My friend and former colleague Cathy asked,
“What are your favorite apps that make business travel/life better? Wondering what I might be missing.”
This is a great question. Let’s break it down into pieces. For the apps I list below, most should be in both Apple’s App Store and Google Play.
Obvious Business Travel Apps Not Included
I assume you already have the following:
- Workplace chat apps
- Cloud-based storage
- Camera app
- Social networks
- eBook reader
- Mobile payment apps like Google Pay/Apple Pay
Don’t travel without the basics.
Before Business Travel Apps
Planning for travel always makes travel easier. What apps help make the trip easier to plan?
- I’ll use Hopper and Google Flights to understand what the likely airfares are going to be.
- I’ll use Google Maps if I’m driving to plan out the trip.
- Roadtrippers is another great app for any city you plan to visit, if you like to sightsee.
- Tripit and Flightaware are both good for knowing if delays are about to happen to your flights.
- If you’ve got short notice, Hotel Tonight is great for finding last minute deals.
- For planned rides, especially in Austin or where other car sharing services may not have service, look into Wingz. Wingz does require at least 2 hours’ advance notice, so plan ahead.
- SeatGuru is essential for booking your seats if you don’t know what kind of plane you’re going to be on.
- I sync and save all my reading for travel in advance in Pocket. That way, even if there’s no Internet access, I have plenty to read. Sync well in advance with high speed data to make sure you’ve got all your reading.
- I always recommend downloading the native apps for the airlines and hotels you frequent. I’m a patron of JetBlue and Hyatt, but everyone has their favorites. Make sure you have the apps!
During Business Travel Apps
Apps can make travel itself easier, from ensuring smooth rides to great meals.
- Lyft is my car sharing service of choice.
- Turbulence Forecast is essential if you want to know what kind of flight you’re going to have. Know yourself and you’ll know how much to eat or drink during the flight; areas of heavy turbulence mean passengers probably won’t be allowed to get up to use the washroom.
- Grubhub is great if you don’t feel like leaving your hotel room.
- OpenTable and Yelp are both good food search options if you do feel like leaving your hotel room.
- Google Maps and Waze are both good for traffic mapping. Use the “arrive by” feature to plan ahead in Google Maps and never miss a meeting.
- Speedtest is essential for determining how fast your hotel Internet connection is.
- Looking for something to do? Check out Google Trips.
- In a place with multiple languages? Google Translate is indispensable now that it uses deep learning.
- In a place with a different currency? The OandA currency converter is handy.
- Need a conference room or an office for a few hours? Breather should be your go-to in any of its supported cities.
- Doing expense reports? Concur and Expensify are the two current leaders, if your company supports them and isn't trapped in the dark ages.
- Need some secure messaging? Signal and WhatsApp both support end to end encryption. While the CIA might break into your handset, they at least can’t easily intercept plaintext messages in transit. (Security experts recommend Signal more)
- Pokemon Go. Great to encourage walking around in new places.
- Finally, if you’re ever in doubt about your safety before heading out somewhere, set up a Kitestring. It’ll ask you after a pre-determined interval if you’re okay, and if you’re not, it’ll notify your contacts to check in on you.
What’s In Your Digital Pocket?
What did I miss? What do you love most? Reply here or on the social network of your choice where you’re reading this!
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