Forget having the neighbours round for a slideshow, there’s now a wealth of gadgets and apps out there for sharing our holidays even as we’re on them. Here, the O2 Gurus take a look at the best apps, cameras and gadgets for showing off your break in the sun…
There’s no point denying it: one of the best things about going on holiday is making everyone back home jealous. Technology is making this process a whole lot easier. Let’s take a look at the tech you should be packing in your suitcase so that those precious memories are never forgotten – even by people who weren’t there.
Most people break out in a cold sweat at the thought of leaving home without their smartphone so don’t put yourself through it. Just be sure to load it up with this selection of apps that will turn your phone into a virtual travel diary while you’re away.
One of our favourite holiday companions is Trip Journal (above left). Working in the background of your smartphone, it uses Google Maps data to track your route and record an itinerary of what you’ve been up to. Your notes, photos and a detailed map of your route can all be shared in real time with family and friends back home and it’ll also compile a neat selection of stats like the total distance you’ve travelled.
Of course you’ll need a top camera app, and VSCO Cam (above right) offers more presets than apps like Instagram. All tools – including temperature, fades and contrast functions – can be customised to help you create the perfect image to share with those back home.
Another great idea is Postagram (above middle), which combines smartphone tech with the charm of the traditional postcard. Choose your favourite holiday snap, then use the app to add a message, chose a recipient and press send – the app will then send them a one-of-a-kind physical postcard. It’s particularly handy if you’re in the middle of nowhere with no access to a stamp or postbox.
Most smartphone cameras are pretty decent now, but if you’d prefer something a bit higher on the quality scale, try one of these top travel cameras:
Digital photography makes it easy to take a lot of photos but you don’t want to be lugging a laptop halfway around the world just so you can upload them for your friends and family to see. So leave the laptop at home and grab the Samsung Galaxy EK-GC100 instead – it’s a camera that comes with built-in 3G and Wi-Fi connection so you can share photos and videos by email or social media as soon as they’re taken. The 16 megapixel sensor and 21x optical zoom should mean good quality shots, while the camera also has a selection of built-in professional editing features in case you need to crop out an unexpected photobomber.
Specialist cameras are also worth a look if you’re going on an action-packed holiday. The GoPro HERO3+ series, for example, is a range of rugged wearable cameras. With an array of mounts that let you strap the cameras to your chest, safety helmet, handlebars or surfboard, the dinky cameras can record almost any scenario in high definition. Think we’re exaggerating? It was a GoPro camera that Felix Baumgartner used to record his 24-mile high space jump back in 2012.
If you’re worried about breaking an expensive camera then the striking Fujifilm FinePix XP60 Tough is also worth a look. This 16MP camera can take anything the beach can throw at it: it’s waterproof up to six meters, as well as shockproof and sand-proof.
If you’re planning to use your camera’s timer or want to try capturing a dramatic electrical storm while you’re away, you’ll want a decent tripod on you. The Manfrotto Pocket series fit most compact cameras and its fold-away legs make it so slim that you can keep the tripod connected to your camera and whip it out at a moment’s notice.
Solar backpacks, which collect energy from the sun to charge your devices, should keep all your gadgets juiced up.The Voltaic Solar Converter Daypack, for example, contains almost 1000 cubic inches of space and comes complete with a solar panel capable of charging your phone and camera devices on the go. It’s waterproof, lightweight and resistant to wear and tear – you’ll never miss a great photo opportunity because of a dead battery again.
It may have only just gone on sale in the UK but holidays are one place we can see Google Glass coming into its own. The eye-level camera means that your friends and family would be able to see exactly what you saw when jumping out of a plane or on a tough hike. But with prices still sky-high it might be one to put on the list for next year.
What are your favourite items of tech for capturing the best moments from your holiday? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter @O2.
For more on how technology is changing travel, tune in to LBC Radio this Saturday at 8.30pm when the O2 Gurus will be talking about the latest in holiday-friendly tech. Find out more here.