Let Tech Be Your Guide

By EssentialsMAG tech contributor DAVID HUGHES

Summer time has finally arrived, and hopefully the rain will make way to blue skies and some sunshine over the next few weeks. In our family, that usually means days out and new experiences, sometimes in holiday locations.

Then come the inevitable questions: What shall we do today? Where shall we go? It can be tricky working out what to do, even when you’re close to home, but even harder when you’re in a different part of the country, or different country altogether.

Luckily, the technology in our pockets can give us a helping hand. There are a few websites and applications that I use often when finding places to go, things to see and—most importantly, for me at least—places to eat!

Firstly, Google Maps (google.co.uk/maps). This remains my go-to navigation app, but continues to get better at suggesting places to go. Simply open the app, and it will locate where you are, or search for an area you are going to visit. When the maps centres on your preferred location, do a search for ‘restaurants’, for example.

This will return a list of local restaurants, and a number of filtering options such as cuisine type and ‘top rated’. Google uses previous users’ ratings and recommendations to suggest the best places to visit in the locality.

Even if you’re in an unfamiliar city, Google Maps will guide you back to your hotel, with options for driving, walking, public transport, or even an Uber (limited to more urban areas, generally).

TripAdvisor (tripadvisor.co.uk) is another excellent source of information, and is largely based on the experiences of others. From days out to restaurants to full holiday packages, TripAdvisor has an ever-expanding database of places to go, all accompanied by reviews and photographs from people who have actually been there.

Looking for something a little different?

Try Airbnb’s new Experiences (airbnb.co.uk/experiences). This is a fairly new service from the company taking the holiday rental market by storm, but there are already some very interesting ‘experiences’ to choose from, including cooking classes, arts and crafts workshops, and even multi-day hiking adventures; all provided by local people who love what they do.

All three of the above websites also have apps available on both iOS and Android, so can be accessed from anywhere you have a signal. I hope, over the next few weeks, technology can slip into the background and we can look up from our screens and experience the world around us.

EssentialsMAG tech contributor is David Hughes a freelance web developer.
Tel: 07595 303418

Victoria Lee