Deep in the depths of a Whatsapp group convo, inevitably titled, ‘Best Bitches’, a discussion ensues…
Ok I’m free Wednesday
Nope I’m not free, Thursday?
Ah, guys, I can’t do anything until after the 19th!
Yeah, but then I’m on holiday from the 19th-25th – June?
We all know how it goes. As we grow older and our friends go their own ways into careers, relationships, families and travelling – trying to pin down a date you’re all free becomes more and more nightmarish.
Enter, ‘spontaneous socialising’.
Due to the rapid growth in apps that let us organise a dinner, the theatre, a bar tab or any manner of activities in our nation’s capital (and other cities across the UK), being able to organise a last minute get-together is easier than ever!
Planning a meet-up in advance takes co-ordination, effort from all parties and calendars that are harder to sync than an Oasis reunion. But having plans fall through, work meetings finishing early or last minute, free-evenings pop up is the new way to get your group gathered.
Living in a vibrant city, where new events, bars, restaurants and shows launch every week mean there is always something that you can rock up to at the last minute, once you’ve managed to nail everyone down.
So here are the best apps and phone hacks YOU can call upon when you’ve managed to secure a socialising session, spontaneously.
Download from the app store here.
This app should be the first one you open, once you’ve secured a time and date. Its location services means it shows you the nearest activities available to where you’re all based. This means no one needs to worry about trekking round to far-slung locations just for a quick catch up.
What’s more, the ‘Editor Picks’ give you the hottest and newest suggestions if you and your friends are stuck for ideas.
I love Time Out for restaurant or bar recommendations when all you and your friends can suggest is, ‘Nandos?’ but you want to do something a bit more special.
Perhaps you’ve always wanted to try Hakkasan but can never seem to get a reservation or you want somewhere that’s throwing in a free dessert because Steve just broke up with Nancy and you all need to coach her through it, with a Tiramisu as support.
The best thing about this app is how easy it is to book tickets, reserve tables and receive offers directly through it. That means there’s absolutely no faff when you’re trying to not only co-ordinate plans but all of your mates too!
Download the app here.
If you and your buds are theatre buffs but you can never get yourselves organised enough to settle on a date to get tickets for your favourite show – then TodayTix is THE ONE.
As you open the app, you’re met with a whole host of show selections with tickets available for that day or any time that week.
And if you REALLY want a last minute deal? Enter the ‘Front Row Lottery’ which is usually applicable to a couple of shows at a time. All you have to do is click, ‘Enter Ticket Lottery’, wait to see if you’ve won and be ready to receive an email or a phone call 2-4 hours before the show starts.
I got front row tickets to Dreamgirls for £20 by using this app and had a brilliantly impromptu mate-date.
Download from the app store here.
If music, comedy or sport are more you and your mate’s thing, then Twickets is an essential.
It lists last minute tickets from a huge range of events from people who once had bought tickets but can now no longer make the event.
The best thing is, tickets will always be face-value or less – no touts hiking up the prices here! I’ve managed to bag Adele, football, Les Miserable, Ricky Gervais and Progress Wrestling tickets from this app the day before AND the day of the event. This makes it a must-have for mates that want to arrange something fun at the last minute.
Make sure you’re also following their Twitter account here for notifications of which events are available.
No need to download anything separate – it should already be in your mobile banking app!
You’ve gotten to the end of your evening, or you only have 3 hours to spare for a catch up before needing to rush off elsewhere when the subject of ‘settling up’ comes up.
We ALL hate those awkward conversations of, ‘well you had the starter…’ or, ‘I got the Ubers, so…’ and often, you just don’t have the time to hash out all of the bills when you were lucky enough just to spare a few hours together.
This is where Paym comes in.
Supported by all of the major high-street banks and building societies – Paym is the quickest way to pay your mates everything you owe.
Most of us actually have the service in our apps already! But you just may know it as paying a contact because it’s called various things, depending on who you bank with. For example, in my Barclays app – it’s called PingIt. But how many of us are actually utilising this SUPER easy way or sorting monies out between each other?
I know before I discovered Paym, I was forever messaging my mates, after our get togethers, for their sort codes and account numbers and then taking forever to actually getting round to setting them up as a payee before finally paying them what I owed them.
All you have to do, is register (it’s free), through your online banking app (switch it on in your settings), ask your mate to do the same, enter the amount you want to pay and choose the mobile number of the person you need to pay from your contacts and BAM you’re all settled up.
It even shows you the name of the bank account attached to that mobile number so you can be sure you’re paying the right person.
No more awkward conversations + countless minutes of faffing around saved = a happy friendship group excited to get together for the next spontaneous socialising sesh!
If you want to read more about how you can get Paym working for you, visit their website here and register today.
So there we have 4 amazing ways that your phone that will totally transform how you socialise. In such a time-strapped society where sometimes getting everyone together can seem like an insurmountable task, we need to be utilising all of the technologies we have available to us to make sure we never lose touch with those that mean the most to us.
This post was written in collaboration with Paym but all ideas for facilitating impromptu get-togethers are my own.
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