Phone facts: Why you should plan your vac like a millennial
You’ll find the right apps make holidays a lot more fun
Although I am technically a millennial – the term used to define people born between 1980 and 2000 – in many ways I don’t adhere to the perceived tropes of my generation. I’m tired of exposed brick. Posting selfies and my breakfast on Instagram? No thanks. But when it comes to planning a holiday I am unabashedly millennial.
Take, for example, a recent break in Copenhagen with friends. In the weeks leading up to my departure I had starred, saved and screenshotted enough things to do in a trip twice the length of mine – all through my phone.
I was scrolling through Instagram on the bus when I discovered a beautiful café at Copenhagen’s Statens Museum for Kunst (SMK), posted by an online design magazine. Two dinner spots by ex-Noma chefs were noted after watching the Netflix series Ugly Delicious – Hija de Sanchez, a taco restaurant, and Bæst, an organic pizzeria that has its own farm.
I also learned that Ganni, my favourite Danish clothing brand, had a pop-up shop through watching its Instagram coverage of Copenhagen Fashion Week.
A friend alerted me to a boutique hotel with a plant-lined courtyard pool that was probably designed for Instagramming – but this was overruled by WhatsApp chat in favour of an Airbnb or a “posh” hostel (the latter won, due to price and location). I sent the money to the friend who booked it, via banking app Monzo, within a few minutes.
Your phone is by no means the only way to find these recommendations but the beauty of this approach is that, once flights and accommodation are booked, you can research things here and there – in a stolen moment while waiting at the dentist or in an airport departure lounge.
We millennials are often lambasted for being glued to our screens – after all, when we travel aren’t we meant to be looking at where we actually are? – but, in my case, those swipes often unlock places to eat, see and visit that I may otherwise not have stumbled upon.
So here are my top three tips for how to plan a trip on your phone:
Make the most of Instagram
The best types of account to follow for inspiration are those that celebrate a certain aesthetic (such as @accidentallywesanderson and @stellaspoils); those of photographers (@romainlaprade and @alice_gao); foodies (@eater); design accounts (@thespacesmag); editors (@hanyayanagihara). The bookmark tool makes collating information easy. Always be sure to corroborate anything you find with a secondary source if ever you are unsure.
Download the right apps
There are a host of smart apps that offer authentic suggestions off the well-trodden tourist track. Newly launched Trippin, which describes itself as “like Spotify for travel”, has a host of downloadable travel “lists” by insiders – such as where to have proper soul food in Chicago by a resident rapper – as well as the ability to create your own. Similarly, Lost In gives you access to 27 city guides, from Tokyo to Lisbon. Recommendations come from chefs, artists, fashion and set designers, and can throw up suggestions based on your GPS location. More specific apps are good too, depending on where you’re going: Raisin, for example, lists the world’s best natural wine bars and growers; Best Coffee does as you would expect.
Add it all to Google maps
Save everything you find to custom lists on Google Maps. Not only can these personalised maps be colour-coded (by restaurant, for example) and downloaded for use offline – great for when you’re on the ground without data – but can also be shared with friends and used time and time again. I’m not saying there’s no room for spontaneity but the safety of knowing that there’s a constellation of Google stars (and trustworthy apps) in my pocket whenever I go away means there’s always a backup plan if I find myself somewhere I didn’t expect to be.
When I arrived in Copenhagen, the weather was glorious so we traded in a day of museums and shopping for cycling along the river. We ended up at snazzy street Jaegersborggade, where we came across a shop serving Wonka-esque ice cream made with liquid nitrogen. I starred it immediately.
- © The Daily Telegraph