Whether you’re organising a low-key dinner with friends, a night out, a birthday party or even a wedding, gone are the logistical nightmare days of having to rely on repeated rounds of calls and text conversations to make arrangements.
The power of the humble app means you can now call on the aggregated wisdom of the crowd to choose bars, restaurants and other venue.
The days of nights out falling apart because no one’s able to make a decision about anything are gone.
And there’s minimal risk that you’ll accidentally leave someone behind, stranding them in that bar that turned out to be awful, or have to persuade your group to wait for someone who never shows.
Today’s tech has taken all the pain out of planning a great night out. Everyone can stay in touch in real-time, and great places to eat, drink, or dance the night away can be found without specialized local knowledge.
If you’re looking for the perfect spot for your night out, then there’s a good chance that Foursquare can help.
A huge global community offers reviews, ratings and handy tips to help you get the most out of your chosen location.
You can filter the abundance of choice to hone in on the best spots for you and your gang, based on precisely what you want.
Plus recommendations also get better over time as the app factors in your ratings and personal tastes, along with those of your friends.
(For those that remember the ‘old’ Foursquare, note that the check-in system has been separated into the Swarm app).
If you want to find the perfect bar for your night out, you can count on BarChick to help you. Simply enter where, what, who and when, and you’ll get a custom list of recommendations that’s focused on bars with real character.
Read reviews, check what’s nearby on a map, and find tempting deals and drink recommendations.
You can even chat with a kind of concierge service, ask for personalized recommendations, and get booked in.
It’s a great app for finding both hidden gems and brand new bars that are generating a buzz.
Okay, so now you know where you’re going, how do you get there? For millions of us, Uber is the top answer these days, offering a cheaper and slicker experience over phoning up for a minicab.
Choose a driver, set a location, and watch your driver approach on a map, then pay and rate the service. Everything is done within the app. You can even split fares with friends when you share.
No more calling a taxi firm, or trying to hail a cab on a busy street, or fumbling with cash.
You’ll find a carefully curated collection of fun events and interesting places in the YPlan app covering comedy, sports, music, cinema and more.
You can browse user reviews before you choose, and add events to your wish list.
Once you decide that you want to go to something, the app enables you to invite friends and book tickets.
You can choose to pay together or separately, and even pick the seats you want. There’s no need to print anything – and tickets are often cheaper than they would be elsewhere.
Sadly, YPlan only covers a few places right now, including London, New York, Bristol, San Francisco, and Dublin.
Fighting your way to the front of a busy bar to get a round in is never fun, and waiting for food to be served when you’d rather be off to the next venue can be a real pain.
With Boppl you can use your phone to find bars and restaurants near you and order ahead, and can even track the progress of your order, so you can rock up just in time.
You can also pay easily and include tips through the app, cutting out the hassle and the waiting for a less stressful night out.
If you’re in search of a good meal and you want to book a place on your phone then OpenTable is unbeatable.
You can find detailed reviews, photos, and advice on the best dishes at eateries nearby, and filter easily by cuisine, time, party size or distance.
Make a reservation, share plans, and update on the fly if you need to.
You can even earn rewards by dining out, and make savings on future meals. This app is packed with info, and really easy to use.
If you love live music, then this app is unmissable. It scans your music streaming and social media accounts, including Spotify, Deezer, Facebook and Twitter to work out which acts you like, and then alerts you when your favorite artists, bands or DJs are playing in a town near you.
You can also browse detailed concert listings for your city, or specify a distance you’re willing to travel and see every gig within range.
You can buy tickets within the app, and invite friends to join you at gigs.
This app is, simply put, for beer lovers, offering recommendations of craft beers and bars, with photos and ratings.
If you want to try something new the app will make a suggestion, but it will also help you to find a nearby bar that serves your favourite tipple.
If you want to create a beer diary, with notes on which bars and brews you liked and disliked, Untappd is ideal.
If your friends use it too you can see where they’re drinking – and it’s designed to get better at recommending both venues and beers the more you use it.
You might have dismissed Tinder as simply a dating app for hookups, but it also has a social mode for organizing nights out with groups of friends.
You can invite friends, and agree on where to go, in the chat window.
Groups of friends can also swipe to match with other groups, so you can get ideas for other things to do and meet up with more people; everyone must agree before you’ll get a match.
One of the advantages of using Tinder like this is that, unlike some other apps, a lot of your friends probably already have it installed.
If you’re the designated driver for the night then you’ll want to know where you can park for free or cheaply without risk, and Parkopedia is ready to guide you into the perfect parking space.
You can search by location or address, and get directions to suitable options. All the info you need on prices and access is there, and you can filter for preferences.
Some spots even offer real-time updates on open parking spaces, and while Parkopedia may not tell you about every conceivable parking spot out there, you will get information on where the top (and hopefully free) places are, and when they’re available.
This article is brought to you in association with Tesco Mobile