Escaping Shoreditch can be a daunting prospect – whether you’re hopping across the Channel for a long weekend or jet setting to the other side of the globe, there’s a great deal to consider and a great deal to prepare. Fortunately for the lot of us, smartphones make things a whole lot easier.

From translation to tourism to bookings, here are five apps that’ll make your next holiday (and or business trip) a total breeze.

1. Duolingo

Off abroad to a distant land? Brush up on your language skills before, during and after with the handy Duolingo app. This handy – and free – companion works you through a series of vocabulary, spelling and grammar tests in the languages of your choice. And there’s a lot to choose from! Whether you’re refreshing the ol’ GCSE French or tackling Japanese for the very first time, Duolingo courses are a fun and convenient way to learn not only the basics but master the nuances of a given subject.

2. Uber

Get from A to B simply, quickly and without a fuss. When you’re in a foreign city, even one within your own country, getting lost is a real and definite prospect. And, when you’re lost, you’re not seeing the big sights; you’re not where you want to be; you’re not snapping pics in front of the White House. So, make things easy on yourself: download the Uber app and get around the urban mess with ease. Uber lets you book a car to a given destination straight off your internet connection, no abroad call charges required.

3. Mr Green

The worst part of any travel is the waiting. The waiting in queues, the waiting for restaurant service, the waiting for a car, train or airplane journey to finally – oh, thank goodness – finally be over. And yet, all your waiting need not be in vain. Smartphones can carry all kinds of entertainment goodness on them these days, from movies to puzzles to action adventure shooters. Take the Mr. Green mobile casino app, for example. Mr. Green has a variety of games and themes to choose from (think Game of Thrones through to Cleopatra kind of themes), and it only takes an internet connection to get involved. Play your favourite casino online games right from your pocket; blackjack on the night bus, slots at the hotel, poker on the airplane.

4. Google Translate

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Been slacking on your Duolingo lessons? No problem, the Google Translate app can help you. With an inbuilt camera function to translate tricky menus and signposts, plus an inbuilt microphone function to translate a conversation, language barriers have never been so easy to circumvent. First, you download the Google Translate app, then you can download the language packs required.

5. HotelTonight

The best-made plans can easily go array. When abroad, it’s always best to have a back up on hand, especially when it comes to accommodation. The HotelTonight app is exactly what it says on the tin: a roof over your head, a pillow beneath. Find your accommodation for the next 24 hours or the next month with its handy search and booking functions.

With so much convenience packed in your pocket, there’s never been a better time to get out and explore the world.