Tips & Tricks

I Hate Driving: 11 Apps for Car-Free Life

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There’s never been a better time to ditch your car or avoid buying one altogether. Cars are rad – but they come bogged down with a ton of ongoing costs like gas, maintenance, licensing, registration, and insurance – to name a few. And parking? Good luck finding free parking, or spots without enforced time limits, if you live in a city.

Sure, your own ride gives you the freedom to get around town wherever and whenever you want – but you also pay dearly for the privilege.

And then there’s the fact you may just hate driving. Fortunately, total freedom from car ownership is not only possible, it may be a wise financial and life decision. Your smartphone, bike, credit card, and walking shoes can get you wherever you need to go or get whatever you need brought directly to you.

If you’re not yet a believer, let’s check the best mobile apps for car-free living. You’ll never look at a car the same way again.

Adding Some Friendly Competition When Biking to Work

  • StravaIf you’re starting to bike to work, and want to track the fitness benefits, why not make a little friendly competition out of it? Strava allows you to compare data and routes with friends and other riders, join challenges and will even recommend new routes for your based on other rider data, elevation considerations, etc. If you’re the competitive type, that wants to make more of getting from A to B, Strava will amp up your commute to 11. It also connects to most fitness trackers for advanced data tracking and social sharing – if that’s your thing.


Braving Public Transportation

  • Moovit – Checking different transit apps for bus and train times (and delays) is a drag. Moovit hooks you up by offering all local public transportation options in a single glance, helping you choose the best times and routes to get you exactly where you’re going, hopefully on time. Added bonus, when you’re jamming out on your headphones, not paying attention to the route, Moovit will alert you when you need to get off the train or bus. And, they allow you to keep track your most common trips for one-touch routing.


Stop playing the Return Shipping Game

  • ShypOne of the worst car-less experience is lugging clunky online return boxes or Christmas packages to the post office or local UPS store without a car. Almost inevitably, you put it off, leading to missed return windows and late-arriving packages. And how likely is it that you’ll take a ride share to go wait in line at the post office on a Saturday morning. We didn’t think so. Shyp allows you to schedule pickup, shipping, and even packing directly from your phone. They compare rates from different carriers, help you find the best box, and maybe best of all, avoid the surly counter service we’ve all become accustomed to.


Ride-Sharing with a Little More Caring

  • CurbYou’re more than familiar with the two major players and all the press they’ve received in the past year. If you’re looking for a change of pace, and love the idea of riding with only fully licensed and insured professional drivers, give Curb a shot. And for those early morning airport trips, they offer advanced booking, too.


Meal-Delivery Services to Help Cut Back on Your Takeout Budget

  • Peach Dish – Raise your hand if you haven’t received an invite to some new meal delivery service from a friend or colleague. Yeah, they’re everywhere. What’s cool about Peach Dish is its flexibility. Rather than tying you to subscriptions and picking meals for you, they allow you to choose exactly what you want, and have it delivered whenever you want – including weeks ahead. Plus, their meal portions and range of dietary options might just be the best in the industry. And while they don’t yet have a mobile app, once you’re signed up, the mobile site is a breeze to use.


Tuning Out and Turning Inward

  • LumosityA sweet benefit of taking public transportation is the time freed up to listen to music, read books and news, and maybe even invest in a little self-improvement. Lumosity helps train your brain with a seemingly limitless assortment of fun, quick, and diverse brain games and exercises. Start by setting your baseline against your age, then track your progress by playing games. And hey, anything is better than constantly obsession over the daily news coming out of D.C.


Moving Help When You Need It

  • DollyWhen you’re moving, sure, you can plan ahead. But what about all the stuff you move to and from your place throughout the year, and that you purchase without thinking through delivery or transportation options? Dolly is perfect for instant access to truck or muscle to help you move items to and from your place, deliver directly from retail stores, or just offer an extra-strong hand when you need it around your place. The app makes the moving and booking process easy with guaranteed estimates, minimal time windows, and in-move management directly with your Dolly helper.

Dealing with Local Weather Forecasts of the Fly

  • Dark Sky – It’s all well and good to know the weather forecast for your zip code, but imagine knowing the exact forecast for wherever you happen to be standing. Dark Sky promises hyper-local forecasting, with a beautiful interface and alerts to let you know when it’s going to start raining in your precise location.

Getting Grub Delivered

  • GrubHub Like the ubiquity of meal-delivery services, this is a crowded space. Grubhub remains superior for the time being because it’s coverage. You can find nearly any type of food, down to say, cheeseburgers, from nearly any restaurant in your hood. And they’ve been around long enough to work out many of the ordering and delivery kinks.


Grocery Runs without all the Baggage

  • InstacartSure the prices, services charges and tip can add up, but Instacart is still the simplest, lightening-fast solution for getting groceries when you’re running late and forget to buy ingredients for your dinner party. The app is simple to use, and once your shopper is in the store, they’ll text you for guidance, replacements, or even clarifications on what brand of cheese you need for your app plate.


Beer and Wine Delivery – When and Where you Need It

  • DrizlyYou’ve been there – the party is going strong, but your thirsty friends have quickly run through all the rose´ and Moscow Mules you bought ahead of time. Liquor store runs are lame – way better to have someone just deliver drinks directly to you. While some grocery services deliver alcohol, few if any of the selection of Drizly, and as an enticement for you over-achievers, you can even order for delivery ahead of time, saving you one additional stop on your way to pre-game with friends.


With technology and tons of innovation, going car-free is easier now than ever. All you need is your smartphone and some good walking shoes. 

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