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The iPhone On Vacation: Washington DC

Since this week was a long weekend, I decided to take my family to Washington DC to learn about American history and government (in addition to visiting some family and friends). But there was one more member of the family who came along and was a crucial part of how we got around during this trip. Yes, I’m talking about my iPhone 5!
Being that the iPhone is more than just a phone, I put it to the “road test” and relied heavily on it for most tasks. So, how did it do? Well, it did very well! In fact, here’s how I came to rely on it for this trip:

Apple Maps

Yes, I know that Google Maps is superior to Apple’s offering, but I rely heavily on Siri when driving and I can’t make changes as quickly and efficiently as I can with Apple’s maps.

During my whole trip, I relied on Maps to take me everywhere. There was only one time where it told me to make a left to enter a road that I couldn’t because of construction in the area. I’m not sure if Google would have done differently or if it was a misstep in Maps part. I had to make a quick u-turn at the next intersection. Thankfully it wasn’t too painful.


I’m a New Yorker, so I’m clueless as to the best places to eat in DC, so I relied heavily on Yelp. It really is a great app with accurate and useful content. We ate at Carmine’s in DC, bought some well known and best class cupcakes at Georgetown Cupcakes and visited a nearby supermarket for tissues (allergy season).


Not only was Siri useful with Maps, but also for information while we were sightseeing. While at the World War II memorial, my kids asked me some questions about the war that I couldn’t answer so I asked Siri and she provided the answer flawlessly. We also played “random questions” game on the way back and I used Siri for some of the answers (like what’s the President’s Dog’s name (It’s Bo, who happens to be 4 yrs old)).

I also used Siri to read back text messages to me while I was driving, and in some cases, providing a quick reply (iPhone is docked on car and I’m hand’s free).

Camera / Camera+ / Flickr

I had my mighty Olympus micro four third camera + 20mm pancake lens, but sometimes, in order to share some quick pics via iMessage or social networks I used Camera+ and Flickr to share. I like this app, because you can choose your focus and also lock your exposure, something Apple’s native app doesn’t do. However, I used iPhone’s camera Panorama feature and got some gorgeous shots of White House, WW II Memorial and Great Falls Park.


While on the go, I always have to keep up with my Yankees, and the MLB app is my preferred way. I can keep an eye on the score and even watch some highlights regardless of where I am.

I also remembered to record my must watched shows via the TiVo app. Now, when I’m ready, I can catch up with my shows knowing they were recorded while on the go.

Overall, my family and I had a blast this past weekend. I’m also glad that I decided to use the iPhone for exploring and connecting. I’ve always believed that the iPhone can be whatever you make it out to be. Whether that’s just a communication device or an exploring partner. There’s no wrong way to use the iPhone, but if you feel adventurous, feel free to allow it to expand its wings.

How do you use your iPhone on vacation? What apps have helped you the most?

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