Whew! So, finally, summertime has shown up after a rather odd and unusual spring across most of the U.S. and Europe. However, despite the massive heat and humidity that many cities are now experiencing, that’s not enough to dampen our enthusiasm for summer travel.
While this time of year does tend to get a little complicated for the crowd-shy traveler, the long days of summer really do offer a ton of opportunities around the world. Whether you’re looking to beat the heat with a relaxing beach trip or planning for an active hiking vacation, summer has a little bit of something for everyone.
And these five summer travel apps will help you manage that fun safely and efficiently:
1. Viber is the new cool kid in the app world and is quickly becoming a favorite among travelers thanks to its main function: avoiding those pesky roaming charges. With just a Wi-Fi connection, Viber users can text and make calls to other Viber users with no roaming fees. So far this app has over 200 millions registered users. Available for iOS (4.3 or later), Windows, BlackBerry, and iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Free.
2. OurCast is a great app that offers real-time weather right at your fingertips. This practical travel app uses a crowd sourcing method that encourages world travelers to update in real time current weather conditions anywhere in the world. Perfect for those active travelers planning a long hiking trip or someone who’s just looking to tee off in an hour, this app is a great tool to plan your daily activities (and your clothing) appropriately. Available for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 4.0 or later. Free.
3. EPA’s SunWise UV Index is the perfect app for the prudent sun worshiper. This app offers daily and hourly UV index ratings based on your current location or zip code. It also offers advice on the best ways to take precaution for dangerous UV levels. Available for Blackberry, Android, iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Free.
4. My TSA App comes direct from every traveler’s favorite government agency, the TSA! This TSA app lets you know exactly which products you can take on a plane and which are prohibited. And yes, while some may have this list memorized by now, these guys seem determined to update that list with mind-boggling inefficiency. As we all know, as far as the Transportation Security Administration is concerned, better safe than sorry. Another useful perk of this app is the ability to check and see real time updates about waiting times at security-checkpoint lines, airport delays, etc. Available on iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Free.
5. Weber’s on the Grill App is for those kings of summer grilling and is really “hot” on the app market these days. Traveling or not, it’s always grill time in summer. This grill master app includes over 200 grilling recipes straight from Weber cookbooks with incredible photos that are, let’s face it, probably impossible to recreate in real life. Weber’s app also includes a ton of tips and techniques for expert or novice grillers, which will come in handy for that beach barbecue on your family trip. And for those who tend to get just a little bit distracted with a cold beer in your hand, rest easy: there’s an integrated grill timer so you can avoid any burning mishaps! Available for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Android (2.2 and up). $4.99.
Need an app for getting there? You’ll find it in our Travel Apps For Your Next Trip ebook!
Do you have favorite summer travel apps to add to our list? We hope you’ll share them with us in the comments.
Presently living in Madrid, Nicole enjoys the guilty pleasure of forcing her cute Spanish husband to take her to various European cities in order to explore beautiful cities, profound history, and distinct cultures that can be found throughout Europe. Her travel articles and photos have been published in various publications as well as her own blog, Pass the Ham. And of course, she's currently enjoying her new post as assistant editor at My Itchy Travel Feet.