Our Trip to DC // My Fave Apps

I was going to title this post 'My Fave Travel Apps' but I used so many more apps than just ones for travel! having an iPhone has been the best thing to ever happen to me (exaggeration much?).  While being totally connected to the internet & social media 24/7 can be a bad thing, a smart phone is great for when you need it the most.

First, I am horrible with directions. I can't even get from my house to work sometimes & I've been working there for over 4 months. (That is a bit of an exaggeration, but I still can't find my way around my home town.......I lived there for 22 years....I am so bad with directions)  So when we went to DC, Zach was sort of determined to have me learn to navigate.  I will tell you that I didn't really try at all! The most I did was read the route from my phone & find the metro stations!  Having some way of finding out where you were in a hurry was great.  I referenced loads of things on my phone to supplement not only directions but the research we were doing in the Library of Congress.  I love being able to have answers right at my finger tips!

Second, I am no travel expert so these apps are ones I found & downloaded in a hurry or ones that I'd had & got to explore while waiting between metro stops.

Since we noticed that gas prices were a bit higher than when we were home, I searched for an app that would find us the cheapest gas possible.  This free app was the first one to come up & I hurried to install it.  It also helped us to find gas stations if we were on the interstate.
Since the gas station right near my house usually has a fair price for gas I never downloaded an app like this before.  If I am ever out, I'd be sure to check this app if I found my self sailing on E.

The built in Maps app for the iPhone doesn't really do for me what I need it too.  On our trip to Roanoke for Thanksgiving I noticed that sometimes it wasn't reliable.  I started cross checking the Maps app with Google Maps that I'd added to my home screen.  Also, with Google Maps you can avoid tolls.  Other mobile map sites like MapQuest probably would work too but I am super picky.  (I like using google for everything & I like using apple.  I am one of those people!)
Google Maps, for me, sometimes doesn't load which is why I'd turn back to the Maps app.  I think I like Google Maps better because it is a lot like the web version & that's where I print directions from.  It's one of those visual preference things.

I love social media! Instagram is an awesome way to share photos, as I am sure you know!  Thanks to some people I follow on Instagram, I discovered that crossing camera apps makes really cool effects! I don't know why I never thought of it before.  While waiting in line or on the metro (or when Zach was thumbing through his book in the Library of Congress) I'd edit some photos from the day.
Camera+ is a great photo editing app on the phone itself.  I'd had Camera+ for ages & never really figured it out.  While looking through Instagram I totally discovered people crossing apps, especially Camera+.  I decided to give it another go & fell in love.  I am pleased with the quality of the camera on the iPhone but Camera+ can help edit photos that didn't come out too great.  It can also turn the really horrible ones into cool ones with it's filters.
PictureShow is also a great app because you can keep your pictures relativly the same.  You can use the same borders/light leaks/frames easier.  You can also save the combinations to come back to if you want to use them again.  It keeps consistency.  I used a combination of all three of these for pictures in this post!
I'd have to say that when we got back to where we were staying or had some down time, I was on there editing & messing around.

Zach had been to DC before in the past year so he knew a little of his way around.  Unfortunately, we got turned around coming from the base & couldn't find the metro stop we wanted.  I pulled out my phone, found the first metro app & downloaded it for .99 cents.
It shows you the five closest metros around you.  We used this in the car & when we got turned around at the end of our stay.  I probably could have found a free app but this one was first & I needed it right then!  I do like the layout & how nice it looks.  Aesthetics can go a long way!

Restaurant Finder
At the end of our stay Zach & I wanted Thai food.  In the end, we didn't get it because we decided to spend time with the couple we were staying with.  We ordered pizza instead.  But, we did find Thai restaurants near us while standing on the busy street corner.
This app has a basic & advanced search where you can search by restaurant type & state/zip.  It's great if you are in the mood for a specific food but don't know any local restaurants.  I used it to search for Thai food, pizza places, & fast food restaurants off the high way.  I do wish I'd found it earlier though so we could have eaten more local foods.  I've heard Urban Spoon is a great app too...but I just picked the first one I saw!

I threw this one in for fun! At the Museum of Natural History there was a QR code in the Human Origins exhibit that lead to an app download called MEanderthal.  You'd take a picture of yourself or friend, align it, & then be transformed into an early human.  You can choose between a few early human species & learn more about them.  It's just pretty funny to see the result!

A Real Map
Nothing can beat the app called 'a real damn map that you bought from the store'.  It doen not require 3G/WiFi, use batteries, or freeze up....it just opens & allows you to find your way around the city.  It has the metro stops, the museums, etc.  You'll find even more cool places if you take you head out of the iPhone & just read the map!

Traveling is a load of fun.  I am so excited that I've been able to take little trips since graduation.  Another place on my list to go is the Natural Bridge here in Virginia.  I've been wanting to go back for a while now.  Perhaps I'll make it there in 2012.

What apps do you use when you travel? Do you have any travel apps you use on a daily basis?


  1. Sounds like a lot of fun! I cannot wait to get an iPhone. Right now I just have an iPod touch, but I already have so many apps on it. I just want a iPhone that I can use anywhere!

    Also, thanks so much for the comment on my blog! It's so nice to know that someone appreciates the modest fashion I feature on my blog without my blog being centered around modest fashion! Your comment totally made my day, so thank you so much!

    Also, I love your blog and am following now! Would you be at all interested in a button swap?


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