Although some people’s idea of a perfect summer holiday is retreating deep into the wilderness and far away from any phone service or Wi-Fi signal, far more of us cannot bear to be away from our Internet-connected devices for more than a few minutes – even when relaxing on holiday.
If you’re a connectivity junkie and fall into the latter group, what are this summer’s must have apps for your well-deserved summer break? We came up with a list of eight.
AllTheCooks (Android / iOS / WP8 – Free)
Everyone loves trying new meals in the summer; for many, one of the best parts of the hottest months of the year is creating and sampling recipes that use the latest seasonal ingredients to create fresh and exciting culinary concoctions.
AllTheCooks is one of the best cooking apps available and is perfect if you are staying in self-catered accommodation. Using the app is simple – you just need to enter the ingredients that you have at your disposal, and it will give you a broad range of meals that you can make. The recipes cover all types of dishes, including main meals, starters, drinks, side dishes, desserts, soups, stews, and diet food.
The app lets you bookmark recipes for future reference, share recipes on social media, and discuss meals and methods in the extensive forum.
World Festival Guide (iOS – £1.99)
The arrival of spring brings with it a steady increase in the number of cultural, music, and film festivals that can be attended. Festivals attract millions of people and are a major source of revenue for organisers and host cities; it is estimated that the UK music festival industry alone is worth $1.6 billion to Britain’s economy and attracts 4 million revellers annually.
If you are a lover of festivals, then this app is an essential travel companion. It covers more than 200 cultural festivals around the world whilst also including additional information about noteworthy religious ceremonies, events, and parties.
Each festival listing gives users information about the event’s historical roots and cultural significance, as well as videos, photos, advice, news, and pricing details. The app is easy to use, letting you search by either continent or category, or by matching your preferences to what’s going on in your vicinity by using your device’s GPS signal.
TripIt Travel Organiser (Android / iOS – Free)
TripIt is already a well-known app amongst frequent travellers, but if you’re new to the world of smartphones or aren’t a regular traveller, then you might not be aware of it.
The beauty of the app is its ability to keep all your travel information in one place. Whenever an email concerning your flight, hotel booking, or car hire reservation arrives, simply forward it to your app and it will be added your itinerary. Gmail users will find that details from any emails sent to their inboxes will be automatically added to their TripIt schedule without any human input.
The app also offers a pro version for $49 per year which offers real-time flight alerts, a flight finder, refund notifications, and an air miles tracker.
Read our in-depth review of TripIt for more information.
Android / iOS – Free)
After you’ve finished using the aforementioned AllTheCooks app to make the perfect meal, why not compliment it with the perfect drink?
Cocktails personify summer, and with the app’s 8,000 recipes, you are sure to find the ideal accompaniment to any situation. The app includes a liquor store locator that uses your device’s GPS, a section on bartending terminology and techniques, and information about the correct usage of glassware.
Whether you want to make a tray of jello shots on a Mediterranean party island or a jug of sangria to share with your partner as the sun sets over the Indian Ocean, this app has it all.
An obvious one, but an important one. If you’re planning on venturing outside of your own country for your summer break, then Google’s Translate app should form a part of your arsenal. The app boasts 70 supported languages and can speak the translated phrases out loud, removing the potential for embarrassing pronunciation errors. The latest update will even translate entire conversations just by recording your voice, meaning it’s never been easier to survive in foreign country.
Remember, though, Google Translate requires an Internet connection to use, so be sure to check roaming costs with your network provider before departure. If you’ll be without Internet, be sure to download the language packs beforehand for offline use.
Tap and Say (Android / iOS – Free)
Tap and Say is a good compliment to Google Translate because it does not require an Internet connection to work and has a few extra features.
The app has key phrases in eleven different languages, all of which are accompanied with spoken audio pronounced by a native speaker. Designed with speed of use in mind, you can mark your favourite phrases for quick access and search for phrases by keyword or context.
Airports by TravelNerd (iOS – Free)
Nobody likes spending hours in an airport. In the summer months they tend to be hot, overcrowded, and expensive. Sadly, they are an inescapable truth of global travel. Airports by TravelNerd has attempted to make the experience as comfortable as possible for you – reducing stress and improving transit times.
The app includes layouts, shops, resources, parking facilities and local transportation at seventy of the most popular global airports, whilst also offering a flight tracker to enable you to keep abreast of delays, connections, and arrivals. This app really is a fantastic option for navigating your way through airports.
World UV (Android / iOS – Free)
To most people, the idea of a summer holiday means lying on the beach for two weeks while eating and drinking more than at any other time of the year – with the possible exception of Christmas.
There are lots of websites to help you plan your trip to the beach but, unfortunately, lying in the sun for long periods of time carries dangers. Sunbathers are at permanent risk of sunburn, while prolonged periods in the sun has been shown to cause problems with the eyes and immune system – even causing skin cancer.
The cause of these problems is UV light, a type of electromagnetic radiation that is emitted by the sun. When the UV Index is high, you are more at risk of health problems. Thankfully, both Ultraviolet UV Index and World UV can help smartphone owners combat the dangers of excessive UV light.
They give users accurate UV forecasts for any location in the world, as well as giving tips on how you can defend yourself against overexposure, what features you should look for in your sunscreen, and which types of clothing will offer you the best protection.
What About Your Tips?
What apps do you use on your holidays? What are your ‘must-haves’ for a summer vacation? Let us know in the comments.