Our pick of the best apps for your summer holiday
The flights are booked, you’re spending your weekends in Topshop, and the 20+ degree heat is seeping through the window at work whilst you dream of a G+T in the local beer garden. That’s right, summer is here. And whilst you may be in the office trawling through that to-do list, we all know you’re secretly counting the minutes, hours, and days until you’re jetting off on your summer holiday.
It really is the most wonderful time of the year, despite what that song may say, and a summer holiday is a time where you leave all your troubles behind and enjoy a stress-free two weeks in the sunshine whilst sipping on a Pina Colada, or a Cucumber Collins if you know what you’re doing. Any stress developed during a holiday usually involves travelling around, speaking the local language, or finding the right picture to upload to Instagram. And this blog is here to take the last bit of stress out of your otherwise peaceful holidays.
Please note that Atom does not endorse the apps referred to in this article. We just think they’re pretty bloomin’ cool.
Got somewhere to go with no idea how to get there, in a foreign country where you don’t speak the language (more on this later)? CityMapper will sort you right out. Want to go to that quaint little restaurant that Susan at work was telling you about? Say no more. Tap the name of the restaurant into CityMapper and it’ll give you door-to-door directions. Walking, cycling, taxi, train, bus, jetpack (no, seriously) it’ll give you the quickest modes of transport, and give you the price of each, providing you with the option of skipping a £15 taxi and taking a 20 minute walk instead. It’ll even tell you how many calories you’re likely to burn.
A slight downside is that it’s not available in every city, but it’s adding more and more as you read, so unless you’re visiting the deepest, darkest corner of the Kerguelen Islands, you should be just fine.
We all know the score; you’ve just booked your 2 week stay on the south coast of Italy and you think this is the perfect opportunity to refresh your GCSE knowledge of the Italian language, so you set yourself the unrealistic goal of being fluent by the time you jet off. Unfortunately, two months before you whisk the family away, you’ve realised this goal has slipped under the carpet, and you just about know how to introduce yourself. Well Duolingo is there to rescue you. It’s not going to crack the entire Italian/French/Spanish vocabulary in a matter of weeks, but it will teach you the basics, enough to pass off as someone who knows their stuff for a two week stint.
One of the disadvantages is that you’ll need to revise before the holiday. If you’re wanting something that’ll help you out in the moment, you’ll need the Google Translate app.
Remember the days of going on holiday, and you (or your Dad) would lug around a huge SLR in order to capture the wonderful family memories. Well thanks to smartphones, that awful tan line on your neck is long gone, and the cameras on these devices are getting better and better, making us feel like the next David Bailey. But in this day and age, a photo isn’t a photo without pinpoint tilt shifting and a dramatic filter. Cue Enlight. Spent the day snapping the Mediterranean coastline? Then enjoy an evening relaxing by the pool and adding some sweet, sweet, saturation to make that water look even bluer than it is.
The obvious downside by using this app is that you’ll be unable to use the #nofilter hashtag.
I couldn’t write a post about the best apps to use in unfamiliar locations, without mentioning Foursquare, so I finish this article with what is likely to be the most popular app of the five. Ever get to your holiday destination and decide to get a bite to eat before unpacking, but that list that Claire from work put together of ‘good places to eat’ is still on your bedside table and you’re resigned to winging it and hoping you find somewhere that won’t leave you with food poisoning? Well Foursquare is here to ensure you never wing it again. By relying on user reviews and your location, it’ll recommend the best restaurants, bars, coffee shops, clubs and shopping centres among a handful of other categories. I can personally vouch for Foursquare as it’s led me to some of the finest unknown restaurants in Europe. You’re even able to leave your own reviews for the next person wondering where to find the best calzone in Naples.
So if you’re jetting off this summer, make sure these apps are downloaded to ensure you’re travelling on the right route, eating the right food, wearing the right clothes and speaking the right language. If you think we’ve missed out any, let us know @atom_bank