Daylight is stretching further into the evenings, temperatures are on the rise, and there are fewer and fewer days left in the school year. These are all signs that summer is just around the corner. Summertime is generally when families take a vacation and according to The Outdoor Foundation nearly 43 million Americans went camping in 2011, which is up from 40 million in 2010. If your upcoming family vacation this summer will include camping, let your smartphone help you plan your trip now so you’re able to relax and enjoy time with your family once vacation starts.
There are literally thousands of campsites out there to visit. Scouring the internet to find the best place for your family can be a bit of a challenge, but your iOS device can help find the right place for you. There are many applications available in the iOS App Store to help you search for campsites. The best apps will cost you a little bit of money, but if you plan on hitting up a couple campsites it’ll be money well spent.
Find the perfect campsite with Camp Finders database of over 18,000 campgrounds. Search by name, city, state, or distance to find your ideal location. View rates, discounts, contact information, and even browse through available photos or reviews to find the right campsite for your family.
I might be mistaken, but this application used to be free. After seeing it in a few application publications the price is now $2.99. Most reviews score it fairly high with some commenting on losing search results after certain interactions take place within the application. Don’t let the price or a minor behavioral issues deter you from purchasing. With such a large database of information, you’ll get your monies worth in no time.
Find campgrounds that allow tents with Camp and Tent. With some campsites only allowing RVs, those seeking to pitch a tent can feel a bit left out. This is where Camp and Tent comes in handy. With this application, users will finally find campsites allowing campers looking to use a tent. Some sites listed inCamp and Tent allow RVs too, but good old fashioned camping is always approved for campsites listed in this application.
So after you find the perfect getaway spot for your family, you’ll need to find things to keep busy during the evenings. Yes, S’mores are definitely something you should plan for nights around the campfire but with everyone away from the city lights, why not take in some of those starry nights? Your iOS device will help you take advantage of this opportunity. Some star gazing applications available in the App Store are free but most of the good ones have in app purchases that unlock bigger and better functions.
Star Chart has over 8 million downloads and has been entertaining the masses for a long time. This application takes star gazing to the next level. Point your iOS device to the sky and it uses GPS technology to broaden your horizons. Use Star Chart to find exact locations of stars and planets morning, noon, and night. The full application is available for $23.99, which seems like a lot of money but you’re unlocking hundreds of years of research and other great features for less than $25. It’s a steal in my book.
Much like Star Chart, Night Sky 2 utilizes GPS technology to view what is located around you at any given point of the day. Once you hold your device up to the sky, Night Sky 2 displays names of stars, planets, galaxies, constellations and even satellites orbiting overhead. See the world around you from a whole new perspective with Night Sky 2.
If you’re headed out camping this summer it’s probably a good idea to check out a free version to see how much quality time you’re able to achieve with the app of your choice. If family members are interested in finding out more about what’s going on overhead, buy certain features from the free version or purchase a full version to unlock a lot of features. Either option you choose gives you the opportunity to learn more about astronomy while at home or on vacation this summer.
After star gazing, everyone will congregate around the fire for the rest of the evening before calling it a day. Let your iOS device ensure everyone around your campfire gets a restless nights sleep by sharing some ghost stories. A quick search of “Ghost Stories” in the iOS App Store displays a lot of applications to choose from. There are plenty to purchase, but you probably won’t use it more than 2-3 times so save your money for the star gazing apps. Download one of the free apps and simply avoid tapping the in app advertisements while telling your stories. Adjust your screen to its brightest setting, especially if you’re using an iPad, and you won’t need to use a flash light to add the spooky effect.
Ghost Stories has a collection of english ghost stories, horror, scary and spooky tales all for free. Stories are arranged alphabetically from the home screen of the application. Find and select your favorites to have them quickly stored on the “favorites” page making them easy to recall and share with family or friends. One feature I really like about this application is the automatic scroll. Once you find the story you want to read, tap the screen to bring up selectable features. On the bottom righthand side of the screen you’ll see a sliding bar that allows you to select the speed you’d like the page to scroll. This is such a convenient way to keep the screen moving which allows you to avoid pauses during your story.
Now you’ve picked your campsite, downloaded a star gazing app, and selected some stories that’ll scare the pants off of everyone. Have you planned for any unforeseen emergencies? Our iOS devices are packed with tons of applications to keep us entertained or caught up with work, but I’d be surprised if a lot of us have more than one application on our phones that could possibly save our lives or help others in need. The American Red Cross has an application we all should have on our iOS devices and best of all – its free.
Emergencies are unpredictable, but we can plan ahead and have all the right information at our fingertips. Simply download First Aid by American Red Cross and you’ll have excellent emergency and first aid advice at your disposal. If you encounter someone having a heart attack you’ll be armed with advice on how to help until paramedics arrive. This application isn’t just for medical emergencies either. There are numerous features within this application that will help you prepare for many different emergencies. For example, with Tornado season upon us, First Aid has a checklist you can review so you’re family is ready when disaster strikes. If you’re planning on going camping this summer, it’s a good idea to refer to some of these checklists to help you review your surroundings to ensure you’re able to take necessary precautions if disaster strikes on your next vacation. Don’t remove this application from your iOS device after returning home . First Aid is one you’ll want to keep handy since you never know when you will need it.
Going on vacation is something nearly everyone looks forward to. If you’re like me you don’t like doing much of the planning for it though. In our family, my wife is the planning guru when it comes to traveling. We pick the destination together and she does all the research since she’s great at it and enjoys it. I’ve discovered over the years my iOS devices are capable of making vacation planning a little bit easier. By simply visiting the iOS App Store you will find third party applications capable of helping you plan ahead. Once everything is booked and ready to go, our iOS devices are also capable of ensuring quality family time is achieved as well by finding applications everyone can enjoy together. Some of your families greatest memories will be made while spending time together, so why not let your iOS devices help you put something memorable together for you next family vacation. Don’t forget to snap some photos with your iOS devices so you can capture the memories.