Northern Lights

The Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, is nature's most spectacular fireworks display, caused by the collision of energised particles with atoms in the Earth's thermosphere.

The spectral glow of the Aurora is best seen from Scandinavia at certain times of the year. But, as many erstwhile travellers have found out to their cost, the light show doesn't always show up on cue every night.

Samsung GALAXY S4 apps travel

Aurora Notifier (free) is an app for your GALAXY S4 that will let you know when is the best time to zip up your parker and go looking for the Northern Lights. An animated, zoomable globe will show you a 3D render of the Northern Lights – you can even see the Southern Lights too, although you are probably less likely to pop down to Antarctica and check them out in person.

Burning Man

Every year on the last Monday in August, a town springs to life in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, built by artists, radicals and revellers from materials brought across the desert.

One week later, it is taken away again, following seven days of artistic freedom and non-stop partying in the ceremonial fires of the Burning Man.

Samsung GALAXY S4 apps travel

The desert is a harsh environment, especially if you are dressed like an extra from Mad Max who has stumbled upon a cache of body paint. To make it back in one piece, we recommend you load up your GALAXY S4 with the £3.85 SAS Survival Guide app.

Based on the book by former SAS soldier and instructor, John 'Lofty' Wiseman, the app is packed with advice for surviving in the most extreme conditions, including the scorching desert.
Unlike the book, your GALAXY S4 can show you videos of Lofty demonstrating survival skills including firelighting and building shelters. Just in case.

Hybrid Solar Eclipse

A total eclipse of the sun is always worth seeing but on 3rd November certain parts of Africa will see a rare Hybrid Solar Eclipse, which will start out as an Annular Eclipse (a fiery ring around the dark of the moon) and then transition into the full Total Eclipse in which the sun is entirely obscured by the moon.

Samsung GALAXY S4 apps travel

Eclipse Calculator is free to download and will calculate the exact path and timings for all upcoming eclipses, anywhere in the world, telling you exactly where to go to get the best view.

If actually trekking to a coordinate in central Africa seems a bit much, the £1.35 Live Wallpaper app will show an animated annular eclipse on your GALAXY S4's home screen without the cost of an air fare.

Eurovision 2014

The 59th annual Eurovision Song Contest will take place in Denmark, with either Copenhagen or Harning likely to host. Although considered the height of camp by many Brits, on the continent Eurovision is serious business and the finals are an extravaganza always worth attending.

Samsung GALAXY S4 apps travel

English and French are the official languages of the competition but having a quick way to translate the many entries in foreign languages is always handy. Luckily, the GALAXY S4 can help you out with the pre-installed S Translator tool.

Just tap in the lyrics you are puzzling over and S Translator will figure out what language they are in and translate them into plain English.

Star Spotting at the Cannes Film Festival

Le Festival International du Film de Cannes is where the European film cognoscenti appraise the year's new releases. You may not have a festival pass but tourists are welcome at the many free screenings and events throughout the fortnight.

Samsung GALAXY S4 apps travel

While you are there, no app will be handier to have on your GALAXY S4 than the IMDb guide. This will give you instant access to the vast Internet Movie Database, allowing you to verify just who it was you saw getting their photograph taken on a beach full of paparazzi.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

Every October in Albuquerque, the New Mexico skyline becomes a mass of colour as over 750 hot air balloons of different shapes and sizes take to the sky.

There are balloons shaped like cartoon characters, corporate logos and UFOs as well as traditional basket balloons from all over the world as enthusiasts flock (literally) to the Fiesta. We're not sure how great the 3G or 4G signal is going to be at 3,000 ft above Albuquerque but your Samsung GALAXY S4 can help out with another useful function should you decide to go for a balloon ride.

Samsung GALAXY S4 apps travel

The £1.49 Runtastic Altimeter Pro app uses the GALAXY S4's GPS function to figure out how high you are above sea level. It also offers useful functions like a compass and weather report.

Cooper's Hill Cheese-Rolling

It's not just the Spanish who indulge in an annual feat of foolhardy courage. Every May on the Spring Bank Holiday, Cooper's Hill in Gloucestershire is host to the annual Cheese Rolling and Wake – a festival of idiocy and dairy produce in which hundreds of people try to catch a wheel of Double Gloucester cheese as it rolls down a hillside.

Samsung GALAXY S4 apps travel


Scraped knees, twisted ankles and even broken bones are not unheard of at this event so we would recommend attending only if you have had the forethought to load the excellent British Red Cross First Aid (free) app on your GALAXY S4.

This app is easily browsable, even (we imagine!) while in pain, and can offer just the kind of advice you need when suffering from cheese-related injuries.