Uber

For when you want to ditch the car…

Why the Gold Star status: We’re more than aware of the negative PR surrounding Uber and wish there was a better option (Lyft is also under scrutiny and operates in fewer service areas). However, if you’ve deleted Uber and find yourself at the airport in a foreign, you’ll likely regret it. Uber:

  • Generally is 25% to 50% Cheaper than Taxis
  • Responds Faster than Taxis and estimates your expected pickup time.  
  • Allows you to book different types of cars.
  • Allows you to book up to 30 days in advance, including to the airport.

There’s a reason Uber now dominates the transportation market, and hopefully, they’re growing their conscience.

Investment required: A few minutes to set up with your credit card and understand how to use the app.

Find it on the App Store

HopSkipDrive

A ride service for kids created by Moms.

Why the Gold Star status: Getting kids to all the places they need to go is stressful. HopSkipDrive is a simple, safe, and reliable solution for busy parents who want to know their child is safe in someone else’s car. With HopSkipDrive, you can:

  • Get rides to school, after-school activities and back home again.
  • Book single rides, repeating rides, multi-stop rides, and carpools.
  • See a photo and full biography of your CareDriver
  • Get real-time updates, track your child during their ride, and call or text your CareDriver when necessary.

A US-based team monitors every ride to so you can breathe more easily. HopSkipDrive is comparable to the cost of having a babysitter shuttle your kids but offers freedom from having to commit to a time schedule and built-in backup.

Find it on the App Store

Google Maps

The best transportation app, whether you’re walking, driving or taking public transport.

Why the Gold Star Status: You can easily determine distances, get directions, and share them.

  • Check traffic
  • You can figure out if it makes sense to take public transportation with access to local bus and train schedules.
  • When traveling, you can plot out you’re itinerary and save local maps offline.  
  • You can see where you parked.
  • More reliable than Apple Maps and less circuitous than Waze.

Investment required: Less than 5 minutes

Find it on the App Store

Waze

Often a few minutes faster…for when you want to take the scenic route or avoid traffic at all costs.

Why the Gold Star Status: No one likes cruising along down the highway and then coming to a screeching halt. While GoogleMaps is the best comprehensive mapping tool, Waze is the best app to help you navigate through and avoid traffic while driving. There are benefits to taking the road less traveled. Waze:

  • Finds the fastest route based on real-time traffic data supplied by its active user base.
  • May make the circuitous scenic route look nonsensical at first, but take the leap of faith–you’ll regret it if you don’t.

Investment Required: 2 minutes to download and setup.

Cost: Free

Find it on the App Store

SpotHERO

Everybody needs a hero when it comes to parking. Pre-pay to reserve your spot, park ‘n go!

Why the Gold Star Status: Sometimes you want to take your car, so Uber won’t cut it. Finding a parking spot downtown can be a royal headache. With SpotHERO, you can book a parking spot in advance

  • Drop your car with a valet (available in many garages)
  • Save up to 50% on parking and your valuable time! Available in most major cities…

Find it on the App Store

Paybyphone

Whether you’re out of quarters or it’s raining, Pay By Phone gives you ease and peace of mind.

Why the Gold Star Status: You’re out of quarters again, it’s raining outside or you prefer feeding the meter from the comfort and safety of your car. Plus, you’d like the option to linger over that cup of coffee or glass of wine without having to rush off. Pay By Phone gives you ease and peace of mind.  With it, you can:

  •  Pay for your parking spot from behind the wheel of your car.  
  •  Set notifications when the meter is about to run out and add more time.  

Investment required: 60 seconds

Cost: Free.

Find it on the App Store

Sitter

Avoid all the back n forth— book one of your sitters in just a few clicks!

Why the Gold Star Status: Say goodbye to marathon texting and waiting to hear back before you try your next sitter. Sitter can make booking a sitter unbelievably easy. With an average response time of 4 minutes, with Sitter you can:

  • Schedule the time you need a sitter
  • Select the ones you want to reach out to (you can tier the requests by sending to your favorites first, and then to a larger group)
  • Sit back and wait until one accepts.
  • Introduce a little competition: each sitter knows the request is going out to multiple people, so it motivates them to respond quickly if they want the job.
  • Share your sitters with friends (if you’re not feeling stingy) and find sitters in your neighborhood who’ve registered with Sitter.  

Investment required: 20 minutes to download and setup the app which includes sending an invitation to your favorite babysitters. After using a couple of times, you will more than recoup your investment. Your sitters do have to download and setup, but it’s super-easy, and this younger generation won’t think twice. They’ll actually think it’s fun, and you’ll both appreciate the reminders that there’s an upcoming booking. Let the Saturday night fun begin!

Find it on the App Store

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