Best phone tips and tricks for your UK staycation

Make sure you follow these essential tips for using your phone to help you have the best UK staycation this spring.

What do they say about buses? You wait ages for one to turn up, and they all arrive at once. The same could be said about bank holidays in the UK. May is when a four-day working week – and, even better, an extended weekend – seems to be around the corner every other week. And there’s still one left. Not that anyone’s complaining…

That means this month is the perfect time to get out and explore this country we call home. And it’s not just when you’re holidaying away from the UK that your phone comes into its own. Although if you are abroad, no EU Roaming charges with O2, up to 25GB, always helps. Here’s how your device can make your spring staycation even better.

person holding and laughing with a child

Put a spring in your snaps

Gloomy phone photos may have exited with the season change, but now you must contend with the sun. Use it to your advantage. Shoot with the sun behind you for an evenly lit picture. If you’re taking a portrait shot, move your subject into some shade so they’re not squinting in the sunlight. Shooting with the sun to one side of you makes for an interesting shot, with part of your subject well-lit and part of them in the shadows. If you want a cool silhouette, shoot from a low angle with the sun behind your subject. No filters needed.

yellow backpack with a book in it

Get travel planning with your phone

Whether you use Google Keep or Apple Notes (depending on the device), these built-in apps have similar functionality that’s perfect for planning your trip. Don’t be halfway down the motorway without your toiletry bag. Use the apps to set up a packing list with clickable checkboxes. You can scan items or attach photos to notes, keeping your bookings in one place. If you’re planning a staycation with friends, use the collaboration functions to share your itinerary or travel plans with them. You can also edit the same note in real time – ideal for removing a group trip to a doorknob museum…

person sitting on a deck chair with a laptop on the beach

Take your connection on the go

While working is the last thing you want to do on a staycation, we’ve all had one of those (unapologetic) calls from the office, meaning your bank holiday beach time is quickly replaced by a rush to find anywhere with Wi-Fi. Or maybe you just want to stream something to keep the family entertained. While hotspotting from your phone might be a quick fix, mobile broadband might be a better solution for you – especially if you need to be online for an extended period. A pocket hotspot is handy here because multiple devices can simultaneously use its Wi-Fi hotspot to connect securely, wherever you are.

person taking a selfie in front of Buckingham Palace

Get online for free with O2 Wifi hotspots

Whether you’re uploading holiday snaps to your socials or there’s a cat video that cannot wait even if you’re running low on data, the last thing you want from your staycation is an unexpected bill. With over 14,000 free O2 Wifi hotspots across the UK, use our data instead of yours. Find your nearest hotspot with our O2 Wifi hotspot finder. Need to push back a dinner reservation but having signal problems? Enable your phone’s Wifi Calling function, which will automatically use Wi-Fi (if you have a supported device) to make and take calls or send and receive texts.

phone in sand

Don’t forget to back up your data

Accidents happen. Losing or breaking your phone can be stressful, especially on holiday. It’s so simple to recover everything you lost on a new device – but only if you’ve backed up your data to the cloud. If you don’t, you’ll only be able to restore from your last backup (which may have been months ago). That could mean precious memories are gone forever. Don’t make a bad situation worse. Go to your settings and find your storage. It will have a "back up now" option. Just ensure you’re connected to Wi-Fi, so any backups don’t eat into your data.

Published: 5 May 2023