate.
  • South Africans have become accustomed to always-on signal, but are you sure that your destination country offers the same convenience so that you can navigate wherever you may be travelling?
  • If you’re travelling on business, chances are strong that you’ll be using your phone for work, and GPS directions could interrupt your calls, or even distract your focus from the unfamiliar roads.
  • Travelling on business means that your time is probably under pressure, with a packed diary you simply haven’t got time to get lost between appointments or spend time in traffic jams you didn’t anticipate.
  • You’ll probably tell your GPS to navigate the most direct route to your destination, but neither you nor your GPS will be aware of potential no-go areas, whether these are crime hotspots or roads riddled with dangerous potholes.
  • While the likes of Google Maps do update with changes to roads and infrastructure frequently, this isn’t instantaneous and you could be in for a surprise change of direction in a rapidly-developing city like Dubai, for example.
  • If your destination has a different plug point system, you may not have achieved a full charge for your phone and running out of battery power mid-route is a real possibility.