New Year’s Eve might be the best party night of the year, but it can also be the most stressful, from losing your phone to the far more perilous drive home. Here are a few things you can do now to stay safe and sane this New Year’s.
This post was originally published on December 31, 2011.
Install a “Find My Phone” App, Just In Case
Try as you might, the chaos of New Year’s Eve is a breeding ground for lost and stolen phones. There’s not much you can do about it on New Year’s itself (short of gripping it tighter), but you can prepare for the inevitable by installing a “Find My Phone” app before you go out. That way, if you find yourself phoneless the next day, you can find it once you’ve shaken off the hangover.
If you threw back one too many drinks at this year’s party, you obviously shouldn’t be driving home. You have a few options, from calling a cab to finding a hotel, and we’ve mentioned apps for both. Hotel Tonight for iOS and Android will find where you are and try to get you last minute deals on a hotel room. You can even reserve a room right from the app.
If you’d rather spend the night in your own bed, hail a cab. Curb for iOS and Android will find cab companies in your area and let you grab the nearest one, though some people have had issues with it, so your best bet is to honestly call them the old-fashioned way. If you live in a supported city, you can also call a privatecar with a service like Uber or Lyft.
Lastly, many local AAA clubs have started a program called the Holiday Safe Ride Program (formerly known by the much catchier “Tipsy Tow”) in the western and southern US, where you can get a free ride home until 6am. It isn’t available nationwide, but local clubs everywhere are starting similar programs, so you might have to call your local AAA and see if they have anything like that. Keep in mind they won’t drive far; most clubs are noting a 5 or 10 mile limit, and you may need to make reservations ahead of time, but if you’re partying nearby, it can be helpful.
Get a Traffic-Aware Navigation App to Avoid Drunk Drivers
Even if you’re sober, that doesn’t mean the roads are safe. While we’d recommend staying off the roads entirely, if you absolutely must drive home, get a navigation app with live traffic updating so you can stay out of the busy areas. Google Maps will keep you pretty up to date, but you might also check out Waze, which’ll stay on top of 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.
Sadly, the pain of New Year’s Eve doesn’t end when the night is over. The best way to avoid a hangover is to not drink so much, but if you didn’t prepare yourself ahead of time, we’ve gone over the best and worst hangover cures for your education. In short: drink water, eat breakfast (soup and eggs are good choices), and try to stay away from coffee or more alcohol like you may have been taught.
As much fun as New Year’s Eve can be, if you’d rather avoid its perils rather than survive them, you can’t go wrong with the tried-and-true method of staying in. Invite some friends over, give them a place to crash, and you can still have your own party without the long lines, giant cover charges, and drunk drivers all over the road. It may not be for everyone, but it’s a surefire way to stay safe as you make your way into 2016.