What's Near Me: The Guide

Local attractions and facilities are easy enough to find when you are near to home or in an area that you are used to, but they are not always so easy to locate when travelling in an area you have never been to before. If you are travelling along the motorway in another part of the country, for instance, and need to turn off in order to find a town with a certain facility, which junction should you use? When you do make an exit, which way should you head? This can cause a headache enough when you are in your home country, but when travelling abroad finding what is near to you - and open for business - can be even harder, especially if there is a language barrier to overcome, too.

Fortunately, there are so many apps and programmes which are designed for mobile communication devices that finding what you need is more convenient than it ever used to be. If you asked yourself the question, "What's near me?" in the past, then you might have had to head to a tourist information centre or a local library to answer it - that's if you could find them in the first place, of course.

Nowadays, websites such as as Tripadvisor will offer near me functions not just for resorts and hotels, but for restaurants in virtually every town and city in the world, many of them reviewed by users to give you a good idea of what the service will be like. The NHS provide a near me service which allows you to search for hospitals and open pharmacies, if you need them in the UK, through their website. 'My Pharmacy - Finder' is a handy app which will help you to locate a pharmacist close by in all parts of the world.

There are plenty of apps which will find a much wider range of things in the vicinity than a specific type of business or services. 'Near By Me' will help you to search on a PC, tablet or smartphone for anything from banks to bars or casinos to clothes stores, by using your location coordinates. GetYourGuide is another handy app which allows you to find activities in many countries and to book them securely with just a few clicks - making it an ideal choice for holidaymakers to download.

As well as individual town and city websites, which are always a good port of call when looking for local services, Google maps lists thousands of businesses in a visual way. This helps users to to work out which is nearest and furthest options and also to make a decision on which one to head to based on things like traffic data. If you need to find a mechanic or a filling station, then it is sensible to do a map-based search to locate one.

Although searching for local services is now much improved, thanks to digital technologies, it is fair to say that some more remote parts of the world don't allow you to search as you move around so easily. As such, it is always a good idea to look for things you are likely to want to access from your hotel room before heading out for the day, if you are not in an urban environment.