12 Traveling Startups and New Travel Tech That Make Business Travel Smoother
It seems every few weeks, we hear of another new travel startup or mobile app promising to make the travel experience better and online booking easier. But there are so many online travel apps out there now that figuring out which ones reign supreme becomes more and more difficult as the days pass.
There’s no doubt that travel tech startups have had a permanent impact on the travel industry as a whole. But not all travel companies are travel tech companies, no matter how much they try to convince us that they’re the best at travel booking or travel planning.
We’re about to help you sort through the massive array of travel tech startups and zero in on the ones that are actually making a difference.
Here are the top 12 travel startups and new travel tech to make your life easier and make your next business trip better.
Hotel Engine isn’t your typical online hotel booking platform. It’s nothing like Airbnb or VRBO, which are great for booking vacation rentals. Hotel Engine is unique in that it caters to both small businesses and large corporations to make booking business travel arrangements and corporate lodging management as easy and efficient as can be.
Hotel Engine meets the corporate demands for travel booking by streamlining and integrating the booking, billing, and support needs of companies in all industries and sectors.
Hotel Engine improves the customer experience by offering real-time 24/7 support for business travelers. For those responsible for booking business travel, it saves companies a lot of money.
Join Hotel Engine’s booking platform for free now!
Tired of booking Toyota, Mazda, and other typical car rentals through sites like Expedia?
With Turo, you can drive to your next business meeting in style in a Tesla, a Porsche, or even a Lambo. When you really want to make an impression, this is the way to go!
Turo is an online car sharing marketplace that allows individual car owners to rent their personal vehicles for as little as a few hours. What makes it ultra-convenient is that you don’t have to pick up your rental car at any one specific location. Unlike traditional car rental services, Turo drivers will deliver their car right to you.
With a Turo rental, you also get 24/7 customer support and 24/7 roadside assistance (just in case).
CrowdVision relies on automation to analyze and provide insight into how and when pedestrians are moving through malls, theme parks, and transportation hubs. With this software, airports, train stations, convention centers, and other often-crowded spaces can monitor the flow of pedestrian traffic to improve traffic flow and improve the customer experience overall.
CrowdVision is designed primarily for airports and companies that operate infrastructure, not individuals. But the more transportation hubs make use of this tech, the better the experience becomes for the everyday traveler.
Cargo.one works with freight forwarders, cargo companies, and airlines to make it easier for B2B companies to get their goods to their destination.
With a few simple clicks, you can get multiple quotes at one time and book your cargo on a flight. It saves time and helps businesses save money when it’s their products, rather than their people, that need to travel.
The more often you travel for work, the more likely it is that you try to sneak in a bit of pleasure whenever possible. And when you visit a new city, it’s easy to rely on a local tour operator or hotel concierge to tell you what sites you should see.
But if you’re looking for a more curated, personalized experience, GetYourGuide is the way to see the world.
GetYourGuide is the equivalent of a global tour company, offering all sorts of memorable experiences across the globe. Just type in where you’re going, and GetYourGuide will provide you with a list of unique places to see and things to do.
Some of their recommendations are what you’ll find on a city’s tourism website or TripAdvisor, but not all of them. Some recommendations are a bit unexpected, which is what makes it stand out from other city guide sites.
You may also like: Top Day Trips from Business Travel Destinations
Between health-related travel restrictions and the need for visas, booking international travel can be tricky. Sherpa is on a mission to make it easier.
Sherpa partners with airlines, cruise lines, and online travel agencies to inform travelers of travel identification requirements in various countries. Sherpa allows you to access and pay for eVisas and submit visa applications to multiple governments in a matter of seconds. It also allows travelers to access and complete any health declarations required by the country they’re traveling to.
Once you have your valid eVisa and health documents, you can check in for international flights online to enjoy a contactless airport check-in experience.
Whether you’re traveling in an unknown city or trekking through your hometown, Welcome is a city guide app that lets you choose:
- Where to eat
- Where to drink
- What sites to see
It includes loads of videos that will give you an inside glimpse at a place before you even get there, so you’ll know what to expect before you arrive.
The Welcome app uses artificial intelligence to make relevant suggestions as to where to go and what to do based on the weather, time of day, and where you’re currently located. So when you’re traveling for business and only have a short window to enjoy some fun, this app makes it easy to find the best things to do in the amount of time you have available.
When you find a place you love, you can save it as a favorite and share it with your network. You can also find places to go based on recommendations from your friends and local experts.
When you’re traveling for business, itineraries can get complicated. Between reservation numbers for flights and confirmation numbers for hotels, keeping all your travel details easily accessible is the key to any smooth trip.
With TripIt, you can store all your reservations and confirmation numbers in one convenient app.
No matter where you book your travel arrangements, you can send your flight and hotel details straight to the TripIt app, and they’ll organize it all into one easy-to-read calendar. TripIt even sends reminders to your smartphone when it’s time to leave for the airport or drop off your rental car.
The app also includes airport and terminal maps and updated travel guidelines on the COVID-19 pandemic to make travel more efficient. When it’s time for fun, use it to find restaurants and other points of interest near your hotel. And if you’re traveling with coworkers and business partners, you can use the app to share your travel plans with others.
One of the best things about business travel is getting to explore the local culture and cuisine in cities you’ve never visited before or may never visit again. No matter how busy you may be on your next business trip, you have to eat. Yet spending twenty minutes scrolling through social media to find the perfect café takes up valuable time.
The AroundMe app is a location-based guide that shows you the location and menus of restaurants and bars nearby. It’s the perfect way to discover somewhere new to eat or figure out how to navigate your way to an already established meeting point.
Traveling for business with a per diem? Check out: Per Diem and Taxes: Top 7 Frequently Asked Questions (With Answers)
Sometimes a business trip involves one crucial meeting. But when remote work requires you to go to multiple locations in a town you’re unfamiliar with, CityMapper can help.
CityMapper is a mapping app for public transportation that makes it easy to plan any local trip in real-time. It connects to ride-sharing services if you want to hop in an Uber or Lyft. It lets you know what bus, train, or subway to jump on. It tells you when walking to your destination will be faster than finding a ride.
In some cities, this app also allows you to buy a CityMapper Pass, an all-access mobility pass that you can use to pay for all sorts of transport methods. With that one pass, you can pay for cab rides, tickets on rail systems, and personal transportation methods, such as shared cycles and Lime Scooters.
When it’s your job to book and arrange business travel, you absolutely have to prioritize travelers’ safety and make their well-being your top concern. And letting someone walk out of an airport in an unknown city and hop into a random taxi or Uber is not a way to guarantee their safe passage.
Blacklane changes that by allowing you to schedule, in advance, professional chauffeur services and rides for your business travelers. Those drivers can provide rides to and from airports and hotels, various meetings around town, and even from city to city. The company operates globally, so whether you need a safe ride around the U.S., in Europe, or Dubai, Blacklane has you covered.
We also love the fact that Blacklane cares about sustainability. They have made the commitment to be net-zero carbon and offset their entire carbon footprint.
If you want to use your phone when traveling internationally, you’ll need to buy a local SIM card that provides you with an international data plan. The more often you travel overseas, the more time-consuming and expensive this can become, as some service providers charge hefty fees to set up a data plan for use abroad.
That’s where Airalo comes into play.
Airalo is an eSIM marketplace. Since most new smartphones have an eSIM embedded within them, there’s no need to buy a new SIM every time you visit a different country. You can buy a mobile data plan through Airalo and instantly connect your existing phone to a local data plan. Currently, Airalo can set you up with an eSIM for use in over 190 countries worldwide.
Not sure if your device has an eSIM built-in?
The Airalo website has a complete list of all devices compatible with this technology.
Whether you’re zigzagging from the UAE to Europe to Asia or traveling locally for business in the U.S., having the right travel apps and technology on your side can make a huge difference.
Whether you plan business travel, travel once a week or once a year for business, or make top-line decisions about how your team travels the globe — it’s essential to use the right tech. From booking hotel rooms to scheduling flights to navigating a city or region you don’t know, there are all sorts of apps and platforms you can use to make business travel a little bit easier.
For more information on making hotel bookings more affordable and efficient, contact Hotel Engine now.
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.