Useful New Travel Apps for Business Travelers
Travel Apps That Can Save You Time and Money
By Elle Rahilly
Modern day travelers would be lost without the guidance of our trusty sidekick: the smartphone. Providing both instant access to valuable information and a place to organize their hectic schedules, our iPhones and Androids are one of the most popular tools for safe and effective traveling for businessmen and adventurists. But with so many apps to choose from these days, sometimes sifting through the broad range of options can be a time-consuming task for travelers on-the-go.
Crème de la Crème
To make things a bit less complicated, President Ted Florence of Avenza Systems suggested his top travel apps that help him speed through the airport, recommend the most comfortable seats on his international flights, and even track his travel expenses. By doing so, Florence gave insight to what apps the business travelers, CEO’s and other executive heads are finding useful on a daily basis. In an age ruled by technology, this may be the soundest advice the common traveler can receive.
Courtesy of the federal Transportation Security Administration, “My TSA” provides users ‘round the clock access to frequently requested information, like a real-time operating status for U.S. airports from the Federal Aviation Administration. This tool reports updated statuses of security lines and approximate wait times, along with average flight delays at airports nationwide.
Users of the app can also enjoy 24/7 access to information like what items are permitted and prohibited in a carry-on or checked bag, ID requirements, advice on dressing and packing appropriately to speed through security, and even tips for military travelers. If the user cannot find the information he or she is looking for, they can simply click the “About” button on the main page of the app to directly reach the TSA Contact Center. My TSA is available for both Apple and Android mobile devices and tablets.
Avenza PDF Maps
Created by Florence himself, the entrepreneur was inspired to develop an efficient tool for international business travelers with the easiest solutions for mapping and navigation. For CEOs heading from Paris to Minsk to meet with clients, the PDF Maps app is a well-rounded solution for the use of GPS-enabled maps.
This allows users to use, discover and purchase maps to their devices, while running a backend store to facilitate the transaction and delivery of the maps. It’s basically like iTunes for maps, with users able to browse the variety of free or inexpensive apps in the map store, and choose ones that best fit their travel purposes.
This comes in handy particularly for users who are traveling to remote destinations where data roaming can be very expensive or have no cell phone service. The app provides access to tourist, transit, parks, recreation and topographic type maps.
Once a map is selected, it’s immediately delivered to the user’s device and remains for use (even when the user is offline!) Rather than working on a wireless network, the maps function through the mobile device’s current GPS and locational abilities. Avenza PDF Maps is available for Apple mobile devices and tablets.
This app is a must-have for any traveler dealing with a foreign currency exchange in their destination country. Through “Currency” users can obtain the most up-to-date exchange rates and quickly calculate between currencies. What’s most appealing about the app are the reliable information and fair rates provided for users, alleviating the burden of visits to currency exchange booths upon arrival or overpaying for a foreign product or service.
With 128 currencies provided for over 180 countries, users are guaranteed accurate information for local money wherever they are. Editor Max Hartshorne has used this app many times and after being burned at many airport currency converter shops, he is glad that he had it. Currency is available for both Apple and Android mobile devices and tablets.
Created by Model Metrics, one of the nation’s leading software technology and services companies, this app allows users to create expense reports during their international business travels that synchronize with Salesforce CRM from salesforce.com. The expense-reporting device lets users record all their expenses in one convenient place as business trips unfold. Through the app users can even capture photos of their receipts as an electronic copy. As a result travelers on the go can be worry-free about loose-leaf receipts bound to fly away in the midst of packing.
With an electronic database constantly at their fingertips, users can categorize expense items by date and type, which are then notated and exported to Salesforce through the app’s integration feature. As Florence describes his experience with the app, “It helps me keep all my business expenses accurate, up-to-date, and most importantly, organized.” Expense2Go is available for Apple mobile devices and tablets.
Through this app frequent travelers can find low airfares, pick their ideal seat, and get real-time flight alerts at their convenience. “SeatGuru” even recommends certain airlines for travelers, depending on their destination and time constraints.
With the website becoming such a hit for busy travelers seeking comfort and convenience, the company introduced a version accessible on-the-go, that lets users search for the seat map of any flight worldwide, providing a complete seat map that even includes the aircraft type and a quick breakdown of which seats to snag quickly and which to avoid. Think exit rows here.
Users can search by flight number, routing an airline. And with a built in flight status feature, travelers can even check to see if their flight is going to be on time or not.
This app is free, and available for both Apple and Android mobile devices and tablets.
This app provides real-time visual tracking of a flight’s status so users can see it travel through the air. They can view a flight’s exact location on a map, and also obtain step-by-step updates on the flight’s status in a list form. Travelers using “FlightAware” have access to a tracking map of any commercial flight worldwide, and can track general aviation (private or charter) in the United States and Canada.
As Florence describes his experience with the app, “I find this to be indispensable when traveling on business, as many flights rely on the arrival of an incoming flight from somewhere else, and thus I can quickly find out where that incoming flight is at any moment and quickly ascertain if my outbound flight has a chance of being on time.”
Users can search by aircraft route, registration, flight number, airline, airport code or city pair. The status of each flight includes flight details and full-screen maps with NEXRAD radar overlay. “FlightAware” will also disclose notifications for flight departure/arrival information, as well as cancellations, gate changes, delays, and diversions.
FlightAware is free, and available for both Apple and Android mobile devices and tablets.
For business travelers, learning even a little bit of another language can give you a huge strategic edge over your competition. The perfect app for this is Doki, an iPad application that provides language instruction in a cartoon setting. Using animation, the Doki program lets you hear foreign phrases commonly used by travelers. For example, one chapter in French is on booking a flight. www.dokispeak.com
These seven apps for mobile devices and tablets are incredible tools for making travel, whether it be business or leisure, more organized and care-free. With instant accessibility to flight statuses, suggestions for high-quality comfort, and useful information for travel destinations, these apps make smartphones a traveler’s best friend.
For those looking to stay on top of a hectic travel itinerary, book a flight last minute, or simply be prepared these are what you need.