10 Summer Smartphone Apps

Plan Your Summer Vacation

Nothing says summer more than relaxing on the beach, firing up the grill for a family barbecue or taking a vacation. In fact, a recent Gallup poll suggests that 60% of Americans plan to travel this summer. But regardless of what summer activities you plan to take part in, there are smartphone apps to make your life easier. MainStreet has compiled 10 summer smartphone apps to help you save time and money and have more fun. Photo Credit: Bart Claeys


Where’s the Beach?

Just landed in California or the Caribbean and have no idea where the nearest beach is? Not only will the Beach Finder iPhone app locate the beaches closest to you, it will give you directions and reviews from previous beachgoers. Browse some 5,300 beaches using this app by simply entering in your ZIP code or town. Price: 99 cents Photo Credit: Apple.com


Plan Your Trip

Use the Tripit Travel Organizer for iPhone, Android or BlackBerry smartphones to create itineraries and organize the details of your trip all in one place. When you get confirmation emails from the hotel, restaurant or airline, just forward the emails to plans@tripit.com and build your itinerary. Price: Free Photo Credit: Apple.com


Find a Hotel

Looking for a hotel? The HotelPal app (available on the iPhone and Android) allows you to view some 100,000 hotels – you can even book rooms right from your phone. Type in the ZIP code of the city you’re traveling to (the app has GPS capabilities, too) and HotelPal will find a hotel for you. Just be sure to stay within your budget! If you’re traveling in an unfamiliar city, the app will provide directions to your hotel. Price: Free Photo Credit: Apple.com


Look Up Movie Times

So you’re on vacation and dying to see a movie, but don’t know where the nearest theater is. The Showtimes iPhone app will help you search for the theaters in your area as well as the times and types of movies each theater is showing on a given night. You can even watch movie trailers, read movie descriptions and get directions to the theater. Price: Free Photo Credit: Apple.com


Catch Some Waves

The Surf Report iPhone app lets you check the surfing/wave conditions at most beaches so you don’t waste any time trekking to beaches without any waves. For Android owners, download the free Magic Seaweed Surf Forecast to search surfing conditions at beaches. Price: Free Photo Credit: Apple.com


Check Your Flight Status

There’s nothing worse than arriving at the airport only to find out that your flight has been delayed. Instead of assuming the flight is on time, get in-the-know by using the FlightTrack app (available for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry smartphones), which will inform you of possible delays so you can spend extra time at the hotel or exploring the city, instead of waiting in the airport. When your plane's in the air, the app will show you a map of where the plane actually is. So if a friend is waiting at the airport to pick you up, the app will let you know which gate and terminal to send them to. Price: $4.99 Photo Credit: Apple.com


Grab a Bite to Eat

Stop wasting vacation time pondering what restaurant to try. The FastFood iPhone app will provide you with restaurant recommendations using GPS and reviews from Yelp. You can view the restaurant’s menu, browse nutritional details and even call the restaurant. For the Android, consider downloading the free Restaurant Finder app to search for restaurants in your area. Price: Free Photo Credit: Apple.com


Fire Up the Grill

The Grill Guide iPhone app is full of recipes, tips and directions for cooking up a scrumptious summer barbecue meal. It even includes a ruler that lets you check the steak's thickness. Price: 99 cents Photo Credit: Apple.com


Have Fun in Line at Theme Parks 

The downside to theme parks is wasting time waiting in line for rides and attractions. Luckily, there’s an app for that. Download the Things to Do in Theme Park Queues app (available on the iPhone and Android). From trivia questions to games to interesting facts about roller coasters, this app will make waiting in line a lot less painful. Rest assured you’ll stay busy; the app has more than 120 activities. Price: 99 cents Photo Credit: Apple.com


Visit the Park

Search for all types of parks (including state and national) near you and find the best locations for boating, golfing, cycling and hiking by simply entering in your ZIP code using the Oh, Ranger! ParkFinder iPhone app. Price: Free Scott Gamm is the founder of the personal finance website HelpSaveMyDollars.com. He has appeared on NBC’s TODAY, MSNBC, Fox Business Network, Fox News, ABC News and CBS. Follow Scott on Facebook and Twitter. Photo Credit: Apple.com


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