Heading to SXSW? Find your way around Austin with these applications
by Dan Kricke
Pack your suitcases because it’s about time for Austin’s annual music and arts showcase, South By Southwest (aka SXSW). Whether you’re a South By veteran that thinks you know every hot spot for the best music and food or a newbie getting your first ride share to Austin, there are a few apps and services that will make your adventure much more enjoyable.
If you’re driving to SXSW, you’ll have taken care of transportation the easy way, but giventhe amount of people that fly in for the week, chances are you’ll need some wheels if you plan on exploring Austin to the fullest extent the law will allow. You’ll be best served by checking out a place like Enterprise Car Rental, which has locations all over the country, meaning you can return the car no matter where you end up. You’ll even get 4% cash back as an added bonus.
Maybe you haven’t even thought about travel at all yet, you should start over at Expedia, where you can get a whopping 9.5% cash back on any bookings you make. That’s positively insane, and you can get your pick of flight and hotel packages to make sure you’re entering and exiting Austin exactly when you want to. Expedia also has a great app that you can make and change bookings from should any change of place arise at the last minute.
Supposing your travel plans are already in order, you’ll still need a place to crash. I’d recommend Hotels.com for the best last minute deals. You’ll get 6% cash back on your booking and Hotels.com also has an app where you can make, change or cancel reservations. The Hotels.com app also has more than 20,000 last minute deals if you’re really in a bind for a place to stay.
And once you’ve arrived at SXSW there are a two apps you’ll need more than any other. The first is the SXSW GO Official 2013 Mobile Guide. The official SXSW app features a searchable schedule to browse all events, a visual browser to check out all the SXSW-related media, and of course a map with directions to all of the SXSW venues.
The other must have app is the Austin Party Guide. Austin Party Guide features a schedule of the assorted events and parties surrounding SXSW, complete with location information and maps. APG also has news updates to get the latest info on the hottest parties and even a wall to connect with other partiers whose numbers you didn’t get at the time.
Whether you’re in Austin strictly for the music, the culture, the parties or a mixture of all three, it won’t be hard to have a good time. You just have to remember to come prepared with a good plan and a few apps, then let the good times roll.
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