Plan the perfect Memorial Day weekend with these iPhone apps

May 18, 2011
Shine

Nothing spells the start of summer like a long, relaxing Memorial Day weekend complete with loved ones, barbecues and the neighborhood parade. But given that it is one of the most popular travel weekends of the year, doing Memorial Day weekend right also requires some planning. No-one wants to get stuck in Omaha while all […]

Nothing spells the start of summer like a long, relaxing Memorial Day weekend complete with loved ones, barbecues and the neighborhood parade.

But given that it is one of the most popular travel weekends of the year, doing Memorial Day weekend right also requires some planning. No-one wants to get stuck in Omaha while all their friends and family are partying at Lake Okoboji. So get out your iPhone, download the following apps and start prepping – this is going to be a Memorial Day to remember.

The key to any wonderful three-day weekend – whether you are hitting the road or staying in your own backyard – is planning appropriately for the weather. Camping in the rain can be fun, but not if you forget your waterproof sleeping bag. The free app from The Weather Channel allows you to set your location, and check the weather by the hour. It also includes a 10-day forecast, rather than the typical six- or seven-day forecast. It also has great maps, and who doesn’t love a good map?

With gas prices inching up and up and up, you need to be savvy about where you stop to fill up. After all, you don’t want to eat Ramen noodles all weekend just because you shelled out all your cash for fuel. The GasBuddy app (free) allows you to scan all the gas stations that are in your immediate area, and check their current per-gallon prices.

For those who will be driving through unfamiliar territory, we recommend the free AAA TripTik Mobile app. It maps out the nearest locations for things like rest stops, restaurants and campsites. If your car starts making a funny noise and belching smoke, you don’t need to panic because this app can point you toward the nearest mechanic. Or better yet, simply use the app’s AAA roadside assistance feature.

Barbecuing is a must during Memorial Day weekend, and if you’re responsible for the grilling, you’ll likely have scores of hungry people depending on you to deliver. The GrillStar app ($0.99) ensures that not a single kabob, hot dog or burger will be under- or over-cooked. Just note which items you have going on the grill, and it will keep a running timer for each, noting when it’s time to flip and when it’s time to remove. This app leaves nothing up to chance.

You’re also going to need some great grill recipes and some tasty bbq sauces. The $4.99 Weber’s on the Grill app includes all of that and more. Refer to it before you hit the grocery store so you don’t forget any of the essentials.

Memorial Day weekend is popular with revelers, so if you are of legal age, it’s likely you will indulge in a few cocktails or beers. But it is important to note that Memorial Day weekend is also popular with law enforcement – they will be deployed en masse ready to make DUI arrests. The free BAC-Calculator app uses your weight, number of drinks and number of hours elapsed to calculate whether you are safe to drive. We recommend packing a designated driver so as to avoid any trouble.

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Megan O'Neil

Megan O'Neil is a journalist and freelance writer in Los Angeles. When she isn't lounging at the beach or socializing in the Hollywood Hills, she writes for the Park Labrea New/Beverly Press newspaper and the Los Angeles Times Community News Group.

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