Category Archives: Business Travel

The 10 Best, Must-Have Apps for Business Travelers

Whether you’re a frequent business traveler or you venture out for a business trip only on occasion, these ten apps can make your business travel experience a whole lot easier. Most of these apps will work on both the iPhone and iPad; some are also available for Android and Blackberry phones:

 

1. FlightBoard
This app will transform your phone or tablet into a personal arrivals and departures board, providing real-time information for 4,00 airports and 1,400 airlines around the world.

2. FlightTrack Pro
With FlightTrack you can see that status of more than 5,000 flights and 1,400 airports worldwide in real-time Use this handy app to keep tabs on your flight and be informed about departure and arrival or gate changes before you get to the airport. If your flight or itinerary has been altered then you can even search for alternative flights and connections.

3. GateGuru
GateGuru is a godsend for anyone who has to spend a significant amount of time in airports. This free app helps travelers locate the best food, shopping, and service options by airport terminal in over 150 airports worldwide. It also includes user reviews and other helpful tips.

4. Hotel Tonight
Have a sudden change of itinerary or an unexpected layover? Use this extremely useful app to book a room at a local hotel at deeply discounted rates. Though the service’s range is a bit limited as of yet (Hotel Tonight only operates in 13 major U.S. Cities), chances are it will expand, maybe even globally, in the future.

5. Wi-Fi Finder
This free service and app developed by JiWire, allows users to search a database of over 500,000 free and paid Wi-Fi locations in 142 countries. Results can also be filtered by location type (ie cafe, airport, library, and even the beach).

6. Word Lens

At first glance, Word Lens may seem like a trick, some unseen sleight of hand. But in reality it’s an amazingly useful app- especially if you are traveling to a Spanish speaking country with limited knowledge of the Spanish language. Just hold your camera up to a sign or some other text that is written in Spanish and it will instantly translate it and show you an English version of the same sign or text. According to the app’s developer, Quest Visual, more languages are coming soon. It’s definitely one to watch out for if you are a frequent international traveler.

7. SitOrSquat

What do you do when nature calls and you find yourself in some far-flung country or airport? This free app comes to the rescue with it’s extensive location-based database of public toilets and restrooms. Facilities are even reviewed and rated for cleanliness.

8. Yelp

Yelp is the go-to social networking platform for business and service listings, with an extensive user review and reputation system (it even includes some non-business type locations, such as parks). Now, with their mobile app, you can have it all on your smartphone.

9. Kayak

Kayak allows you to search hundreds of online travel sites, such as Expedia and Travelocity for the best deals on flights, car rentals, and hotels by destination. Kayak has access to 100,00 hotels worldwide and local Kayak sites in 14 countries.

10. Google Maps

Google Maps has become one of the most used and well-known instant mapping and geo-location platforms. Now, it can double as your GPS system complete with turn-by-turn voice guidance. Lately, they’ve also added some really cool features, such as 3D maps and offline capabilities. And best of all, it’s free.

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How to Save Money on Business Travel Expenses

The cost of business travel can really add up, especially when travel is a frequent part of doing business, and it can put a great deal of strain on tight budgets. Here are a few simple ways your small business can save money on business travel expenses without cutting back on trips:

Renting Cars

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  • See if your business can sign up for a frequent-rental program to take advantage of free rental days or rental discounts.

  • Instead of renting cars by the well-known companies, such as Hertz, Alamo, or Budget, seek out the smaller companies that operate away from the airport or travel center. (Many of these companies may even provide a courtesy shuttle to the airport).

  • Stay away from the “extras,” such as rental insurance, EZ Pass transmitters, GPS systems, and an advance fill-up of gas.

  • Pay attention to the fine print for restrictions, such as mileage caps.

 Food

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  • If you will be staying in a particular area for more than two nights then you should look into hotels that offer extended stay rooms. These rooms come equipped with a full kitchenette. You could head for the local grocery store and put together your own meal at a fraction of the cost.

  • Take advantage of the free breakfast offered at many hotels

  • Stay away from using the hotel’s room service to avoid paying unnecessary room service fees as well as exorbitant food and beverage prices.

  • Where possible, bring along your own snacks to help stem a munchies attack.

Air Travel

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  • Save money on airline tickets by booking trips a month in advance. Where possible, schedule flights for the middle of the week (Tuesday- Thursday), and try to fly into alternative airports. For domestic flights, look into discount airlines, such as Southwest and JetBlue.

  • The Internet is a powerful tool in helping small businesses locate low-cost airfare. To make your searches more efficient, go to Kayak.com. This site sifts through airfares as well as hotel rates, and other travel products from over 140 different sources. Choose the offer you want and Kayak.com will direct you to a site where you can buy the ticket.

  • If you will be bringing a lot of luggage with you, then be sure to check the luggage fees beforehand and shop around. Where possible try to avoid checking in luggage.

  • If you will be driving your car to the airport, then be sure to park it in a long-term, off-site parking lot to avoid an outrageous expense when you come home.

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