Hi Ken, my assumption that AutoRoute won’t let me play with routing is based on my very limited experience with a Vizio tablet. I don’t remember which app I use for navigation, but it did not allow me to prepare any routes for Europe, because my location was, well, pretty far from there. Naturally, the tablet had a build in GPS receiver and a lot of issues along with it, so I returned it three days after buying. Nevertheless, it let me feel how good it is when your location is shown on a map. Other than that I personally don’t need much more from a navigation device. But since you say I can do some routing in the MS programs, I’ll try. I just ordered a GPS receiver from Amazon, it will arrive in a few day, so I am “safe” to give it a try.
I considered buying a Garmin eTrex, but it’s hard to justify the cost of the unit plus maps if I am going to use it once a year.
As for paper maps here is what I do. I design my routes in Google maps, down to smallest details, and then just print screen shots, piece by piece. It allows me to vary scale as much as I need, do not print unnecessary areas, etc. Cost – next to nothing. As I go along the routes I get rid of used pages. Google maps are not ideal, last year, in Europe, their maps led me to nonexistent roads several times, so having a GPS of some sort definitely helps. But at present it is too early to rely on a GPS entirely.