The Fourth of July is one of our nation’s oldest rituals but tradition shouldn’t stop you from taking advantage of a few new technologies.
We rounded up some of our favorite tech tips to help you celebrate Independence Day. Whatever your plans for the Fourth, these hacks should make it easier to get to your destination faster, enjoy yourself while you’re there, and keep the party going.
Continue reading for 6 tech tips to celebrate America’s birthday in style.
Level up your fireworks photos
Come midnight, your Instagram timeline will be a monotony of grainy fireworks photos that don’t quite live up to the spectacle they tried to capture. Set your pics apart with these simple tips:
– Turn off the flash.
– Stabilize your camera with a stand or by resting your arms on a steady surface.
– Don’t zoom or mess with the camera’s exposure.
– Try increasing your chances of a perfect shot with burst mode to capture 10 photos per second.
Snap a patriotic pose
While we’re talking photos, be sure to check out Snapchat’s Fourth of July filters.
If you’re throwing a big bash, you can create a custom Fourth-themed filter for guests to use. If not, Snapchat will undoubtedly release a handful of patriotic filters of its own. You can save photos and videos to your Snapchat Memories — unless you want all records of that hotdog eating contest swiftly destroyed.
Find a nearby place to crash
Whether you’ve had one too many beers or burgers, you’re feeling sleepy post-fireworks, or you just want to keep America’s birthday party going, HotelTonight is a good last-minute lodging option. The app provides discounted rates to nearby hotels when you book a room day-of. It allows hotels to fill their leftover inventory at the last minute and helps you avoid the long trip home after a day of Fourth festivities.
Prevent a buzzkill with Drizly
Speaking of parties, hosts may want to have Drizly downloaded on their phones in case supplies run low before the night’s end. Using the app, you can have beer, wine, and liquor from nearby retailers delivered to your doorstep. Having refills delivered is convenient and keeps the roads safe from intoxicated drivers.
Beat traffic with Waze
If you’re headed to a popular destination to celebrate Independence Day, you might want to consider a traffic-circumventing app like Waze. Delays are likely en route to public parks, beaches, or anywhere with a good view of the fireworks. Waze comes in handy when you need a shortcut to evade the crowds.
Find out about Fourth of July celebrations in your neighborhood
Block parties, capture the flag, cookouts: Independence Day is a great opportunity to connect with your neighbors and celebrate summer’s unofficial beginning. Find out about nearby activities with Nextdoor, a social network for neighborhoods. It’s a great place to snag a last-minute invite to a Fourth of July party or give neighbors a heads up if you’re planning a noisy get together.