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.
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. Check out our favorite phone recovery tools to see your options. We recommend Find My iPhone for iOS users and Prey on Android, which gives you tons of options for finding your phone, even if it was stolen. Of course, if you forget to do this, you can always try previously mentioned Plan B to get your Android phone back after you've lost it.
Hail a Cab or Find a Hotel, Wherever You Are
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. HotelPal for iOS and Android will find where you are on a map and point out the nearest hotels and their prices. You can even reserve a room right from the app.
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.
Lastly, many local AAA clubs have started a program called "Tipsy Tow" in the western US, where from 6pm-6am you can get a free ride home, and even tow your car back with you. 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 or10 mile limit, 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. 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, our favorite navigation app. 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.
Get Rid of That Hangover on January 1st
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, and try to stay away from coffee, more alcohol, and painkillers like you may have been taught.
Top image remixed from originals by Leremy.
New Year's Eve can be a hotbed of stress if you aren't careful, but with a bit of preparation beforehand, you should be able to keep yourself safe and worry-free all weekend long. If you've got any of your own New Year's tips, share them with us in the comments, and be sure to check out last year's roundup of the best New Year's party apps, too.