Last Updated on June 27, 2015 by Natasha Amar
This post is sponsored by IHG Business Advantage
Smartphones have changed, among other things, the way we travel. Long gone are the days of pouring over hard copies of guidebooks for hours trying to plan while you travel or find the closest restaurant. Our indispensable smartphones provide quick access to all the information we need, retrieving it for us within a few seconds. From city maps that can be used when you’re offline to language apps that teach you how to pronounce foreign words like a native speaker, here are some smart business travel apps for people who simply don’t have the time to research new destinations before traveling and need usable information on-the-go.
Skip the Frustration of Waiting for a Taxi
You know that feeling when you’re getting late for a meeting in a new city because you can’t find a taxi? If you’re usually punctual and like me, need to be punctual this can be a very stressful situation. I hate that the person I’m supposed to meet would write me off as someone who doesn’t value their time. And I can’t even begin to describe how many times this has happened to me in my own city, Dubai. In some cities (like mine) taxis can be really hard to get if you simply try to stop one on the street. This is where an app like Uber is super useful. With the Uber app, you can simply book a taxi or private car and have them show up at your doorstep at the right time. You can also keep track of how far they are via GPS and pay via credit card in advance. The little extra you pay over a regular taxi is worth the precious time you wait or while away in frustration.
Book and Manage Hotel Reservations
The IHG Hotel app is a one-stop solution for finding and booking hotels within the IHG network, managing your stays and getting directions to IHG properties worldwide. With a number of hotel properties located worldwide across a range of budgets, the business traveler has plenty of options to choose from. This app that’s available both on iOS and Android is ideal for frequent business travelers who need to book stays on short notice and keep track of their reservations in one place. It is compatible with IHG Business Advantage, integrates with the corporate rewards program and tells you about discounts and offers that you can take advantage of.
Speak the Local Language
An app like Google Translate is great for every kind of traveler because locals always appreciate when you make an attempt to speak their language. They smile a little more at you, bring your coffee just a bit faster and make a better effort to help you with directions when you greet them, thank them or say goodbye in the local language, even if you end up with a funny accent. Plus it’s very useful in countries where not everyone speaks English. As business interests move towards Asia and the Middle East, the need to be able to communicate in languages other than English is greater than ever before.
A fantastic feature of the app that is available for select languages is Visual Translation, where you point your smartphone at a sign or text in a foreign script and get an English translation. This is obviously great to read signboards and announcements when there’s nothing available in English.
What are your favorite travel apps? Share them in the comments below.