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The Apps of Summer

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Written by Shackleton Technologies

Summertime is my favourite season. It’s a time when the mornings are bright, the days are longer and the sun on your back is a welcome boost to lift the spirits. Although you cannot guarantee sunshine in Scotland, a short flight and you can usually get your hit of Vitamin D.  For me and my family this year, our summer tonic was a tour of Italy.

Just the other night, as I was looking at our holiday photographs, it got me thinking about the technology used before and after the holiday. It’s quite incredible. 

The Tour Begins

I had taken the photographs using my iPhone and uploaded them to Dropbox, just one of the Apps on my phone. I had booked our holiday accommodation via the Airbnb and apps. It was easy to use both, and the built-in maps came in handy when trying to find our accommodation. We could also correspond with the hotel and the Airbnb owners via the apps or WhatsApp.

Our trains were booked using the Trainline app that we frequently used throughout the holiday, to check if our train was on time and to present our tickets (no need to print off). Spotify also came in handy as I like to listen to music when travelling.

While in Milan, we had only one day to see the city, so we used an app called “” to organise a 3-hour guided tour to see the best sites in the city. It was great to discover the local take on a city, to discover some hidden gems and not just experience the tourist spots.

City apps are great – we used the Lonely Planet guide for each place we visited, as well as other apps dedicated to each place. Florence has an app where you are guided through the city by a 16th-century nobleman!

Roaming around Rome

We couldn’t have found our way without Google maps, especially in a larger city like Rome, where you can quite easily get lost. We initially used Uber to book taxis but found another app called Free Now that provided taxis which were slightly more economical.

Hungry, not us!

In Rome, during the height of summer, it’s best to pre-book a restaurant as you could end up walking for miles to find one that can accommodate a family. We hadn’t booked a restaurant one night so decided to try Trip Advisor who came to our rescue. A table for six at 8:00, with great reviews, in an area we wanted to visit was reserved within minutes. We had a fantastic meal in a place that didn’t look much from the outside, and one we would never have found on our own.

We couldn’t agree on the name of a song being played in a bar one night so used Shazam. Result! I counted that we used 14 apps over the course of our holiday.

The Future?

The question is – do we now take this technology for granted? When I sit and think about that question, am I the only one amazed by the amount of technology and what our holiday planning will look like in the future?

Technology can help you in so many ways. From holidays, at home and in business, there are many benefits.

I did get a shock when I got home, however. I checked my bank balances through an app called Yolt, and that did bring me back down to earth!

I wouldn’t trade a healthy bank balance for our experiences and memories though, as that’s what life is all about.