6 Apps to Navigate a New City
May 31, 2016
by Sarah Neill
After spending a semester in Washington D.C., Seguin’s quaint qualities are not to be taken for granted. Knowing the neighbors around you and being able to guess directions anywhere is comforting. But if you see study abroad in your future or want to take part in the Washington Semester Program, figuring out how to navigate new terrain in a must. Whether just on vacation or a whole semester in a new city, these apps will help keep you on the right track.
When in a big city, just trying to get out of the airport can be overwhelming, so use your phone to get a car. These apps automatically send a car to your location, and charges a credit card based on the number of passengers and distance. Using Uber or Lyft not only saves you a few bucks, but you also get a chance to talk to a local.The drivers can give you recommendations to restaurants, the best sites to see, and a feel of the city from someone who lives there.
If you do bring your own car, parking can sometimes be a nightmare from overpriced parking garages to meters that just don’t last long enough. Parkmobile allows you to pay meter charges straight from your phone. So if you want to take another hour to enjoy the museum, you just have to log on.It also helps remind you where you parked the car.
If you’re in a city that has a metro system, the transit app is a must. It tracks all the trains and buses; shows where delays and construction are, and will show transfer points for your trip. The city’s transit app will also alert you when a subway line is closed or if there is a weather delay. Most apps will even show you the cost from one stop to the next.
Sometimes taking a car just won’t be worth the cost and time stuck in traffic, but most cities have a great bike share program when it’s too far to walk or between subway lines. Spotcycle is a bike share application that shows nearby bike stations that allow you to rent a bicycle. You can rent a bike at one location, ride it to your destination, and find a dock nearby. It also shows bike paths to maximize your trip and keep you safe. Riding a bicycle is great for tourist cities since they drastically reduce your time spent walking and give you some great exercise.
After a long day of sightseeing, you probably won’t be feeling like going back out, but will still want to grab something local and delicious for dinner. GrubHub is a delivery app that brings great restaurants to your door. With great search filters, finding the type of food for the price you want is easy. GrubHub also shows you customer reviews, so you won’t be disappointed with what you order.
Snapchat has a new city story that shows you what other people in the area are doing. It’s a new way to find events that aren’t always advertised to tourists. From musical festivals to art museums, there is something new every day to check out. Plus, that selfie will look really cool with a city filter on it.
Sarah Neill is a political science major and a communication studies minor at Texas Lutheran University and she hopes to go into politics once she graduates. Sarah likes to stay busy on campus, whether it is working as an admissions ambassador and marketing & communications intern, or being at rehearsal for the TLU women's choir. She is very devoted to her studies, takes part in the Honors Program and is a member of Alpha Lambda Delta.