When it comes to planning a business trip, many hospitality professionals rely on technology for more than just one part of the process. Travel apps provide a secure and accessible way to manage even the most minute aspects of a trip. From budget and spending to logistics, safety, and communication — smartphones are changing the way we travel, from one continent to the next.
Fortunately, there is no shortage of travel apps on the market for both iPhone and Android users today. Travelers can download apps to navigate a new city, find top-rated nearby attractions, and even ease the stress of packing and mingling with locals in a foreign tongue. With new apps on the market – and plenty of travel and tech reviews floating around to endorse them – some apps hit the mark every time.
Read on for a few tried-and-true travel apps our team at Valor Hospitality Partners.recommends to make the life of any hospitality professional easier.
Known for its simplistic way of helping you create an organized travel plan, TripIt allows you to view all your itineraries and travel documents in one place. Set your reservations to be sent to the app where you can view confirmations for flights, hotels, rental cars, and even ferries and driving directions without ever switching screens. TripIt also makes it simple to coordinate your travel plans with your ride home from the airport, or anyone else who may need to know what time your train pulls into the station. As of October, Mac users can even download the app on their computers.
PackPoint takes all the hassle out of packing by creating a personalized list of what to take on your next trip. Enter your destination, travel dates, business itinerary and how long you’ll be staying.
In addition to checking the local weather report, PackPoint even allows travelers to factor in washing your clothes a few times if you will have access to laundry facilities.
Slightly newer by way of travel apps, Culture Trip is making a name for itself quickly. As a company that understands the value of market research, and values cultural diversity, we understand why!
Featured as the App of the Day by Apple both the United States and the UK, this app is the perfect alternative to searching Pinterest for relevant travel blogs and trip-planning inspiration. Culture Trip offers a great way to find the coolest things to do, wherever you are and allows you to get a feel for what makes a local destination special. If you find an article or piece of content you like, you can save it for your next trip – and even view it offline.
Citymapper provides the fastest course of travel along with step-by-step instructions on where to find the nearest bus and train stations in a given destination. Travelers can get information about when the next arrivals will be, with real-time updates from minute-to-minute. This app can be used in many major cities across Europe, Asia, and North America and includes a chat feature that lets you update friends and family on where you are in real-time.
Rated #5 on iTunes in Navigation, Transit is another awesome app for finding your way around a new place. This app allows you to obtain subway and bus times in 135 big cities. Travelers can compare routes via train, bus, rideshare—and even bikeshare and scooter.
Save time getting through airport security and view Transportation Security Administration wait times with the MyTSA app. If you’re not sure what you can bring, this app will tell you everything you need to know. It also allows you to request live assistance from TSA, get crowd-sourced updates on wait times, and access information about delays and weather conditions. If you’re interested in signing up for TSA PreCheck to get through airport lines faster, this app will help you with that too.
Technically, Netflix isn’t a travel app, but its new download feature can surely come in handy on long, boring flights. Whether you booked an economy airline without inflight entertainment or WiFi, or are stuck on a layover or last-minute delay, you’ll thank yourself later if you do some pre-planning with Netflix.
Netflix users can utilize the app’s download feature to save their favorite shows and movies onto their devices. Later, you can view your downloads offline. Just be sure to download your top picks while connected to WiFi.
XE Currency Converter
XE Currency provides you with live exchange rates and charts to help keep you on top of your finances during your international travels. Choose between several different currencies and set up rate alerts so you can track the conversions that matter most. You can use XE offline.
An alternative currency converting app iPhone and Apple watch users can try is Elk. It won awards for design and comes with interactive rates tables to help you figure out how much things cost while traveling abroad.
If you’re going to be walking or driving around a new country, this app is a game-changer. While there are similar apps in existence, Maps.Me seems to have consistently positive ratings.
The best part about this app is that you can download an entire country onto your phone and find your way around offline when you get to your destination. When you’re ready to make your way somewhere new, you can delete it to free up some space and download your next location while connected to WiFi.
Google Translate is the perfect way to break through communication barriers while traveling abroad. Ask the person you are trying to converse with to speak into your phone, and Google Translate will help give you the English version so you can understand. Respond by typing what you’d like to say into your phone, and the app will translate and even teach you via audio how to say it yourself.
Google Translate is free and can translate over 100 different languages. Of those languages, you can access more than half without WiFi. It also includes a camera feature that can help you convert street signs in foreign languages–a must download for international travel.
Tipping customs vary by destination. Differing cultural traditions can be intimidating, especially if you’re globetrotting for the first time. GlobeTips can help you get quick information on whether or not you should tip in more than 200 countries. A bonus? It comes with a tip calculator, allowing you to skip the math.
Download for free on iPhone
Timeshifter starts helping you avoid jet lag well before you board your departing flight. It also gives you suggestions on how best to deal with time changes after you land in your destination country.
This app takes your age, gender, and standard sleep patterns into consideration to provide personalized recommendations based on neuroscience and your specific travel plans.
Timeshifter will let you know when you should nap or try to fight sleep, as well as when you should try to expose yourself to or avoid sunlight. If that’s not enough for you, this app will even recommend whether or not you should bring along some melatonin or caffeine to combat global travel.
Whether you’re taking a quick international vacay, or planning a trip on foreign soil for a few months, WhatsApp is a great way to stay in touch with people you love back home. While you won’t be able to keep in touch wherever you go, as long as you have an internet connection, you can message loved ones back home while avoiding international SMS fees.
Similar to iMessages, both iPhone and Android users need to create an account to access WhatsApp features such as voice calls, video chat, text messaging, photo messaging, gifs, and more. As a bonus, users can also download the app on their laptop or desktop computers via Windows and Mac.
Especially helpful if you’re in a country where you don’t speak the native language, ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft are great for staying safe when hailing a ride. Riders can enter pickup and drop-off locations and hail a ride with a driver, all from conveniently tracked via their smartphone.
17. Smart Traveler
If you’re a US traveler, Smart Traveler is a free service that offers tips and vital information to help you travel safely. Check out visa requirements and vaccines to get for your next trip. If you register your trip via the app, nearby US embassies will receive your info. In the event of an emergency, the local embassy can contact you to see if you need help.
What are your favorite travel planning apps? Tell us in the comments below!