12 Most Sanity-Saving Apps for the Frequent Business Traveler
For those like me who often find themselves in an airport weekly, you know the chaos that is business travel. My own experiences (read: frustrations) with frequent travel has been well-documented including a post here on 12Most, for which I’m now seeking professional therapy.
The one thing that keeps me “just” on this side of sanity during the weather delays, missed connections, over-sold flights and last minute bookings is my smartphone and the trusted business-travel apps I’ve begun to rely upon. Below is a listing of the 12 Most Sanity-Saving Apps that keep me organized, moving, sedated and yes, even a little relaxed while travelling on business.
TripIt compiles ALL your travel & business meeting information into one handy tool. No more shuffling through email confirmation print outs; simply open the app and see all your travel airlines, hotel, restaurant, and rental car confirmations in chronological order. Send it your email confirmations and it culls them into the app for you! This one has been a life-saver for me.
The GateGuru app lets me search directories for 124 airports including more than 25 international hubs, allowing me to find the nearest ATM, restaurants user reviews, the (much needed) 10-minute massage center, the wine-bar or the best cup of coffee when at new or large airports.
Creativity strikes me at the oddest times: waiting for my rental car, having a beer in the Delta lounge or browsing blogs while eating dinner alone at an airport. Evernote allows me to take notes, clip & save Web content, append photos, drag files and record test or voice messages into one organized “mobile filing cabinet”, which I can then access remotely from any computer, tablet or smartphone. My location may change minute by minute, but I have access to my files wherever I am, whenever I want them.
4. Zagat to Go
Choosing the right restaurant to entertain a client in or close the deal can be an art form, which becomes more difficult when you’re in a new city. Zagat to Go, with its GPS integration allows me to find local restaurants, search reviews from 45 guides around the world in one cool app. The best part, in offline mode I can continue browsing when I don’t have Wi-Fi access.
5. The Weather Channel App
With so many “weather zones” in North America, knowing what to expect from the local weather when you land or before you leave the hotel can be difficult. The Weather Channel App gives me full screen radar weather maps, seasonal information and weather news that helps me plan driving routes, times and even what to pack.
6. Packing Pro
With focus on my client’s needs, the project at hand and the travel arrangements, who has time to remember to pack all the little things necessary to make the trip personally comfortable? Packing Pro creates my packing lists based on location and duration of stay and even takes temperature, destination, food preparation and even laundry preferences into account. For business travel, I use the custom packing feature to pre-create my own lists for different types of trips. Amazing tool.
7. Trip Journal
With built in GPS route-tracking, Trip Journal tracks my travel and lets me record geo-tagged audio/video messages and pictures along a journey map, which I can share with my kids back home. It makes them feel like they’re part of the trip with me. It’s a small thing but has proven to be an important one in maintaining family relationships.
Having Where on your mobile phone is like travelling with a local. It provides a local’s point of view information on restaurants, traffic, movie theaters, entertainment and even gas prices! The geo-location coupons have saved me a few bucks on many trips!
9. Flight Track Pro
Flight Track Pro tracks the my flight in real time on a virtual map simply by entering my confirmation number. It also includes departure and arrival updates to gate changes. If there are changes to my flight, I can search for alternative flights or connections while on the ground or access route-maps offline when I’m in the air.
10. Flight Board
When initialised, Flight Board turns my phone into an arrivals and departures board. The design was based on the flight board at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, and provides real-time information for 4,000 airports and 1,400 airlines around the world. I check my connecting gate info before I get off the plane! On tight connections, every minute counts.
11. Wi-Fi Finder
What do we do without Wi-Fi? Wi-Fi Finder helps me locate one of the 145,000 free public Wi-Fi locations worldwide that are “near me”. What’s really cool is that I can filter results by coffee shop, restaurant or hotel depending on what I’m in the mood for. I’ve chosen to download the database of both free and paid Wi-Fi hotspots, to cover my bases.
I’ve often said business travel isn’t as glamorous as they make it in the movies. Nowhere is this more evident than when you’re in a new location and “have to go”, and if you’re as picky as I am about where “you go”, travelling can become a true challenge. Enter SitOrSquat, an ingenious app that works with Google Maps and functions worldwide to help you find the best place “to go”. Decide to sit or squat by reading reviews or selecting personalization options! Just send the message “sitorsquat” to 368266 and follow the instructions. So cool.
I’d appreciate assistance in keeping this list updated with the latest, most effective business travel apps. Which do you use? Which are the upcoming apps we should be paying attention to? Share with the class.
Featured image courtesy of net_efekt licensed via Creative Commons.