5 essential apps for navigating a new city

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1. Waze

If you are anything like me then you get turned around pretty easily while trying to navigate unfamiliar territory. Having a GPS in the car is great, but what about when you are walking?  Waze (pronounced ways) covers it all. It is a GPS app that  is totally reliable and operates in real time due to the fact that users are constantly updating it with road hazards, speed traps, red light cameras, and traffic jams. Just download Waze to your smartphone, type in your destination, and never worry about being lost again. You can also use it with friends and keep track of where they are for these times when you are in a caravan and get stuck at a red light or get cut off in traffic.

2. Hop Stop

I mostly drive, but there are times where Metro or the bus is more convenient.  Hop Stop comes in handy when you are trying to figure out the fastest route to your destination. It provides bus schedules, the number of transfers, and a fairly accurate ETA. The best thing is that you can use it in most major cities.

3. Yelp & Urbanspoon

Yelp and Urbanspoon are both review sites that give you real person reviews of local businesses. Yelp reviews everything from Airlines to Zoos, while Urbanspoon focuses on restaurant reviews. I always check out the online reviews before wasting my valuable time and money on a new business.

4. Swarm (formerly Foursquare)

I used Foursquare, now known as Swarm, primarily to figure out what is around the immediate area. For example, I can see what restaurants are nearby, where the nearest drugstore is, and the name of an interesting building. It is also fun to use when you have friends who are also on Swarm, because you can check into a location and see if they are nearby.

5. Grub Hub

Grub Hub is a life saver on those nights when you do not want to cook after a long day at work. Simply type in what you are in the mood for, then type in your address, and Grub Hub will pull up a list of restaurants that deliver to your area. My main complaint is that it doesn’t cover a wide spectrum of places and most of my favorite restaurants are not on Grub Hub. What I like is that you have the option of paying with PayPal and you can tip when you pay for your order online or  you can tip the delivery person when they arrive.

Photo by my Aunt Lu. All Rights Reserved.

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