If you’re ready to stretch your horizons this summer, our tech suggestions can help you discover new destinations to head for - and then make the most of your time when you get there.
There’s only one feeling better than the giddy anticipation of a summer getaway. And that’s the sweet sensation of switching on your work email’s Out of Office autoreply and finally heading off.
If you need inspiration on where to go, and you’re ready for somewhere different rather than your usual haunts, then tech can provide a helping hand. And, with a little bit of preparation, it can also help you make the most of your time in the sun.
Jack’s Flight Club
This weekly email newsletter delivers choice deals on flights straight to your inbox. As well as all the usual suspects like Bali and Bilbao, more off-the-beaten-track destinations, such as Sao Tome, Ecuador and South Korea, regularly crop up. Even if the specifics of the deals aren’t quite right for you, Jack’s Flight Club will still provide ample inspiration for your next trip. If you need even more ideas, there’s an optional paid-for Premium version of the email packed with even more deals.
Although the UK has – at the time of writing – ended all COVID-19 testing, entry and tracing requirements for travellers, some other countries continue to have their own conditions. SkyScanner (one of the sources for the deals in Jack’s Flight Club) has a handy tool on its website for checking what pandemic-related conditions apply for any given destination, so you can prepare well in advance.
Much Better Adventures
If you want to really shake up your next trip, the activity holidays offered by Much Better Adventures couldn’t be more different from the usual beach and city breaks. From cycling in Morocco and rafting in Montenegro, to hiking in Greenland and kayaking around the coast of Wales, these are trips that will blow away the cobwebs and get your adrenaline pumping.
OS Maps Premium
If your adventures take you to one of the UK’s many hiking routes, then an OS Maps Premium subscription can help you stay on the beaten path. The low £5 monthly fee, which you can cancel at any time, gives you access to all of the Ordnance Survey’s highly detailed maps which span the entire country. All National Trust routes are visibly marked in green and you can download maps for offline use on your iOS or Android device, so you don’t need to have an internet connection to pinpoint your location and stay on course.
Unusual Activities from NotOnTheHighStreet.com
If you’re in the mood for a day trip or perhaps a long weekend, rather than a full-blown holiday, the list of ‘Unusual Activities & Experiences’ from online retailer NotOnTheHighStreet.com can help.
From clay pigeon shooting to beekeeping and basic blacksmithing, they’re nothing if not a far cry from propping up the bar yet again at your local pub. Plus, like Much Better Adventures, they work with small, local businesses whenever possible.
Ricoh Theta SC2
If you’re heading for the great outdoors, then it can sometimes be hard to capture and convey the grandeur of your surroundings – even with your smartphone’s ultra-wide camera lens and panorama mode. That’s where the Ricoh Theta SC2 steps in.
Around the size of a whiteboard marker, this dedicated camera has two ultra-wide lenses, one on each side. This enables it to capture immersive 360-degree photos and videos. While you can enjoy them using the accompanying smartphone app, those snaps and clips truly come to life when viewed through a VR headset – even a basic budget model like the Google Cardboard will do the trick nicely. Do bear in mind, though, that you’ll get the best possible picture quality from the Theta when shooting with plenty of light.
Anker PowerCore III Wireless PowerBank and PowerPort III
If you’re anxious about your smartphone and other gadgets running out of juice when you’re out adventuring, the PowerCore III power bank from Anker will provide ample reassurance with its huge back-up capacity.
It has USB-C and USB-A ports, as well as wireless charging, so it’ll work with almost any conceivable device in your rucksack. Plus, just as importantly, it can fast charge itself using USB-C Power Delivery so you can quickly top-up its charge with no hanging around required.