If your smartphone is your favorite travel companion, make it even more invaluable and efficient by loading it up with the top 5 apps for business travelers.
You may have some trusted travel buddies in your life, but few can hold a candle to the best travel companion of them all: a smartphone! For a business traveler, its reminders of the day’s meetings are more reliable than those of an executive assistant, yet its regular alerts demand responses as effectively as any boss.
It seems impossible, but your smartphone can be an even more effective tool for business travel when loaded up with the right apps. You’re just five minutes and five downloads away from having a phone optimized for business travel. Look for these essentials via your favorite app store.
For those of us not fortunate enough to have an assistant or a travel agent managing our travel itinerary, there’s TripIt, a tool that will auto-build and save your reservations and confirmations for you. As flights are booked, cars are rented and hotels are confirmed, simply forward your travel confirmation e-mails to TripIt (or set it up to sync automatically), and the app will create a folder for all of the information related to your upcoming journey. TripIt also includes maps, directions between the airport and your hotel, as well as the local weather at your destination, helping you stay prepared for whatever your business trip may bring.
Uber (App Free, Rides are Not)
Use the Uber app to order up affordable private rides to airports, meetings, and business dinners; you can select from black car, SUV or standard car service options. Not only are the digital receipts you’ll get easier to track than those easily-lost taxi slips cluttering your wallet, but users only need to program their personal or company credit card in once, and the cash-free system automatically deducts fare and tip after each ride. Updates to the app even allow users to split fares. Uber cool!
There’s nothing quite like searching through every pocket of a carry-on bag in search of lost receipt to make business travel seem like a huge hassle. Fortunately, Expensify makes completing your company’s business expense reports much easier. The app allows users to photograph receipts, plus capture mileage, time, and other reimbursable expenses. Expensify even imports credit card transactions and generates eReceipts for lost receipts of smaller purchases (those under $75), as well as generating expense reports on the go.
Never want to relive that moment when you asked your boss to approve an egregiously high international phone bill? Then smarten up your smart phone use with Viber. Ideal for those with a high or unlimited data plan, the app enables free texting, calling, photo messaging, and location sharing with other Viber users. Get your family, friends, and colleagues on board, and communicate on the go with this communication-friendly app.
City Maps 2Go/City Maps 2Go Pro (Free/$3)
Boasting thousands of maps from cities worldwide, City Maps 2Go is the go-to app for a business traveler’s offline navigation. While a free version allows users access to customizable offline maps and city guides for up to five locations, City Maps 2Go Pro upgrades this experience to allow for an unlimited number of cities. In other words: stop filling your briefcase with paper maps and stop wasting data charges on online ones by switching to City Maps 2Go.
Got your bag packed and ready to go? Charge your smartphone and give these apps a try on your next trip.
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Caila Ball is a freelance writer and full time travel enthusiast. You can see more of her work at CailaBall.com.