It wasn’t long ago when business travel meant schlepping through the airport with a briefcase full of documents and a bulging day planner and hoping that your flight was on time. With today’s smart phones and a wide selection of apps, the hassle of business travel has reduced greatly – almost everything you need to plan your trip and stay productive on the road is at your fingertips. These apps might not be able to do anything about your chatty fellow passenger or a boring meeting, but they can save you time and money.
When you’re traveling for business, completing your expense reports is one of the biggest annoyances upon your return. The Expensify app takes some of the headache and guesswork out of completing your reports—and helps prevent the search for that crumpled dinner receipt that you just tossed in your briefcase. The app, available on iPhone, Droid, Blackberry and Palm platforms, allows you to snap a picture of your receipt, which it then scans and uploads directly into an expense report. You can categorize your expenses, add comments and send the reports via e-mail or import them directly into your accounting software.
Expensify is free for individual users; business pay $5 per person, beyond the first two free accounts.
Whether you need an internet connection or you just don’t know where to start, when you’re traveling, there comes those times that you just need to talk with a person who can help. That’s where the Egencia app comes in. Developed by Expedia, Egencia is like having your own personal travel concierge. Simply tap the Egencia icon on your iPhone, and you’ll connect to a live person who can help you with your travel arrangements, provide location-specific information and directions, and other information that business travelers need to have. The app is currently only available in the iPhone platform, but versions for Droid and BlackBerry are in development.
Carlson Wagonlit Travel is well-known for its management of business travel for companies of all sizes. To help travelers manage their trips, CWT developed the CWT Market, a free app for iPhone and Droid devices that aggregates more than two dozen mobile travel apps and mobile websites into one easy-to-use location. The CWT Market apps are carefully selected as the best and most useful sources for travelers, running the gamut from restaurant and hotel review and booking engines to Wifi hotspot locaters.
Documents to Go
The Documents to Go app, available for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry smart phones, allows you to view and edit Apple iWork, Microsoft Office and other document types right from your phone. Available in both free and premium versions, the app is convenient when you want to work on your presentations without pulling out your laptop, or when you forget to pack a printed version of what you’re working on.
Traveling with several colleagues? Meeting others when you reach your destination? TripIt helps you coordinate your travel plans so you know when others are arriving and helps you arrange transportation, dinner and more between colleagues. Available on the iPhone, Droid and Blackberry platforms, TripIt lets you forward your itinerary directly to the app, and it then organizes and shares it with the other users that you designate. You can even customize your TripIt app to include weather, maps and turn-by-turn directions. The basic version is free; the business version is $29 a year for up to ten users.
These are just a few of the options available to keep business travelers organized and productive when they are on the go. Chances are there’s an app for whatever you need to do, turning your smart phone into a valuable tool – even if it can’t make the guy in seat 14B stop talking about his new golf clubs.
This guest post article was written and provided by Erica Gustafson who is an avid Australia traveler, freelance writer and digital media consultant for Expedia. She helps people book cheap hotel reservations at many locations around the world.