Travel Safe: Top 10 Android Travel Apps for Business Travellers

As a global business executive, I know first hand the demands of travel. I spent more than 120 days out of the year on the road, and have supported the traveling workforces of clients every day. So how do I stay connected? Here are my thoughts on the best apps for Android smart phones – a critical tool for helping me stay in touch and on top of things while traveling.

“Like most people I use my smart phone as both a communications tool and mini computer while traveling or on the road. My Apple iPhone is my primary device, because I like its exhaustive selection of applications. However, for those times when I need to travel with a second handset (to save on data roaming costs or to access local networks), I use my Android OS phone, which also offers a great range of apps.

I am constantly testing and sampling new apps to meet both my own requirements as well as those of our clients. Below is a list of my favorite travel apps – those that I find indispensable to helping me stay engaged even as I cross time zones. I selected them based on three criteria:
1. Provision of knowledge or data that I don’t possess myself
2. Backed up by expertise and a richer web-based content version
3. Ease, speed and functionality of the application version

Here are the key travel applications that I would recommend for Android OS users:

Oanda currency converter

When you travel a lot, or you’re a first-time traveler, it’s important to keep updated on the latest currency conversion rates. I like the Oanda Currency Converter because it’s quick and simple to use for single or multiple trips.

Wi-Fi Finder-Connectivity and communications remain a constant concern to business travelers, even in developing countries. Therefore I like to know of any paid or free Wi-Fi spots within vicinity of my accommodation or current location should I need access information or send receive files. Wi-Fi Finder is a great tool for preplanning and ongoing travel information regarding Wi-Fi hotspots.

Talk To Me Classic-If you’re traveling to locations where you don’t speak or understand the local language or writing, it is vitally important to be able to communicate, even if it’s just the basics. Talk to me gives you the option is to translate your native tongue into a variety of written and spoken languages so you can share and communicate more effectively. This is a great one speaking with hotel staff and taxi drivers.

Places Directory-Whether you’re a first timer or even a frequent traveler, Places Directory can always give you tips and advice and guidance on the nearest ATM, restaurant, entertainment facility or even just shopping. This application is constantly being updated and I find it great to getting my bearings and reducing the amount of time I spend wasted looking to somewhere eat in the life while traveling.

Call Log Calendar-Easily track phone calls and conversations when you’re on the road or focused on other business tasks. This application enables you to export all of your phone log information into your calendar so you can keep track of times dates, conversations for follow-up, or even info for billing purposes.

Kayak Hotel and Flight Search-Again, I like to spend some time planning before I commit or confirm any trips. The kayak application gives you great data and information for budget planning, hotel/flight selection and other journey management requirements quickly and efficiently from a phone. Not only do I use this as part of my preplanning regiment but it’s also excellent on the road or when plans change.

My Tracks-While this application primarily targets the fitness and exercise market it’s a great tool for business travelers too. I use this if a traveling to a new location or following directions that are unclear, so I know where I’ve been and where I’m headed to. It’s also an excellent tool for planners when considering emergency/evacuation routes or simply the shortest rout between two points.

Footprints (HTC)-The HTC Android device comes preloaded with HTC Footprints, which enables people to permanently chronicle their chosen location and events by capturing a digital postcard on their phone. Once captured, Footprints provides the ability to take notes and an audio clip of that favorite restaurant or special place while identifying its specific geographical location. In addition to identifying each postcard with its specific GPS coordinates, Footprints also auto-names each postcard with its general location or area. This one is great for revisiting or remembering client locations, accommodation or places to eat.

WaveSecure Mobile Security-Mobile phones are an attractive item and easily misplaced when traveling. It is therefore important to protect both your own personal information and any relevant information relating to your company or job function. The WaveSecure Mobile Security application enables you to remotely lock down your device and generally preserve the information you wish to protect. You can also be notified should someone attempt to install another or SIM card.

PdaNet-It seems there’s always an urgent requirement to communicate. This application is great for communicating with your laptop and other devices via your mobile. It enables you to tether one or more devices in order to send and receive e-mails or access cloud computing sites. I always keep in mind costs when doing this but it’s a great alternative that gives immediate and easy access at airports, hotels or even client locations.

Hire Travel Agencies For Your Business Travel

When going to a foreign destination on a business trip, there are a lot of things to be taken care of, especially if it is your first business travel. To make your business trip easier it is always advisable to hire a travel agency to take care of all your travelling matters.There are many travelling organisations in Australia that can help you with your business trip. They will plan all the details of your trip meticulously for you, right from the onset till the last moment of your stay in your foreign destination. Business travel is a complete opposite of a leisurely vacation. The first and most prominent point of difference is that you are not going there to take a leisurely break from work, but you are going to a foreign land for work! Therefore, these trips need proper and thorough meticulous planning. Travel agencies take care of all the planning that is to be done according to your requirements, Business air travel bookings, hotel room bookings, arrangements of meetings, and many more things on the same lines. These agencies know all the needs of business travellers and also the fact that they travel quite frequently to particular business destinations. Therefore, to attract these frequent business travellers and to furnish their own accounts, they come up with alluring business travel packages that snugly fits every traveller’s pocket! Apart from just being affordable, these packages also include comfortable stay hotel booking, affordable business air tickets, fine cuisines and dining, and best arrangements for business conferences and meetings.

For a frequent business flier, it is always recommended to hire an agency that specialises in business travelling. These agencies are experts in this area and can provide you with best possible arrangements and services at an affordable price. You can expect best experience in reasonable fees, after hiring these travel experts. These agencies can also provide you with a perfect combination of two types of travel packages, that is, which includes site seeing and pleasure activities after your business work is over. The package includes trips to the popular tourist attractions, cruises, amusement parks, site seeing and exploration of the place. There are many agencies that provide packages for both travel purposes – business and leisure. People going on business can take up such packages to explore the place after finishing the business or in the evenings or anytime of the day in between the business meetings and other official activities. These are the best economical packages for leisure and business travel. These packages can make you attend your business activities, while your family can indulge in the leisurely activities. Hiring travelling agencies not only saves you money but also makes your business trip a lot easier for you and your family.

Business Travel App Helpful in Extended Trips

Business travel trips can last anywhere from a few hours to many months. For ease in your travel trip do hotel bookings in advance for an extended stay, rent a car and use Internet phone calls and services. Think of the extended business trip it may be boring to go for meetings and work all the time. Try to make feel yourself at home during a long business travel trip and think in advance for making adjustments in your meetings time to take advantage of the cool location. After taking long business meetings opportunities will arise for going out to visit the surround area where you are staying. But, the problem people face here is that they don’t know the place. This problem is solved after the innovation of the business travel app embedded in your iPhone.

Make the business trip a pleasure trip by using pre planning online calender that you can easily get in business travel app of your iPhone. Just make a schedule of your trip by taking out all important information related to the business trip. First book the flight tickets and for reservations in hotels and hire a rent car. Then find out the place nearest to your hotel for taking business meetings. Although some good hotels will also able to provide a convention hall for the meetings and business parties. Book that convention hall in advance for your meetings. Then calculate your time that you can utilize for visiting the place. Just have a look at the business travel app map which will help you to find the nearest places of your destination. All these information put in your iPhone travel app and it will synchronize all the information automatically.

iPhone business travel app allows its users to know the surrounding area by doing just one click on the app. After tapping the name of the place on your app in only few seconds it will display you the map of the entire location you are staying with it’s distance and the important places where to go and visit all you will get in just one click. Make the use of short span of time for doing traveling around the place you are staying for a long time. By using Business travel app you will not feel lonely, the app works for you as a guide that helps you to travel a place which you do not know. This will be a great fun for the Business travelers that have to travel alone on the long trips without knowing the place where they are going.

iPhone travel apps another advantage is that suppose you are going to a destination where you don’t know there native language and they also don’t understand your language, in this situation what can you do? All you need is just a translator, just install an translation app on your iPhone as it hardly takes few seconds and then use it for doing translation. Write the sentences in English and click on the translation by selecting the language you want to translate your sentences. Then you can show screen of iPhone to the person whom you want to talk. This is how you can communicate to someone who do not understand your language. This will help you in your business travel trip by providing you comfort level as you need on the trip.

5 Tips to Help You Prepare for International Business Travel

Travel overseas for business can be a fun adventure, but it also needs to be taken seriously. Before traveling to another country, whether for work or pleasure, it’s important to learn the customs and procedures of your destination, while also preparing yourself for your trip.

As a business traveler, you’re not only representing your country of origin to all of those you meet, but you are also a representative of your company. It’s important to be knowledgeable about the country you are planning on visiting as a way to show respect.

Besides requiring the correct documents like a visa and passport, there are other obligations you will likely need to complete before making your way overseas. Many of these requirements are specific to a particular destination based on the laws and regulations for the countries you are visiting. Make sure you do your homework well in advance so you know each of these requirements.

5 Tips for Overseas Business Travel

International travel for business can be a very exciting opportunity. You not only get to see new and interesting parts of the world, but you even get paid while doing it. In order to have the best experience possible, there are things you can do in advance to prepare. Here are five tips to help execute the perfect international business trip.

  1. Create an Organized Itinerary: Make sure that your days are packed with opportunities to help your company. Scheduling time for appointments, meetings, and personal time is very important to executing a beneficial international business trip. An itinerary should be a good guide for your trip’s goals and achievements. Because you do not want to waste any time on this trip, it’s better to plan in advance to take full advantage of the opportunity.
  2. Learn about the Culture and Customs: Before landing in said country, it’s important to understand the environment, culture and practices of this region. Knowing up-to-date news and information about your international travel destinations will help you avoid inappropriate comments or disrespectful behavior. Not only is it important to understand the culture, but it is also beneficial to know protocols, customs and etiquette as well. This includes things like: common greetings, religious practices, business manners, dietary practices, and acceptable humor.
  3. Learn the Native Tongue: While not every business trip requires learning a whole new language, it’s always advisable to seek out some basic vocabulary for the region you are visiting. The use of a translator might be beneficial as well. Communication is a huge part of business and breaking down those barriers will only help you with your business endeavors.
  4. Protect Yourself: Traveling internationally can be exciting, but also very stressful and sometimes dangerous. A new environment can mean new hazards and threats. Don’t avoid protecting yourself to save money. Sometimes travel insurance is a valuable way to reduce the risk of health crises and other types of risks.
  5. Stay Connected: Plan to use your communication devices while staying overseas. Make sure that your plan is available in other countries, or rent a cellphone from the airport. Communicating back and forth between your headquarters, while in a different country, is often an important part of international business. Communicating with your coworkers back at the office is an important part of international business travel.

Traveling internationally for business can be a new adventure. It’s becoming increasingly common as more and more U.S. companies also have offices overseas in places like Ireland, Costa Rica, the United Kingdom, and Hong Kong. In 2014, Forbes rated Denmark as the #1 country for business.

Regardless of where you are traveling, planning ahead helps to make the experience as positive as possible. Know the culture of the places you are visiting, and when possible, make ongoing communication a vital part of your trip. Try to maximize your time spent overseas by preparing in advance for productivity. The more organized you are, the more time you’ll likely have to enjoy some sightseeing and leisure. Always remain respectful, while keeping your goal in sight.

Business Travel Trends For Healthy Flying Are In The Hands of The Millennials

According to the American Express Global Business Traveller Survey 2013 if you are a business traveller and you sat next to me on your next flight there is a one percent chance that you would engage me in conversation, so much for business going social! Whether you would want to engage me in conversation is another matter but this article is not about me it’s about the developing trends in business travel from a healthy flier perspective.

The survey was conducted by American Express in the summer of 2013 with participants from the US, UK and Australia. Approximately 500 randomly sampled business travellers were surveyed in each country.

The standout headlines are

(1) As the global workforce goes through change the Millennials are beginning to make up a larger portion of it.

(2) As a group the Millennials value a better work life balance and are savvy about it while on the road.

(3) There is an added focus on relieving travel related stress.

Narrowing in on the US market the travel stress theme is specifically in evidence.

74% of travellers said they drank extra water to stay hydrated.

48% stretched on the plane.

44% use a hotel gym.

20% avoid alcohol.

The majority use a combination of diet and exercise to stay healthy while on the road and 41% supplement their diets with vitamins.

Even if it is only implied these figures show that more business travellers are beginning to recognise and value the correlation between flying healthily to arrive well, be productive and successful in business.

This can only mean good news for the healthy flying niche. If the influence of the Millennials as a demographic block is brought to bear the way the baby boomers have done for the last few economic boom cycles the healthy flying niche and other industries will be better for it. This period in time is all the more important because we have the makings of a perfect storm. We have an influential demographic that fliers and values health. We have challenged or non existing healthcare provisions which mean staying healthy and out of the healthcare system is at a premium. We have an epidemic of Autoimmune disease and we have Globalisation and Technology which play the roles of saint sinner and saviour all at the same time. There are more people taking to the sky that before, journeys are more stressful than before and the frequent flier has to negotiate all of this while still performing at the top of their game.

Globalisation is forcing the pace of change we are experiencing. The good about it is more nations are coming online as it were, the bad is it becomes an even more crowded marketplace to negotiate. The same applies with Technology it forces change but also brings an always on and in view aspect to our lives. How we are able to harness both of these forces to enable a better flying experience for health inclined frequent fliers is a million dollar question in more ways than one.

Some strides in this direction are already being made, I would expect efforts to continue in this direction with some seriously useful kit to be available to fliers. At the moment we have a few notable players. The Napwell sleep mask, the Re-Timer sleep glasses and Valkee LED earbuds are a few aimed strictly at jet lag or sleep trouble often accompanying jet lag. On the other hand there are technologies that have a native use which can be adopted by fliers for relief of some jet lag symptoms. Brainwave Apps and Barefoot Earthing Technology products are some of these second category technologies. The Photon shower revealed at a TED talk in 2013 sounded promising but is only a concept with no firm plans for production. The explosion of fitness gadget that work with the latest smartphones or stand-alone is a curve you can expect travel related gadgets to follow. There are actually some such gadgets already in the marketplace. The AirPlus Traveller Productivity White Paper on how to manage traveller productivity used such a product.

As I mentioned earlier the most potent indictment of the times we live in is to be found in the strong currents of change caused by Globalisation and Technology. I would argue that Globalisation is increasing global collaborative work where people travel and come together on a project for the short-term. This trend is already prevalent in show business, journalism and the fashion world and even in the technology industry. As it continues to develop the need for people to arrive on form and ready for business becomes more obvious. Even without going that far the multinationals who spend large sums of money to recruit the best they can find want them to maintain their performance edge when they are sent half way around the world on the company’s business. It is common knowledge that it is no longer enough to just book a business class seat and expect the employee to arrive well.

As the travel industry players and the corporate world become more cognizant of the costs of travel related stress and jet lag, quantifying it in terms of the bottom line becomes a useful yardstick. The aforementioned AirPlus Traveller Productivity White Paper and the Carlson Wagonlit Solutions Stress Triggers for Business Travelers White Paper (which includes the Travel Stress Index tool) are two attempts to put a perspective on the scale of the problem. How the data in both of these tools is put to use is a question for the corporations individual fliers as well as the airlines and the travel industry intermediaries. For airlines at least it seems the battle lines are drawn, with the rollout of the latest offerings from Boeing and Airbus creeping into the stocks of most major players the focus is moving away from the hardware (the planes) to the software (customer service and deliverable product enhancements) this last category could potentially include any number of health initiatives to make sure business frequent fliers arrive well.

Cited Works

“American Express Survey Finds Majority of Global Business Travelers Balancing Work and Play While on the Road” – The Plane Facts (Infographic)

AirPlus. Traveller Productivity: How to tailor your travel policy to improve traveller performance (White Paper) PDF File.

Carlson Wagonlit Solutions – Stress Triggers for Business Travelers: Traveler Survey Analysis (White Paper) PDF File.