Sand, Sun, Surf and ... Tech? - Best of Summer Week


By Mark Falanga

Now that Memorial Day has come and gone, the summer travel season has officially begun. You’re not alone in needing a vacation. According to an Orbitz survey, more than three quarters of Americans will be taking at least some form of a vacation in the upcoming months, and when you think summer vacation, more often than not, you picture a beach.

Along with the idea of a beach vacation comes the notion that you need to get away from all of that technology and just relax. But what most people don’t realize is that technology can actually help you make the most of your money while travelling, and even allow you to have more fun. So here are a few items to consider before soaking up the sun.

Photo courtesy of WikimediaCommons

Gas Buddy

This website may not be new, but by offering a list of the cheapest gas stations around, it can save you serious money at the pump. According to their website, thousands of users from all over the US visit the site and update it regularly, which helps its visitors save money all summer long. Plus, if you download this free app, not only can you find the lowest price in your area, you can also update a price and be entered in a contest every month for a free $250 gas card.

My Max Speed

Let’s face facts — it happens to all of us. You’re excited about your summer trip to the beach, when all of a sudden you lose track of your speed and then familiar, but cringe worthy, red and blue lights flash behind you and suddenly make your fun day not so fun anymore. Thanks to the app My Max Speed, you won’t have to worry about this as much. Once you download the app, your phone will beep if you go over the speed limit that you set. In case you do get pulled over, this app can provide spreadsheets and data that you can use in court to see if the police officer was correct in his or her radar readings.

Cookup 200

Now that you’ve arrived at the beach, you’re ready to begin relaxing. After a few hours, you’re starting to get pretty hungry. You could get out from under your umbrella and walk to the nearest eatery on the boardwalk… or just use the hot sun to cook yourself a meal.

The Cookup 200 is a solar powered grill that lets you grill meat, steam vegetables, or just simmer the food that you love. That’s right; it uses no fuel except the sun. If you think this might be too bulky to carry, you’re wrong. When folded up properly, it only weighs 15 pounds, so you can take it anywhere cooking is allowed on a beach. The Cookup 200 is a great product to fill your stomach without all the guilt of burning fossil fuels.

UV Detector

In speaking of the sun, too much of it is never a good thing. Skin cancer is still on the rise, and what’s most alarming is that it’s affecting teens in greater numbers. So what can you do besides buy broad-spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen? You can download an app.

UV Detector is an app that tells you when you’re getting too much sun. Simply enter the city that you’re in, and the app will remind you when to apply sunscreen daily, even if you forget to open the app. Plus, it’ll share this with friends in your social networks so they can reap the benefits of preventative skin care.

Pocket Cocktails

Finally, after your day in the sun is over, you just want to relax at a beach bar and sip some drinks in the moonlight. But the same old drinks you always get just won’t do. You want to try something exciting and exotic. To help you find your perfect drink, download the Pocket Cocktails app. It offers every recipe, and even provides pictures for hundreds of martinis, mixed drinks, and shooters. What’s even cooler is that there’s a dedicated section for summer cocktails. So, bottoms up!

As you can see, technology doesn’t always have to be avoided when planning your summer vacations. These new tech devices can save you some money (and in some cases, points on your license). So before you surf the waves, be sure to surf the net for summer’s best technology.