FTC disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.
Growing up, I loved summer camp. In fact, last year I took my husband to "family camp", and we had a blast. I thought my summer camp days were over when I graduated high school but I learned there is so much more out there that I go to and experience -- and much of it is special interest related. This summer I am hoping to go to a church's general assembly so I can attend the alumni banquet for one of my colleges. Next summer I hope to go to the national sweepstakes convention.
One thing I never leave behind, though, is my iPhone 7 plus from U.S. Cellular. Because U.S. Cellular has nationwide coverage, I've had service from Maine to California and points in between. (Yes, I know this for a fact -- I have traveled to both coasts and still have been able to keep in touch with friends.) I'm not alone in using my phone to assist in planning my trips. Nearly four out of five people do the same.
Finding a place to stay is easier than it has ever been. When I was growing up, Mom and Dad always just stopped at a hotel and had me go ask rates for a hotel. (One time hotel rooms were so scare they hoped a funeral home was a motel. It wasn't, and I walked in on a wake!) You won't have that problem these days with apps like AirBnB and if camping using the app BC Tent Finder to help you locate your tent from among the many at a festival.
Use apps to coordinate packing lists and plans. When I went on vacation with friends a few years ago, we had so many e-mails flying back and forth about plans, who was going to bring what, and a whole host of other information. Well, thanks so my iPhone7, those days are over. Wunderlust is an app that helps coordinate all those to do and packing lists. With checking a bag on domestic flights now being an add on, this could be considered a money saving app as well! Packing Pro is an app that has sample packing lists. You can also create your own list and monitor what you have already packed. There is a free version or you can pay $2.99 for more features.
Use an app to help connect with family and friends. Conventions, and especially music festivals can be huge. The largest one I have ever attended had everyone in the Hoosierdome for a Sunday morning church service. (Yeah, I was a church kid.) This was before cellular phones was invented, and I was terrified of losing my group. Thankfully now with mobile devices and apps like Find My Friends that wouldn't be a concern. In fact, now, it would be even more helpful because I wouldn't just have to stay in groups but in a reunion setting like I am hoping to attend this year, I could find where my friends are to be able to reconnect!
I once roomed with a group of ladies who wanted everyone to go to the front desk each day and each of us pay our part of the bill. It not only took time out of our day, but also was a hassle for the front desk. There are much easier ways to split costs. A couple apps you should check out Venmo and Google Wallet.
Find out the official hashtag for the festival or convention you are attending. Most have a great hashtag, and you can join the conversation with other attendees and help those who wanted to be there but couldn't enjoy your experiences. You are going to be sharing on social media anyway, so why not use the hashtag.