New Years Eve is one of my favorite nights of the year. Annual August Family Oyster Roast, champagne, sequins and midnight kisses. Such a blast. This year I will be heading down to Isle of Palms/Charleston, SC to ring in the new year.
Unfortunately, there also comes stresses and precautions that must be taken with all of the excitement and activity that goes on during the celebration of reached goals and new resolutions and hopes. With the help of Lifehacker, I have compiled a list of apps and tricks to beat the perils and have a safe and enjoyable night!
SeekDroid is a simple, $0.99 utility to help you find your lost Android device. The app lets you find you device and track it on a Google map, remotely lock it, wipe it, and even see if anyone’s picked it up and made calls from it. Additionally, Seek Droid allows you to sound the alarm or send a message to the phone to ask whoever has it to return it, and it can be hidden from the app list so someone can’t just uninstall it. If you lose your device, just visit the Seek Droid site and manage the rest from a browser. -Lifehacker
Where’s My Droid is a free utility that makes it easy to find a lost Android phone. The utility has one mode where you can use it to search for a lost phone that you know is somewhere in your home, and another mode where you can find your phone if it’s been lost or stolen. The former will turn up the ringer and let it ring for a few minutes to help you find it. The latter will display the phone on a map with its current position via GPS. You can also send an SMS to the phone via email to be displayed on the phone’s screen with contact information and how you can be reached. -Lifehacker
Plan B by Lookout Labs can locate your stolen or lost Android phone without you having to install and set it up beforehand. The app an be push-installed via the Android Market, and once installed it starts sending your phone’s location automatically. -Lifehacker
Find My iPhone is a free utility from Apple that will help you find a lost iPhone, iPad, or 4th generation iPod Touch, as long as iOS 3.1.3 or higher is running. The app used to be part of MobileMe, but Apple made the utility free, and when activated you can see your iOS device on a map, send a message or an alert to it, remotely lock or set a passcode to lock your phone, and remotely wipe it if you don’t think you’ll get it back. -Lifehacker
Android & iPhone
Prey is an anti-theft and tracking service that’s free for up to four devices, and supports Android phones as well as Windows, Mac, and Linux devices. Simply install the agent in the background, and if something happens to your device, you can report your device missing by sending a text message with an activation phrase (the default is “GO PREY”) to your Android phone. When it’s reported missing, it will automatically send periodic updates to Prey with the device’s location, attempt to connect to nearby open wireless networks to send its location that way, and if you want, will sound an alarm, display an alert on the phone’s display, and lock itself. Pay for the service (between $5/month and $399/month depending on the number of devices you want to track,) and you can track more devices, get more frequent updates, and more. -Lifehacker
Lookout is free, and supports Android phones, BlackBerry phones, and Windows Mobile devices. If your device goes missing, Lookout will locate it, back it up wirelessly, and then wipe it so no one else gets their hands on your data. You’ll need to have Lookout installed and running on your phone so you can get through to it when your phone goes missing, but once you tell it the phone is missing, you can manage everything else through a web browser. Lookout is also a personal security utility, and includes safe browsing, anti-spyware, and the ability to examine app permissions in the premium version of the Android app ($2.99/mo or $29.99/year.) -Lifehacker
By detecting and analyzing Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus(HGN), BreathalEyes approximates a subject’s Blood Alcohol Content (BAC). BreathalEyes allows the owner the ability to test anyone at anytime once downloaded onto their smartphone. -App Website
Android users already have Google Maps on their phone, which should do just fine, but both iOS and Android users should also check out Waze. It’ll keep you up to date on traffic, accidents, and police cars (not that you should have any reason to avoid them), so you can stay out of the more dangerous areas. -Lifehacker
AAA Auto Club South has teamed up with Budweiser for their annual ‘Tow to Go’ program which offers a confidential ride home and tow – both free of charge – by simply calling 1-800-AAA-HELP.
“We are pleased we can offer this program again this time of year thanks to the generous support of our partner Budweiser and the hard work of our AAA Service Technicians who are going to spend New Year’s Eve away from their own families so they can help get as many intoxicated drivers off our roadways as possible,” said Joanna Newton, AAA Tow to Go spokesperson.
Triple-A says since 1998, ‘Tow to Go’ has kept more than 16,000 drunk drivers off the roads and saved twice as many lives since it was designed to protect everyone on the roads, not just the intoxicated driver. -CBS Miami
If you’d rather spend the night in your own bed, Cab4me for iOS and Android will find the nearest cab companies, let you call them, and even copy their numbers to the clipboard, so you can send them in a text message to your similarly drunk friends. -Lifehacker
This app has access to last-minute deals on their unsold rooms, with discounts up to 70%. You book the deals easily and securely on your smart phone.
The Booking.com app offers a quick, easy and secure way to find and book hotels on your iPhone/iPad.
The hotels.com app can help you find the last minute hotel deals on the accommodations you need. They make it easy to get last minute rooms in top destinations and specialize in providing travelers with places to stay during sold-out periods. They can help you book the hotels for your trip at a significant discount.
Common Hangover Myths from WebMD:
MYTH: Hangovers Are No Big Deal
FACT: A hangover is the body’s reaction to being poisoned with too much alcohol. Heavy drinking rocks the central nervous system. It tinkers with brain chemicals — leading to headache, dizziness, and nausea — and sends you running to the bathroom so often you become dehydrated. The morning-after price of this imbalance can include a pounding headache, fatigue, cotton mouth, queasy stomach — and a weakened immune system.
MYTH: Only Bingers Get Hangovers
FACT: While it’s true that binge drinking could speed your way to a hangover, you don’t have to get wasted to pay a price the next morning. Depending on your body composition, just a couple of drinks can trigger a headache and other hangover symptoms. Having water or a nonalcoholic drink between each beer or hard drink can help keep you hydrated and reduce the overall amount of alcohol you consume.
MYTH: Wine is the Gentlest Choice
FACT: Red wine contains tannins, compounds that are known to trigger headaches in some people. Malt liquors, like whiskey, also tend to produce more severe hangovers. If you’re worried about how you’ll feel in the morning, the gentlest choices are beer and clear liquors, such as vodka and gin.
MYTH: Diet Cocktails Are a Safe Bet
FACT: Diet drinks may help if you’re counting calories, but not if you’re trying to avoid a hangover. Research suggests that consumption of fruits, fruit juices, or other sugar-containing liquids can decrease hangover intensity.
MYTH: Liquor Before Beer
FACT: It’s not whether you have a shot of whiskey before or after your beer that’s important. It’s the amount of alcohol you consume (not the order of your drinks) that matters most. A standard drink — be it a 12-ounce glass of beer, a 5-ounce glass of wine, or a 1.5-ounce “shot” of distilled spirits — all contain roughly the same amount of alcohol. Don’t be fooled by the size of your drink or any saying about alcohol use that includes the phrase “never fear.”
MYTH: Eat Pasta Before Bed
FACT: This one is wrong on two counts. First, eating at bedtime (after you’re already drunk) is no help. Food has to be in your stomach before Happy Hour to have any impact. Second, while any food can slow the body’s absorption of alcohol, fat does it best. So go for steak or pizza before your first martini, and you might escape a hangover. One bedtime tip that does help — drink water to fight dehydration.
MYTH: Coffee Is the Cure
FACT: Coffee leads to more dehydration and could make your hangover worse. After a night of drunkenness, it’s best to avoid anything with caffeine. Instead, sip water and sports drinks to counter dehydration and replace lost electrolytes. This is especially important if you experienced any vomiting.
I hope these tips and apps help you enjoy a safe and enjoyable New Year celebration! What do you all have planned? xo