Remember the summers of yesteryear? The family vacations filled with long car rides, boring motels and fold-out maps that went on for miles, but never told you how many more there were to go? Sure, today’s trips are still filled with four-letter words, but these are actually helpful. They’re called “apps,” and here’s a list of some of our favorites you should check out before hitting the road this summer.
One way to beat the heat this summer is going to watch movies…all day, every day. Seriously, they keep the thermostat on something like 68 in theaters. It’s awesome. And so are summer movies. Our favorite way to find out what’s playing where is the Flixster app. You can sort by title, theater and the top money makers. It even has Rotten Tomatoes reviews built right into the app. We just checked, and it looks like the critics hate Transformers and Green Lantern, but love the new Woody Allen film. What a shock.
Whether you seek the world’s largest rocking chair, the Very Large Array or the Toy Robot Museum, the Roadside America app can get you there. Be sure to bring your camera and plenty of batteries , because this app has info and maps for more than 6,000 of the funniest and weirdest must-sees along the nation’s highways. Big ol’ ball of twine, here we come!
If stuffy motels and leaky ceilings are your idea of a vacation destination, well, you can probably find what you’re looking for with the TripAdvisor app. Of course, if you’re like us and want to find the best bang for your buck instead, it’s good for that, too. The app version of the popular TripAdvisor website gives you reviews of just about anything to do with travel from real people with real experiences. The app also works as a trip planner and can help you see some of the cheapest airfare and hotels available. We dare you to book next year’s Comic-Con trip entirely through the app.
Traffic, traffic, traffic, everybody loves traffic. No wait, everybody loves a parade; people HATE traffic. Sorry, this heat’s really getting to us. But luckily it’s not affecting our Waze app. What’s Waze? Basically, it’s a social networking traffic app. We let other drivers update us about traffic jams, so we can hop off the highway and take a detour around the parking lot of sweltering commuters. Suckers! OK, fine, so we also share our own traffic horror stories right from the app on Foursquare, Facebook and Twitter. Hey, the more people who Waze, the better!
Before you head out, you’ll want to check if the weather is hot, scorching or like the surface of the sun. That way you can pack accordingly. When we need to check if it’s going to be another T-shirt, swimsuit and flip-flops kind of day, we always grab our phone and hit up the Weather Channel app. It’s got live maps, the most up-to-date weather information, forecasts, severe weather updates and more. Now if they could only invent a sunscreen and beach umbrella app, we’d be in good shape.
Are you hittin’ the road or maybe flying in style this summer? Leave us a comment to tell us where you’re headed, and which apps you’re using along the way.