Getting the Most out of Life

5 Essential Summer Apps to Help You Make the Most of Sunny Days

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We all look forward to the summer months. For kids, it means time off from school. For adults it’s the perfect time to take a much-needed vacation. Before planning your upcoming trip, check out the following five summer apps to ensure you enjoy your time away and are prepared for your adventure.

1. Beach Finder

One of summer’s best perks? Heading to the beach on a regular basis. If you don’t live near the water, however, you’ll have to schedule each trip. Before planning your beach day, check out the Web-based Beach Finder app. It helps beach lovers get access to real-time information on any beach in the United States, including weather forecasts, the best times to hit the surf, and ocean conditions.

If you’re a surfer, be sure to also try Coasting for intel on the best waves.

2. Roadtrippers

Roadtrippers is a great resource when you’re traveling across the country or simply want to do some off-road exploring. The app helps you plan your trip, discover interesting places along your route, and bookmark or share your adventures. So whether you’re using it to calculate fuel cost, find a hidden roadside wonder, or share your experiences with your friends, Roadtrippers is a must-have app for anyone who’s heading out onto the open road this summer.

3. The Weather Channel

An important part of planning any kind of outdoor excursion is knowing what the weather’s going to be like at your destination. The Weather Channel app is free and available on most mobile devices. Just type in your current location or the location you’re planning to visit, and the app will display the projected weather summary for that area. You’ll be able to view detailed forecasts for the week ahead and get storm alerts, and allergy warnings based on pollen levels.

4. Weber Grills

Another popular summer activity is grilling outside with friends. Weber offers two different apps—one that costs $5 and one that’s free—that are perfect for any level griller. They give you access to hundreds of classic recipes, plus 40 ideas for rubs and sauces, to help take your grilling experience to the next level. Even if this is your first time hosting a barbecue, the Weber apps will make you look like a pro.

5. BandMate

Do you love concerts, outdoor music events, and live shows? The BandMate app scans your personal music library and lets you know if bands you like are playing near you in the next few months. It even lets you create a music event calendar based on your location and personal tastes.

Use these summer apps to get the most of your experience on the go. You’ll spend less time planning and more time enjoying the beautiful weather.

Carrie Smith is the financial writer and the owner of CarefulCents.com, a site that helps creative freelancers discover the art of making a living. In May 2013 she quit her full-time accounting job to pursue entrepreneurship. She's been featured in The Huffington Post, Glamour Magazine, Yahoo! Finance and many other business websites. Find her on Twitter at @carefulcents.