For vacationers, travel has never been easier. You can book a flight to Bangkok in five minutes. You can rent a car and navigate anywhere using only your phone. You can even browse reviews of local restaurants using a Yelp app.
But what about business travelers? When you're visiting an unfamiliar city with a specific purpose in mind, the game changes entirely. You need to get things done, stat. But because everything is unfamiliar, you'll find roadblocks everywhere. So what do you do when you have to fly to Berlin, check into a hotel, move around the city on your own, and eyeball a whole bunch of papers you can't even read?
For business travelers on tight schedules, these apps can mean the difference between life and death on the road. Make your journey as painless and profitable as possible with a few portable programs.
Airfares fluctuate, so there's nothing new about receiving automatic updates. But what if there was a service that helped you predict the future of airfares? This alchemy is now available, thanks to Hopper.
While the service's predictions aren't guaranteed, you can expect some pretty accurate projections, and then you can receive those updates to see whether they come true. This is especially convenient for budget-conscious businesspeople working internationally.
Business trips can be hectic. Shuttle pick-up at 8 a.m. First meeting at 8:30. Conference call with VP at 9:45, which can only be made at a satellite office a few miles down the road.
TripIt helps you coordinate all those locations, times and transportation details into one comprehensive app. You can even share itineraries and travel documents from one device to another. Want to sync all your data with your regular calendar? TripIt can do that automatically.
When it comes to GPS, Waze is a completely unique experience. This crowd-sourced app not only helps you get from Point A to Point B, but you can anticipate accidents and speed traps with the help of a few thousand locals.
In some countries, Waze is far more effective than other navigational apps, because it relies on residents and travelers to develop its data. This can be essential for businesspeople who may find themselves confused by a foreign street system. With Waze, even addresses and major landmarks can be easier to find, especially in infamously difficult places like Africa and Central America.
No need for a cumbersome scanner. No reason to wait around the hotel's business alcove, waiting for another traveler to finish using the courtesy computer. If you need to scan documents right now, plus have them converted into a neat little pdf, Genius Scan is the way to go. Just use your smart phone's camera and take a snapshot of the document in question.
Unlike some software, Genius Scan allows you to add pages to your document until you're satisfied with the result, automatically merging as many shots as you like. You can easily send these pdfs by email, text or any number of other digital delivery systems. The quality can be a little fuzzy, depending on the light in the room, but if you need your attorney to glance over a contract in a hurry, this is the way to go.
There are tons of great translation apps on the market, but Google Translate has one particularly magical feature: It can translate signs, using your smart phone’s camera. When you aim your lens at a foreign sign, Google Translate will mimic the same text and color in English, making your phone the ultimate decoder ring. Many travelers are familiar with the app's predecessor, Word Lens, which pioneered the technology.
When Google acquired the company that developed Word Lens, it also incorporated that sign-reading juju in its mobile app. Meanwhile, Google Translate can interpret 52 languages without an internet connection!
Before you leave home
But wait! While you're spending 10 days in Hong Kong, who's watching the house? Before you leave home, protect your most valuable possession with a security system from our sponsor, SimpliSafe.
SimpliSafe has been redefining home security with its comprehensive surveillance and requires no annual contract. You can step into your luxury hotel room, kick off your shoes and check in on the homefront. You can even monitor the premises remotely using a 24/7 security camera.
The system's core components include a Base Station, a Wireless Keypad, and a Master Keychain Remote. Just add protective sensors like entry sensors, motion sensors, and glass break sensors, as needed. Plus, you could add non-security sensors like fire, freeze and carbon monoxide to keep you safe as well as secure.
Speaking of business travel, here's how to save your data with these easy setting changes
If you're like most people, you can't imagine your everyday life without your smartphone. Don't feel guilty about that, but do be careful. If you use your phone overseas, Wi-Fi isn't always free and can drive up your data. Before you hit the road, you need to follow these four steps to make sure you don't come home to a shocking cellphone bill.