There's an app for that.
What can't you do on an app these days? Here are my tips for the best apps that I can't live without:
1. Swarm & FourSquare
1. Swarm & FourSquare
- I use this app everyday to check-in wherever I go (restaurant, clothing store, bar, park, etc.) to remember where I've been, what my friends are up to, and to discover and share local tips. How many times have you tried to remember the name of that cool bar you visited the other day - let alone the name of some drink you want everyone to try ASAP? Swarm is definitely the most fun and easy way to manage your past itineraries.
- FourSquare is also great for finding the best places around you, using a rating scale from 1-10. The app provides a great platform for user generated photos and tips. Some businesses even offer a special just for checking in!
- Follow me!
- Among the many other on-demand private car service apps, Via offers low flat rides (~$5) in premium vehicles anywhere in Manhattan south of 125th St. Now you can ride in style from your favorite Upper West Side bar all the way down to the Financial District in a giant Chevy Suburban at around the same price as the subway!
- Tip: Keep inviting your friends to earn $10 ride credits each time!
- New Yorkers deal with crowds everywhere we go, so why subject yourself to the massive lines at Whole Foods when you don't have to? Instacart allows you to shop your favorite stores at the touch of a button including Zabar's, Fairway, Trader Joe's, and Costco. Best of all, they'll have your groceries delivered straight to your door (major yes to those in a fourth floor walk-up)--headache and sore shoulder free. You virtually shop the entire store using the pictured products to guide you. The app even has recipe ideas, so if you're stumped on what to cook, let them help you spark up some delicious ideas and get shopping for the ingredients right away!
- Tip: Try their "instacart express" for 14 days risk-free to get unlimited free 2-hour deliveries over $35 for the guaranteed best 2 weeks of your life.
- Get paid to dine out?! Count me in. When you book on OpenTable, you can accumulate points that translate into money to spend when dining out on your next meal. I love how easy it is to view menus, reviews, availability, and make last minute reservations on the fly because when are plans ever made in advance in New York?
- Tip: Even if you decide to walk into a restaurant last minute, check to see if you can snag a reservation on OpenTable before you go - hey, those 100 points add up. Also, look out for those 1,000 point reservations to reach those rewards even faster!
- This is an incredibly dangerous new app--in the best way possible. Only $9.99 a month gets a month of free drinks (yes, like one every single day of the month) at some of the best venues in the city. It's perfect for pre-dinner drinks, drinks-turned-dinner, or to get your night night started. Best of all, many of their venues offer speciality cocktails that typically range anywhere from $15+ on their regular menu. It's basically champagne taste on a beer budget.
- Think Netflix for boutique fitness classes--the best in the city at that. I love ClassPass for the variety and flexibility, which is not only key for improving your fitness game, but also for those living and working in New York City with a schedule that's always changing. Classes at standard gyms never worked well with my schedule and I always preferred to take group fitness classes for the efficiency, so ClassPass was a no-brainer for me since most studios offer late classes. The platform is also a great opportunity to branch out of your comfort zone and meet a variety of people that you wouldn't otherwise have the chance to interact with. I've even be-friended instructors who have been helpful in offering advice on how to improve my form. Best of all, these boutique classes are specialized to help you get the most out of your time, so you're guaranteed a great workout every time.
- Imagine never having to take out your wallet amongst the chaos of a midtown lunch crowd again. All while making check-out time more efficient for you, the staff, and the line spanning out the door behind you. LevelUp stores your debit or credit card on file so you can quickly pay with your unique QR code from your phone. The app charges your card one lump sum at the end of each month, which not only saves retailers a ton on individual processing fees, but it also saves you because the app passes on those savings to you--think coffee shop loyalty cards where you're 10th cup is free.
- Tip: Place large orders for your group and have everyone Venmo you later. i.e. For every $99 you spend at Dig Inn, you get $9 back when you pay through LevelUp. Since I go to Dig Inn religiously and will often place the order for my coworkers, those bulk orders bring me closer to the goal every time and the rewards are infinite. Whoever said there's no such thing as a free lunch?