image description February 3, 2014

My Favorite Travel Apps & More

My Favorite Travel Apps & More

Monday’s Mixed Bag

By Andrew Zimmern

AFAR, one of the best travel magazines out there, has launched new Travel Awards. Check it out if you ever intend to leave home this year. Speaking of leaving home, I am always asked about my obsessive use of my iPhone 24/7. I love being connected and many apps are now irreplaceable in every sense when it comes to traveling of any type. Here are some faves:

FREE WI-FI FINDER: Allows me to use my GPS to find nearby public Wi-Fi hot spots. You can filter the results and Free Wi-Fi Finder works in more than 100 countries.

HEYWIRE & WHATSAPP: When traveling internationally, I save a fortune by enabling Whatsapp to send text messages and photos without the usual phone company texting fees. It’s awesome, instantaneous DM-ing. HeyWire, allows you to decorate your photos and post photos to Twitter or Facebook through the app. Texts between you and anyone else with HeyWire are free anywhere in the world.

HOTELTONIGHT: This app will find and book discounted same-day hotel rooms in more than 200 destinations worldwide. HotelTonight isn’t new, but late last month it began posting deals early in the morning, which is way way more useful.

IEXIT: This is an app I use 200 days a year driving around in vans making TV. You will love it. Ever been driving and get hungry or need gas, or a Starbucks? IExit enables you to push a button and see what’s coming up at all major exits.

UBER: No more portal to portal car service or taxi issues. Uber makes ordering a car on demand in more than 20 cities (and growing) easier than yawning. Download the app and select a regular pay option like your Visa or PayPal. When you need a car, the app will tell you how long until pickup. Then you can select the type of car you need and you’ll receive a text when it’s nearby. I also like Hailo for yellow cab service.

SIRII think this function on your iPhone is underutilized by most travelers. PhoneBuff shows off 50 of Siri’s coolest features, many of which you may not have used before. Originally SIRI wouldn’t book you a restaurant table, but  Apple has updated Siri. And now she can help you with your next meal.

On Another Note

Jonathan Gold is brilliant. Here is an excerpt from his appearance last year at MAD discussing the issues of culinary authenticity. Check it out.

In case you haven’t seen it, Groceryships founder Sam Polk’s powerful Op-Ed ‘For the Love of Money’ was in the Times last weekend. Sam’s story – and his new venture – might really resonate with you, as it did with me. Check out their website and then see what all the excitement is about. For more info, check out the Times article and the HuffPost piece on Groceryships.

Look at these brave and natural future beekeepers. Everyone is complaining about the bee problems these days and their negative implications for our future. So, I suggest doing what we did. Call the Bee Squad, get involved, buy a hive and keep some bees! Check out www.beesquad.umn.edu and go for it!

Everyone I know is raving about Coup D’Etat. Seems like the next hot thing, can’t wait to go. Restaurants that no one is talking about generally belie their mundane and listless affect on their guests. This place is generating heat.

Don’t let the cold get you down, support local non-profits and eat Izzy’s Ice Cream!  Saturday, February 1st will be the kickoff of Izzy’s “13 Days of Giving” event. Each day they will feature a local nonprofit organization and donate $2 from every single scoop cone or cup sale to the featured nonprofit. So go forth and chow down for a cause.

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