17 Travel Apps Perfect For Business Trips
1.3 million people take to the road, rails or sky for a business trip every day in the United States, according to the Global Business Travel Administration. It’s more important than ever for business travelers and travel coordinators to be strategic about the types of trips booked and how resources are chosen and used.
Leveraging travel apps and software is one of the best ways to get a handle on every aspect of a trip, from takeoff to touchdown and everything between.
Simplify your business travel plans with a few of these 17 apps.
All are available for both iPhone and Android.
TripIt is the travel organization tool.
Using your confirmation emails from various travel providers, the app will create an itinerary you can access online or off. You can also get directions, sync to Google Calendar and share your trip with others.
TripIt Pro takes it up a notch by allowing you to coordinate with your coworkers and view everyone’s schedule on a shared travel calendar. It also tracks business expenses so you can keep tabs on how much your employees are spending.
Tracking expenses can be a major hassle on any business trip, but Expensify makes it easy to keep your expenditure organized and make sure you get your full per diem reimbursement.
All you need to do is take a picture of the receipt and upload it. The app then creates an expense claim either individually or as part of an overall expense report. Create claims for everything and anything while providing a full audit trail just by taking pictures.
Xe is a must-have for international travelers.
The app provides live currency exchange rates mid-market and an easy-to-use currency converter. It also keeps the last ten years of historical rate data for comparison purposes.
With Rate Alerts, you don’t need to keep checking the rate while trying to work either. When the market reaches your desired valuation, you’ll get a notification.
And then what? Xe does money transfers too! So, when it’s time to make your market move — or if you just need to send some money back home — you’ll be able to take care of that immediately without switching apps.
Flightview Flight Tracker should be your go-to for managing flights.
Enter a flight number and it will tell you the gate and terminal, with options to receive alerts on weather and possible delays. This information will be critical when you touch down for a layover to know if you have time to rest in the lounge or if you’ll be running to your next gate.
And with the large numbers of flights getting delayed and cancelled these days, it’s more important than ever to stay on top of that information so you can plan your day accordingly.
More the visual type? With Flightview’s flight map, you can see where your plane is in real time.
If you get into a pickle with a missed connection, you can even use Flightview to check which alternative cheap flights might be available to you.
The Weather Channel
You’re trying to figure out which clothes to pack for your business trip — better check the weather, right?
While your phone’s default weather app might be a go-to, you can find more detailed information on The Weather Channel.
This app features:
- Hourly forecasts
- Daily forecasts
- Weather bulletins
- Storm update videos from the channel (remember cable TV?)
If you really appreciate having the best meteorological data available, upgrading to The Weather Channel Pro version will give you ad-free eight-day hourly forecasts and three-day future radar for $4.99 per month or $29.99 per year.
For any messaging, calling or video chatting needs, this app keeps you connected as long as you have an internet connection. Whether you’re coordinating with colleagues or just letting your loved ones know that you arrived safely, it’s important to be able to get in touch.
WhatsApp has become one of the world’s most popular communication apps thanks to its ease of use and reliability. In some countries outside of the US, messaging on WhatsApp is even more common than texting.
If you’re traveling abroad and won’t have a data plan (or if you don’t have reliable cell service at your hotel), WhatsApp is essential for allowing you to make calls, have video chats and send messages via WiFi.
WhatsApp Business is another version of WhatsApp you’ll have to install separately.
This app is useful for anyone with a company phone number. With WhatsApp Businesses, you can send and receive messages and calls from another number without having to carry a second phone.
WhatsApp Business will let you keep all your business correspondence under a separate app. It lets you stay in touch with work contacts without sharing your personal phone number.
A must-have for overseas travelers, Google Translate supports over 80 languages and will work on anything from individual words to entire documents.
Type or paste what you want to say, and you’ll see the translation. Or, type in what you see or hear and receive the English translation.
Involved in a real-world conversation where typing is too slow? Use voice command or have your phone speak for you.
Out to a company lunch and the restaurant doesn’t have any English menus? Open the camera and point it at the menu. After a few seconds, you’ll see the entire menu in English on your screen!
Locating a scanner can be hard enough in your hometown. When you’re traveling in an unfamiliar place, this is even more of a daunting task.
Yet, you may well find yourself in a situation where you need to manage contracts or digitize documents on the fly.
HelloSign is the easiest way to scan, edit, sign and send documents, such as a hotel RFP, from your phone:
- Take a picture of the document
- Import it to an editable PDF
- Sign documents
- Transfer them to your email
It’s like an entire business center right in the palm of your hand. You can even send documents back to the home office for signatures — all from your phone.
Google Maps is one of the most useful apps out there, period.
If you have a smartphone, access to a network and Google Maps, you might never get lost again. Even if you know ahead of time that you won’t have internet access, you can download offline maps over WiFi before you leave the hotel.
By helping you plan routes and find the best modes of transport to get around, Google Maps is a very useful tool for business travel. You can see when there are traffic delays too, ensuring that you won’t be late for an important meeting.
Even after work hours, you can use Google Maps to discover places to visit, eat, drink or catch a show, too. It’s nice to be able to spend your downtime enjoying a new place instead of just wondering where to go!
Whether you’re renting a car, taking public transportation or even walking, Google Maps can help you get where you need to go.
When you’re in an unfamiliar place — especially if it’s a big city like New York — finding a parking spot can be seriously stressful.
In the past, you’d have to just circle around and look for an opening (then, cross your fingers and hope that you didn’t miss a No Parking or street sweeping sign). Often, you’d end up with a parking ticket despite your best efforts.
You can usually find a paid lot to park in, but the rates can vary drastically.
With SpotHero, those nightmare days are over. Now you can book your parking space in a convenient location before you even leave for your trip.
This app includes the following features:
- Compare rates of various parking lots and facilities nearby.
- Book and pay for your parking pass in advance.
- Find parking that’s available in real time for spur-of-the-moment needs.
You can even use SpotHero to lock in your parking space at your departure airport before you leave, saving you valuable time before your flight.
Uber or Lyft
Now that Uber and Lyft have garnered a more international presence, you can easily use either in many countries worldwide.
Getting around by car is faster, simpler and cheaper than before, and it’s all controlled with an app. Whether you’re looking for airport transfers, a ride to work or a general way to get around, there is no doubt car transportation apps have changed everything.
The apps are easy to use. Register, set up your credit card payment, including travel credit cards, enable GPS on your phone and the rest is simple. You’ll only pay when you get a ride.
Different GPS navigation apps excel at different things. While Google Maps is the best at finding quality destinations, researching everything about them (like hours, menu or pricing) and getting you there accurately, Waze is the best at giving you the most comfortable drive possible.
Waze lets users interact with each other to get up-to-date alerts on:
- Speed traps
- Gas station pricing
You can also control your favorite music or podcasts directly through Waze without having to switch apps while driving, which is especially useful if you have a long road trip ahead of you.
Whether you are looking for the best burger in town for a quick bite or a fine dining establishment where you can impress your client, Yelp has you covered.
Founded in 2004, Yelp was a powerhouse website before smartphones even became a thing, so you know its wealth of data and reviews has what you need to make the best choice.
Search by city or ZIP code for reviews from real people — including many fellow business travelers with relevant travel tips to share.
Once you’ve found that perfect restaurant, you’ll likely need a reservation, especially if it’s peak lunch hour or a busy Friday night.
If you’re taking clients out for a meal, you definitely don’t want to waste their time by showing up at a restaurant without a table ready for you.
OpenTable is a free, easy way to make reservations at thousands of restaurants. In fact, when you go to make a reservation on a restaurant’s website, you’ll often be redirected to OpenTable to confirm your selection.
Best of all, you can earn points for dining out that you can later use to save money off your next meal, especially on a meal allowance.
One of the toughest things about business travel is staying alert, present and focused in your meetings despite dealing with the rigors of travel and adjusting to a different time zone.
Sleep Cycle helps by ensuring that you get a good night’s sleep, no matter where you are.
The app analyzes your sleep patterns based on your movements and waits until you’re in your lightest sleep stage to wake you up. That way, opening your eyes is gradual and peaceful rather than a shock to the system.
When jet lag has you off schedule, Sleep Cycle can be crucial to ensure you’re well-rested and rejuvenated for that morning meeting — and that you don’t sleep through it.
Or, for $49.99 per year, you can experience Premium. Advanced features include a customizable wake-up window, trends and data export for compatibility with other apps. On iOS for iPhone, for example, Sleep Cycle can be used in conjunction with the Health app to track your sleep hours.
When rental car prices are out of control, an app like IzziRent can be very useful.
This app compares prices at more than 850 car rental suppliers around the world. It’ll help you feel confident that you got the best price available.
The app also features discounts not available to the general public. When you’ve found the best deal for your needs, booking and payment are a snap.
Corporate hotel booking tools and end-to-end expense reporting are extremely valuable when you’re traveling for business — and Hotel Engine’s app keeps them at your fingertips.
Say goodbye to having your business lodging data scattered across several different email accounts or spreadsheets, creating a paperwork nightmare before check-in even happens.
With Hotel Engine, you can book rooms from more than 700,000 of the best hotels at the best rates and consolidate lodging data into easy-to-use reports.
Travel managers will love features like:
- Sort, filter and personalize hotel rooms based on several criteria, including price and savings.
- Personalize your dashboard to track hotel stays, savings and billing.
- If you qualify for the Direct Bill program, get one streamlined bill for all incurred hotel charges at the end of the month.
- Set up Travel Policies to set spending limits on individual travelers’ accounts and allow them to book their own rooms while staying on budget.
- Retain oversight over your organization’s travel activity group booking support.
You can even book rooms directly from the mobile app in case of a last-minute change of plans, and reach a 24/7 dedicated Member Support team to assist with any snafus.
Plenty of mobile apps are available right at your fingertips, so why not use your phone as your travel guide? Take advantage of any of these 17 best travel apps to be sure you’re making the most of your next business trip or getaway.
Audrey Fairbrother is the Content and SEO Manager at Hotel Engine. She spends her days writing about all things business travel, researching topics that are important to Hotel Engine’s audience and cultivating the company’s brand voice. When she’s not working, Audrey enjoys spending time with her family, and hiking in the nearby Rockies with her dog, Albie.