Travelling abroad for business is a blessing and a curse.
On the bright side, international business travellers get to set foot in novel places that they might not otherwise get the opportunity to visit.
On the not so bright side, international business travellers often don’t have time to see local sights or sample regional cuisines. Not to mention, they deal with unavoidable hassles like jet lag, crowded airport terminals, long entry control lines, and a host of other location-specific ills.
Still, experienced business travellers deploy plenty of tricks to make their time on the road as pleasant as possible. One such trick — a constellation of tricks, really — involves must-have apps for business and leisure travellers alike.
These five travel apps are particularly indispensable for business travellers in unfamiliar lands.
SAP’s Concur app is a vast suite of business tools that you may well use already. The expense tracking capabilities are what business travellers are after here; in larger organizations, the integrated travel system is immensely powerful (and removes a great weight from bookkeepers’ shoulders).
Tired of your message getting lost in translation? The Chatlas app puts a stop to international miscommunication once and for all with on-demand access to professional interpreters — no matter where you happen to be. All you need is an Internet or cell phone connection. Chatlas is fast, meaning there’s no cumbersome, self-directed searching. Plus, the app is professional, confidential and always available.
GateGuru is an all-in-one flight management app that’s also incredibly useful for first-time airport visitors. The app is populated with floor plans and amenity information for hundreds of international airports, giving users a sneak preview of what to expect once they’re on the ground. Anyone who’s had to make a tight connection at a big, unfamiliar airport knows full well that information is power.
4. Google Trips
Google Trips is another handy itinerary management app that’s ideal for small-business owners and solo professionals seeking cost-effective travel solutions without the frills associated with more cumbersome, enterprise-grade products. If nothing else, it’s a sensible digital bundle for flight, car, and hotel reservations.
5. Hotel Tonight
Sometimes, plans change. Hotel Tonight is the best app for travelers seeking last-minute lodging, whatever the reason. Its coverage is just as impressive as international booking players like Expedia and Booking.com, and its off-book visibility is unmatched.
Don’t forget your toothbrush
The packing list for any 21st-century business trip should certainly include some or all of the apps on this list. Fortunately, digital apps pack pretty light. You won’t have to bring an extra carry-on to fit your Chatlas or Waze account, that’s for sure.
On the other hand, travel in the digital age retains some decidedly old-fashioned vestiges. Until someone develops a killer app that can brush your teeth or comb your hair, you’ll need to remember those mundane accessories that don’t (yet) connect to the Internet. So, bring as many apps as you’d like on your next foreign business trip — as long as you don’t forget your toothbrush.