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My newest ABC D.C. Refined story

PHOTO: Courtesy of Google Images

It's been fun writing for the new ABC lifestyle website D.C. Refined, particularly when I can parlay my travel experience into something fun like this article. "4 travel apps you need to know before you pack those bags." Read it here:

When attempting to cull through the laundry list of travel apps available on iTunes, it's difficult to ascertain what is, in fact, helpful. After all, while concierge hotel services like the Four Seasons Travel App are perfect for those looking for a seamless check-in process, (with the hotel group knowing all of your favorite amenities such as hardness of pillow, room cleaning times, even what kind of wine you prefer) these company specific travel apps don't really extrapolate as being useful for everyday travel.

Of course, the ideal travel app would be the space travel machine, a la the Jetsons (if you haven't watched any Hanna-Barbera cartoons in a while go do that) or a travel app which could make the entire TSA disappear. But, other than Google Maps and Uber, in this wild west of travel apps, what are some helpful apps making road warriors lives' easier? Here are our four current favorites.

  1. WhatsApp - Haven't heard of Facebook's $19 billion purchase of this social messaging app? Well, you need it. Operating on wi-fi, WhatsApp is texting with no geographical limitations or cost. That's right. Zero cost. You can text anyone, anywhere, for free so long as they also have WhatsApp.

  2. City Maps 2Go - If you've never tried City Maps as an alternative to Google Maps, you are missing out on a more navigable instructional tool on getting around. With City Maps To Go, you can now utilize the map function even when you aren't online! What a relief for those without infinite data plans.

  3. Google Translate - Google has already, basically taken over the world (what did we do before Google??) and now they have added to their resourcefulness with Google Translate. Simply open the Google Translate app, place the app in "conversation mode" and then hold the mobile device between two people speaking a different language. Voila! Google Translate will literally translate a conversation live like one of those microphones at the United Nations.

  4. Free Wi-Fi Finder by JiWire - If you don't have internet, what can you do in today's modern technological age? JiWire has the solution, helping you find free wireless connections in urban areas. You can search with a directory or simply enable your phone in your settings.

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