Apps Make Life Easier for the Professional Traveler

For the business traveler that is always on the go, the world of apps has opened of an entire new world of convenience and comfort.  Whether you are crossing time zones and international borders for week long conferences or just traveling across state lines for a quick meeting, apps serve all kinds of benefits.

Below are a few apps I recommend for anyone who travels extensively for work or seasonally with a family.  Most of these apps are free but you will note that a few have additional charges for added options.  You can decide whether those options are worth the extra money.

TripDeck- Manage your hotel reservations, car rentals, flights, cruises, restaurants, meetings and more with easy-to-read Trip Decks for each itinerary. You can also view your entire itinerary on a gorgeous map. And now you can add some amazing flight tracking features to make your itinerary managing even better. Trip Deck’s elegant interface makes managing your entire trip a breeze. Adding the information is even easier – it syncs automatically with TripIt.

Tipping Tips- A tipping guide, giving you recommendations for if and how much it is socially acceptable to tip…in 100 countries! Now find out what is appropriate no matter where you travel around the world.

iTranslate- A top quality, free, translation dictionary designed for the iPhone. With an easy to use interface.  For an additional fee you can download male and female voices that will pronounce the translations for you.

GateGuru- Specifically tailored for people waiting at airports. It tells you all the places to eat and shop near you and if they are worth losing your gate-adjacent seats.

ExpenseBay- Track business travel expenses and receipts on your phone. Take a picture of your receipt on the fly, enter in the data on your iPhone, integrate credit card transactions, and it’s automatically wrapped up into an online expense report that is sent to accounting or QuickBooks. Three versions are available from $10 to free.

HopStop- Detailed, easy-to-follow public transit directions to get you anywhere you need to go in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Washington D.C., London, Paris and more.

goPostal- This app lets you create and send your own personalized postcards through the UP Postal Service using pictures you took on your iPhone.

World Customs and Cultures-  When you’re traveling in foreign lands, it’s important to know the customs and cultures in that area to avoid offending anyone. This app lets you look up quick tips and cultural differences by country.

Google Earth- The ultimate travel map – a satellite image of every square inch of the entire world. It’s also one of the world’s largest crowd-sourcing platforms with people uploading new street views constantly.

Pandora On The Go- Eventually, you’ll hit that dead spot in the trip where you’re driving or waiting, there’s nothing good on the radio (or you’re in a radio dead zone), and everything on your playlist has cycled through twice. Available on Android, Blackberry, Windows Mobile, Palm and iPhone, Pandora can take your music preferences and build a virtual radio station around them. Just jack your phone into your car stereo’s auxiliary audio port, and get hours of free music–with limited commercial interruption.

Flightcaster- Predicts flight delays up to 6 hours before the airlines do. Flightcaster has built proprietary analytics engine that crunches factors such as airline, weather forecast, airport timeliness, current status of airplane now, etc.

FourSquare it’s not just competitive game where people try to “check in” at local places more often than their friends. Underneath this surface is a vibrant social networking site with great tips, reviews and helpful ways to meet up with people on the road like yourself.

Urbanspoon- While many apps provide user-written reviews of restaurants, Urbanspoon combines reviews from newspapers and site members for most cities in North America. The app uses GPS to find restaurants near you, and filter them by neighborhood, cuisine, or price. My favorite part of the app is its “slot machine” function–just enter some preferences on the price range and category of dining you’d like, and give it a virtual spin for a recommendation. It ends indecision and is even better than the casino—you’ll end up spending money, but odds are you’ll enjoy it. Urbanspoon is available on iPhone and Android.

Cheap Gas!- Cheap Fuel and Gas Finder- When you have set out for journey finding cheap fuel is crucial. For this the Cheap Gas! Powered by gasbuddy.com lets you the address of the cheapest fuel closest to your current location by default. In case you are looking for the nearest gas station you can configure the app for that. It’ll also show you the price of each grade of gas. Further you can also adjust the Distance criteria and filtering. With its source as gasbuddy there is little doubt to its credibility.

Hotels.com- The app is actually a portal to the Hotels.com. It starts working better when you are near your destination. The app offers an upbeat design. The Hotels gets listed according to the location.  The entries highlight customer rating, distance from location, base pricing, pictures, description, amenities, and more. This app comes handy, especially while you are on the road and looking for hotels. It’ll help you choose a hotel providing you with the stats of the nearby places.

Flight Update- If you are one of those globe-trotters who has to fly too frequently this app is your key. Not just time info with this app you get the gate info and all other info you need for flying. Having said this you should know that it gives you the actual timings, but you must look for the details for actual delays. Its itinerary functions are very helpful for multi-leg trips. This is a great pick when you are looking for similar flights in a jiffy. I guess the airline employees would love to have the Flight Updates in their iPhones.

eCurrency Currency Converter- eCurrency is an intuitive, easy-to-use currency converter providing up-to-date exchange rate information on over 190 currencies.

I hope you will find many of these apps as useful and enterraining as I do.  If you have an app that you feel is relevant to a professional traveler, please feel free to share it with the rest of us by commenting to this blog.

Safe Travels,

Todd Bludworth, AMI, Inc

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