Apps and Hacks

Apps and Hacks

Life can be hard, especially in a city like D.C., so let me help you make it easier. Since the first week here I’ve missed several opportunities. Regardless of whether it was because I was unaware of it until it was too late or because I didn’t plan for it. Either way, I want to help you avoid those mishaps.

There’s an app for that

Behind every good life hack is an even better app that’s available for free. Here are some that are essentials for you:

Uber: The app that brings you home. If you ever get stranded, and the Metro is too far away.
Venmo: how you get your debtors to pay you back. Use this app for any transactions between friends.
DC Metro Transit or Embark DC: Another app that keeps you from getting lost, crucial to helping you learn the ways of the metro and bus. A must have.
Around Me: Reflects its name, it finds everything from food to ATMs around your location.

Tips for Success

Purchase a SmartTrip card: It is infinitely more convenient than the paper tickets and allows you to track all fares – as well as add more – via their website.

Stand Right, Walk Left: or get mowed down. I’m talking about escalators. An only-in-D.C. rule that identifies the out-of-towners. Also, it makes it easier for everyone, and it’s polite.

Don’t block the Metro doors: They do not work like elevator doors. I have seen multiple instances of people and their belongings getting stuck in the doors, and it doesn’t look like fun.

All in the mind: Be mentally prepared for the metro. You may experience rude, indifferent people, but it’s all part of the experience.

Social media is your friend: The first week you’re here be sure to sign up for EventBrite, Linktank Groupon, and LivingSocial. These apps/websites will not only save you money, but help you get connected with all kinds of events in D.C.

Use reusable bags: Like I said in one of my earlier posts, D.C. has a $0.05 bag tax. So save yourself some money and be green at the same time.

Plan Ahead: D.C. is expensive so planning ahead will save you from over spending. Know your budget before coming to D.C. and know what you want to spend your money on in advance. Remember, there are many D.C. events that are free, so look out for those!

Splurge: Think of this tip as a Netflix binge, sometimes it’s just necessary.

Eat, Eat, Eat: Know that lunch menus are usually cheaper than dinner at a lot of places, so eat accordingly.

Again, eat: There are so many ethnically diverse foods available. So, go ahead, stuff yourself and be merry.


Tour the White House: Okay, you probably won’t be able to do this, but what you can do is schedule tours of the Capitol ahead of your arrival in D.C. because once you’re here that’s almost impossible.

Look at the Clouds: The weather here is erratic to say the least.

Work hard, play hard: Stay true to this D.C. motto. There’s a lot to see and even more to do. Don’t waste any time in your room. Take time to see the city.

Manage your time: This goes back to planning again. You will quickly realize that there is a lot to do including work from TWC, and your internship. Nevertheless, if you manage your time, you will have a more enjoyable experience.

Get your Library of Congress library card: It gets you access into the main reading room, plus it makes for one amazing souvenir.

Do not let opportunities pass you by: This is obvious, but be sure to sign up for every event that you’re interested in early. Moreover, this doesn’t only hold true for events. Be curious for more opportunities that will help you grow both personally and professionally and your time here will not be in vain.

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