These are my two best friends Becca and Jack. We are from Whitefish, Montana and spent our lives growing up together from preschool to high school and finally college. It wasn’t until freshman year at University of Montana when Becca and Jack began to date. Since 2010, Becca and Jack’s romance has grown and I’ve enjoyed watching my two best friends fall in love. We graduated May 17, 2014 from college and later that night Jack proposed to Becca.
Traveling when strapped for cash can be both difficult and stressful. Although planning ahead helps there can often be unexpected changes in plans, or bumps in the road (pun intended). It’s at these times that having the right travel resources or travel apps to make impromptu decisions can make your trip a success.
These are my 6 most used travel apps.
1. Google Maps
I can’t say enough about google maps. As long as you have a smart phone or computer available, you have access to the seemingly limitless navigation power of almighty google. Many people take this for granted, but try finding your way somewhere where you have no cell service or internet and you will quickly realize how important this tool is.
One benefit Google maps offers that may people don’t know about is their integration with public transportation. Just search the directions you need and choose the bus image instead of driving or walking. This will give you specific instructions for the most efficient way to get where you need to go, even including the relevant bus or subway schedules and the cost of each portion of the trip.
Although yelp provides reviews for all sorts of attractions, I’ve found it most beneficial for “underground” activities (No, I’m not referring to spelunking). I’m talking about hikes that only locals know about. Or the best lookout for a romantic drive. Or somewhere you can get a taco and bring your own beers without being hassled. No matter what you’re looking for, if it exists, it’s likely a yelp-er has reviewed it on this travel app.
No matter where I’ve found myself in the world Urbanspoon is an app that has given me a quick, reliable information on great places to eat within my budget. Their intuitive interface allows you to find eats based upon a variety of factors so you’ll always get exactly what you want.
Craigslist for travel? I know it may sound odd, but craigslist has countless services that make travel easier. Ride-share is one example. This is an area where people post carpooling opportunities and you can usually find a ride between between most cities. If your flexible with dates you can pretty much get anywhere for just pitching in some gas money. If you’re driving your own vehicle, the automotive services section is an excellent resource to find extremely inexpensive repairs for your rig. Most cities have countless “mobile mechanics” who will be happy to meet you anywhere and get you back on the road.
Uber is an extremely successful recent startup that connects people with drivers. It’s basically like a crowd-sourced taxi service where anyone can sign up to be a driver. It is a great alternative to expensive taxi services and is quickly expanding its reach around the world.
6. Air bnb
Looking for inexpensive lodging while traveling? Air bnb, much like Uber, is a crowd sourced program that allows people to rent out rooms in their homes to travelers. There is a very wide range of price and quality, so it’s likely you can find just what you’re looking for.
If you haven’t used these travel apps before, try them out! They really do make travel more feasible, less stressful, and most importantly less expensive.
As the King of Procrastination, I have become very very good at being able to waste time in a variety of ways. With finals breathing down your neck here are a few of the ways I love to delay my inevitable unpreparedness. Good luck, and have fun!
House of Cards – A psychological political thriller with twist and turns a plenty. You can’t tell if you Love or hate Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey)…and you love it! If I say anything else it’s about 99% sure a spoiler, so mouth shut!
Sherlock – A modern take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s detective masterpieces, Benedict Cumberbatch (Star Trek Into Darkness) is a perfect Holmes and Martin Freeman (The Hobbit) fills the role of Dr. Holmes wonderfully.
Sons of Anarchy – Welcome to Charming, a town run by a biker gang who dabbles in the legal and illegal business ventures. If you like some old school violence, clinically insane family feuds and grade A acting you will love SoA!
Orange is the New Black – Arguably one of the best shows of 2013 this Netflix exclusive follows Piper (Taylor Schilling) a devoted and happy wife who is convicted of a drug traffic charge 10 years after the incident. The show follows the blonde suburbanite through the rough and tumble New York prison system.
Archer – A cartoon that appeals to your adult badass side, Archer is the crazy alcoholic spy that we all wish we could be. Between his domineering boss mother, partner ex-girlfriend, Archer deals with an embarrassment of hilarious and raunchy co-workers that will have you in stitches.
They may only be 6 seconds, but you can and will spend HOURS watching these quick clips.
The easiest hardest game you will ever play! All you have to do is add the tiles together…simple right? WRONG! Good luck putting it down until you get the 2048 tile.
The 20 something’s go to news source, you can also waste a lot of time taking the quizzes about what 90s song you are and where you should live in Europe. Time = gone.
Bag it! –
Imagine yourself working at Albertsons…ok no don’t do that. Just play this game based on making sure grocery items don’t break and you’ll be wasting time like a pro.
Dumb Ways to Die –
This little addictive game started out as a public safety announcement. Too bad no one was warned of its highly addictive nature! (Oh and the song they made is catchy as hell)
Things to do:
Hike the M – Waste time and get in shape? It’s a win-win, unless you really do need to study.
Nap – Sounds simple…because it is. You really can just take a nap. It’s quiet lovely.
Fish, Golf or Bike – During finals Mother Nature loves to tempt Missoulians with gorgeous weather. It just isn’t fair to survive through winter and then give us sunny days of 60 and 70 degree weather. We are only human.
The Hub – Time to travel back to your childhood. Put down that textbook and head to The Hub to play your favorite arcade games, drive go-karts and dominate your pals at laser tag.
Drink – Like napping it sounds simple and again…it is. The weather is nice and Missoula is a hotspot for delicious craft brews. I can’t blame you for taking the edge off with a pint of your favorite beer.
Don’t forget you do have to eat. Between getting the groceries, the hour it takes to cook these meals and then eating them, you are bound to waste at least 2 hours!
Every man has at least one “man crush”, and it’s totally okay. Here’s a list of “man-crushes” that are accepted by the opposite gender…
One of the most dignified men on television, Brian Williams garners respect and admiration. From his impeccable style to his poise when reporting some of the most important moments in history, nothing shakes Mr. Williams.
Lady’s love him, men want to be him, it’s as simple as that. If a guy tells you that he’s never watched a Ryan Gosling movie to learn a new pick-up line, he’s lying.
He hates the feelings almost as much as he hates the government.
If you’re a guy, chances are at some point you had an introspective look at yourself and wondered, “What is manliness?” Jon Hamm has never experienced that. Suits, women, and great hair, Jon Hamm has it all.
Clark W. Griswold
A loyal family man with stupid sense of humor. Not only is this a spot-on description of Clark W. Griswold but it’s also every man’s inner self. Clark W. Griswold, the main character in the National Lampoon’s Vacation movies, will stop at nothing to make his family happy, and sure he’ll tell a dumb joke from time to time, but in the end it’s all for the Griswold name.
Show me a guy who doesn’t like Tom Hanks and I’ll show you a total jerk (hint: it’s the guy who doesn’t like Tom Hanks). Touted as one of the nicest men in Hollywood he has never let his success get to his head.
Why do men love Bear Grylls? I don’t know, maybe because his name is Bear or maybe it’s because he can survive just about any deadly situation imaginable. If Bear Grylls was on MH370 they would have already been found and probably in pretty good health.
So, there you have it, men. These are the “man-crushes” that have been deemed acceptable by the ladies. However, be careful mentioning them to your lady friend, she may try running of with one off them.
Twice a year during finals week my alter ego resurfaces. His name is Captain Bartholomew Roberts. These are his stories.
Spring Finals 2014
Captain’s Log: May the Twelfth
This afternoon we were attacked by a ravenous monster. Seventy eyes each needing to be perfectly filled with a #2 Ticonderoga. I remember a mere week ago I was sitting below deck with my crew mates joyously singing yo ho, yo ho... It is evident I did not fully appreciate those moments. The light on the table blinds me. A blurry, unrecognizable face stares at me. "Do you understand now?", "Have I helped explain that at all?". I snap back to reality offering a silent nod to appease their questioning eyes. I can only think of the storm to come. A rumble in the air and in my stomach reminds me that much time has passed since I've been seated here glowering at textbooks and loose leafed paper that has been scribbled on haphazardly with no semblance of order. I make a quiet plea to the gods that my exhaustion might disappear. At once I'm back inside the memory of the monster. A flash of razor sharp lead carving into each eye. It's boney spine and prickly teeth took all hope we had. And as my crew gave in under the pressure of the beast its knifelike edge sliced my thumb drawing blood. Head down and with force I attempted to finish it off. After each of the seventy eyes had been cleaved, I emerged breathless and defeated.
Fall Finals 2013
Captain’s Log: December the Tenth
I long for the days when I can begin an entry with delightfully pleasant niceties, "Oh what a joyous week this is, how grateful I am that the gods should bless us with such smooth, serene weather." But I shall not. Oh what sorrow! What dread!During these vehement waves of emotion and french verb conjugations, I cry as whipping winds of theory and ethics with a cold, blistering hand slap me across my face. The storm ensues. In a moment I'm mercilessly thrown overboard. Being pushed under by these vicious waves I cry out but no one can hear me. I hear shouts from above, "Ren, let's study together, Ren... Ren?" They repeat. But it's no use. I'm under the weighted water of papers. papers. papers. My head is reeling when I come up for air. Above me the stars mock my slim chance of survival. They have big plans to break me in every possible way on Thursday at 10:10am. Dizzy and tired, I heave up onto the deck and make it to my bed. Episodes of New Girl and Doctor Who the only source of relieve from the stress. I fold into the fetal position and cry thinking of dropping my major? I look up and ask again, what shall become of me?
Spring Finals 2013
Captain’s Log: May the Fourth
So it commences. Finals week is among us as a wolf to his fresh kill. The consequences of my procrastination throughout this menacing term are seizing me with clenched jaws. I suffer with the knowledge that I could have paid myself a curtesy by studying earlier. I look up, around myself are the glowering faces that can only be experienced by the University of Montana society. What is to become of me? Shall I excel or merely pass my required tests? God save us all.
Fall Finals 2012
Captain’s Log: December the Fourth
[...] the beginnings of finals are among us again. It seems every time we let our guard down they engulf us as a tiger shark would to a school of tuna. I've forgotten what the sun looks like inside this place. The faces of my crew and those I hardly even know are forced into a stern glare which will not be removed until this hellish week is past us. I've heard tell of horrible stories, where one feels as though it is never ending. They awake in the midst of slumber with terror certain they've another paper. Not one of them has even begun to formulate a thesis statement. I sit with my coffee and vanilla wafers thankful for the sustenance they provide for only $3.85. What pray tell am I to do? Whatever shall become of me ?
Captain’s Log: June -27-…28; Late night/early morning
I must write and perform a speech tomorrow to the rest of my crew mates. This fact troubles be as I haven't a clue what it shall be on. I fear, as I sit here on Facebook, a storm awaits me. Perhaps a stroke of genius is in store for me tomorrow 'morn. Yet I surely doubt it. The tumultuous noise of the automatic cooling device reminds me of the storm ahead, grumbling as though he's hungry to chew me up and spit me out. Why do you grumble at me AC? Are you not settled? Or is it that you have a speech tomorrow too?
Spring Finals 2012
Captain’s Log: May the Sixth
We hit stormy seas these past nights. I cling to the knowledge that this downpour will cease in just the passing of one or two more days. I gaze outside. Summer is a welcomed thought. Day in and day out I yearn for the continuous warm weather, star gazing and a cold ale with my fellow goodmen. Until then, I wake each morn' with a smile and a whisper of hope. Just this morn' i awoke from my slumber and broke my fast with some frozen delights from U-Swirl. Verily, it is so.